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AUG
31
2017

LIGHTS ON
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How to bring advocacy to your Lights On Afterschool event

By Erik Peterson

With many of the nation’s students back in school and afterschool, it is time to start thinking about planning a Light On Afterschool event for the month of October. Lights On Afterschool is an excellent opportunity to show policymakers and elected officials, as well as parents and community members, what takes place in your program when the lights are on – and conversely what learning opportunities students miss out on in communities where the lights are off afterschool.

Here are a few ways to get the word out in support of afterschool programs at your Lights On Afterschool event:

AUG
4
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Welcome, 2017-2018 class of Afterschool & Expanded Learning Policy Fellows!

By Jen Rinehart

Torrance Robinson from FLUOR speaks to the 2016-2017 Fellows about corporate engagement

Sixteen leaders in the field of afterschool and expanded learning nationwide have been selected as White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellows as part of a partnership between the Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Through deep discussion of case studies led by policy change-makers, the fellowship equips graduates with a real-world understanding of sound policy-making for afterschool and expanded learning. In the ten-month program, which begins in October, fellows will study afterschool/expanded learning policy and develop and implement state-level policy projects in partnership with their statewide afterschool networks and the national Afterschool Alliance.

"Attending the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship was as not only rewarding academically but also for creating network partners across the country,” said Darren Grimshaw of the Burlington Police Department, a recent fellow. “The manner in which policy development was presented allowed for the collaboration of fellows and the input of subject matter experts in the field of afterschool programming. This policy fellowship experience has also given me the tools necessary to continue building much needed partnerships between law enforcement and out-of-school programs. This was an amazing hands-on experience."

NOV
9
2012

NEWS ROUNDUP
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News From the Latest Afterschool Advocate

By Luci Manning

The latest issue of the Afterschool Advocate features a recap of Lights On Afterschool 2012.

  • Make sure to cast your vote in the Bright House Networks Lights On Afterschool Photo Contest on Facebook. A Lights On picture could be worth up to $2,000!
  • Brooklyn Castle, an award-winning documentary about a chess afterschool program in New York, was a part of Lights On Afterschool in select cities. Check it out when it comes to a city near you!
  • The Afterschool Alliance and MetLife Foundation announced $10,000 grants for afterschool programs in California, Idaho, Michigan, Wisconsin and Washington, D.C., for their innovative and fresh approaches that help middle school students succeed in their programs, in school and in life. The announcements were made in conjunction with the program’s Lights On Afterschool events.
  • Don’t forget to thank all the local dignitaries, business officials and funders who attended your Lights On Afterschool event for their support! The Afterschool Advocate’s Outreach section has a sample thank-you note.

Read the full Lights On recap in the issue.

The Forum for Youth Investment released a first-of-its-kind guide to help cities and communities strengthen and sustain quality in afterschool programs. The new guide explains how afterschool programs can use a quality improvement system to raise the quality of afterschool programming in an ongoing, organized fashion. Read more here.

A new study from Children at Risk looked at the impact of $5.4 billion in cuts to Texas’ public education budget in 2011. It found that many nonprofits—organizations that provide critical support and services to public school students in the state—found themselves without critical financial support.

Last month, the Afterschool Alliance welcomed Nashville, Tenn., Mayor Karl Dean and Fort Worth, Texas, Mayor Betsy Price to its board of directors. Read more about Mayor Dean and Mayor Price online.

Don’t forget about thefunding and award notices, news and conference announcements on afterschool and education, and quotes on education issues. Read the full issue online. And if you don’t already receive the Afterschool Advocate, sign up now!

OCT
15
2012

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Dont Miss the Latest Afterschool Advocate

By Luci Manning

Lights On Afterschool 2012 is just around the corner and the latest issue of the Afterschool Advocate features information on a Lights On webinar and the Lights On Afterschool Facebook Photo Contest with Bright House Networks. Be sure to read all about it here.

Want to generate media coverage of your Lights On event, but aren’t sure how? The solution may be in refining your “media pitch.” After you’ve sent a media advisory letting journalists know that your event is coming up, it’s crucial that you follow up, preferably by telephone. Check out this issue’s Outreach section for easy tips on how to pitch your Lights On Afterschool event to a reporter.

Change the Equation is inviting any science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) learning program, including afterschool and school-based programs, to apply for inclusion in the STEMworks database of exemplary programs. More on the STEMworks database here.

At the Afterschool for All Challenge, Dr. Terry Peterson, the director of the Afterschool and Community Learning Network and the Afterschool Alliance board chair, sat down with Development Without Limits Executive Director Eric Gurna to talk about the role afterschool plays in the larger educational picture, and the importance of vital programs. Listen to the podcast online.

Don’t forget about the funding and award notices, news and conference announcements from groups and programs around the country and quotes on education issues. Read the full issue online. And if you don’t already receive the Afterschool Advocate, sign up now!
 

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OCT
1
2012

RESEARCH
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Check out the Latest Issue of the Afterschool Advocate

By Luci Manning

The latest issue of the Afterschool Advocate kicks off with Lights On Afterschool! Check out the story on Lights On poster contest winner, Felix from Pasadena, Texas! Felix said he “got the idea for the poster from everything we do in my afterschool program, which includes learning and playing and drawing.” Be sure to read all about it and download the poster online.

In other art news, the Afterschool Alliance and announced the winners of the Torani art contest last month. The artwork of student artists from San Francisco and Bristol, New Hampshire, is on display in coffeehouses and kitchens throughout the country this fall! Torani’s Sugar Free French Vanilla syrup label was designed by 16-year-old Elora Scimone from Newfound Regional High School’s Art Club and the Raspberry syrup label was designed by 14-year-old Benny Tran.

In September the Afterschool Alliance and the National Writing Project hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on how afterschool programs and community partnerships work together to support student success. A panel of education experts, afterschool providers and community partners discussed how afterschool can help schools move beyond the constraints of the traditional school day and embrace the community.

The 2012-2013 class of Afterschool Ambassadors has been announced. Check out the new class and see if there’s new Afterschool Ambassador in your state!

New research from Child Trends found that extending the school day or year and expanding learning opportunities during out-of-school time hours can be effective in improving educational outcomes for students – but, the report cautions that the evidence base is limited because much of the research is based on quasi-experimental studies that vary in quality. Check out the article in the Advocate and a recent Afterschool Snack blog post for more details.

In the September issue, we reported on findings from the Afterschool Alliance’s Uncertain Times survey. This issue’s Outreach section has a sample letter-to-the-editor that keys off the economy and the election and contains data from Uncertain Times.

And as in every issue, there are funding and award notices, news and conference announcements from groups and programs around the country, quotes from leaders on education issues and resources. Read the full issue online. And if you don’t already receive the Afterschool Advocate, sign up now!

AUG
31
2012

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Don't Miss the Latest Issue of the Afterschool Advocate

By Luci Manning

The most recent issue of the Afterschool Advocate features findings from the Afterschool Alliance’s Uncertain Times survey. The survey of nearly 5,000 afterschool program sites serving more than half a million children found that many afterschool programs face shrinking resources as they struggle to meet the needs of children and families in their communities. Programs that principally serve predominantly African-American and Latino children and high-poverty communities have been especially hard hit. This issue’s Outreach section has messages and data from Uncertain Times: Afterschool Programs Still Struggling in Today’s Economy. Advocates should consider using and sharing this data to provide context and perspective when talking to policy makers, media, funders or potential funders about how local afterschool programs are faring.

This issue of the Afterschool Advocate also goes behind the scenes of the advocacy work in Los Angeles that helped secure afterschool funding for the city’s largest free afterschool program.

The Afterschool Alliance released a new MetLife Foundation issue brief highlighting the many ways afterschool programs can support school improvement efforts within struggling middle schools. “Afterschool: An Ally in Promoting Middle School Improvement” highlights the afterschool programs across the country that are working with community partners, complementing the learning that takes place during the school day and bringing new teachers and mentors to the school improvement table to help better engage middle school students.

Lights On Afterschool is right around the corner! This issue features social media tips to enhance your outreach.

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AUG
2
2012

NEWS ROUNDUP
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ICYMI: Latest Issue of the Afterschool Advocate

By Luci Manning

The July issue of the Afterschool Advocate digs deeper and goes behind the scenes of the advocacy efforts that helped restore New York City’s afterschool and child care funds. (As Afterschool Snack readers may know, last month Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced that they planned to restore $150 million to the city’s budget after months of public outcry.) The lead article interviews key afterschool leaders about their strategy and how they fended off the proposed cuts by channeling anger and passion into activism. This issue’s Outreach section has tips from the New York City experience.

A new group of afterschool supporters will be helping to advance afterschool and expanded learning over the next year as part of the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows program. Read more about the Fellowship in this issue.

Budget cuts around the country are forcing many programs to cinch their belts tighter than ever this year. If you’re feeling the budget crunch, this issue of the Afterschool Advocate has tips for throwing a low-cost open house! Check out the article and get started now planning for Lights On Afterschool, Oct. 18, 2012!

The Afterschool Advocate is also covering a new survey from Change the Equation finds that only 1 in 5 U.S. households with children in K-12 have any children enrolled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) afterschool programs. Read more findings from the survey here.

As always in this issue there are funding and award notices, news from programs around the country, great quotes about afterschool and education, resources, and conference announcements from around the country.

Read the full issue online.

Sign up to have the monthly Afterschool Advocate sent to your inbox, or share with friends and colleagues!

JUL
31
2012

LIGHTS ON
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Start Planning For Lights On Afterschool 2012!

By Sarah Simpson

Download the 2012 Lights On Afterschool Planning Guide now!

On October 18, more than 1 million people will gather at some 7,500 sites across the country and at U.S. military bases worldwide to rally in support of the afterschool programs that help working families, keep kids safe and inspire them to learn.  In today’s tough economic climate, it is more important than ever to increase awareness about how important afterschool programs are to children, parents and communities. With some afterschool program budgets shrinking, providers may have to scramble to stretch their dollars to the max to plan a successful Lights On Afterschool event.  But with nearly three months to plan a Lights On Afterschool event, it’s easy to keep costs down and still be effective.  Check out the latest issue of the Afterschool Advocate for ideas on how to throw a successful Lights On Afterschool event on a shoestring budget.

Plus, we’ve updated our Event Planning Guide to make it easy for every out-of-school-time provider and advocate to take part and help show the important role afterschool programs play in our communities, and in our nation.   Lights On Afterschool events, like afterschool programs, come in all shapes and sizes—from stadium rallies and town parades to open houses and program tours.  Celebrate Lights On Afterschool in a way that works best for your community, helps you showcase the benefits and accomplishments of your program, and calls for support to ensure that before-school, afterschool and summer learning programs everywhere can thrive so that every child can have access to an afterschool program!

The kit includes a planning timeline and checklist, event ideas, sample materials, and ways to use your Lights On Afterschool event to make afterschool an election issue in the weeks leading up to the 2012 elections.  So what are you waiting for?  Get started today! 

Have you already started planning your Lights On Afterschool event?  We’d love to hear your ideas and tips in the comments below!

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