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Afterschool Snack, the afterschool blog. The latest research, resources, funding and policy on expanding quality afterschool and summer learning programs for children and youth. An Afterschool Alliance resource.
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APR
14
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Afterschool Alliance among NAA’s Most Influential in Health & Wellness

By Charlotte Steinecke

We are proud to announce that the Afterschool Alliance has been named one of the National AfterSchool Association’s picks for Most Influential in Health & Wellness 2017.  Sponsored by The Walking Classroom, NAA’s Most Influential in Health & Wellness distinguishes “individuals and organizations whose service, action, and leadership align with and support the NAA Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Standards and affect large numbers of youth, families, and afterschool professions.”

Honorees were profiled in the spring 2017 issue of NAA’s AfterSchool Today magazine. According to the feature, the Afterschool Alliance was honored for “bringing together national, state, and local organizations to promote [NAA’s HEPA] standards within state-level policies and legislation.”

Across the nation, healthy eating and physical fitness programs benefit millions of children in out-of-school time, playing an important role in building a generation of young people who are invested in living healthy, active lives. To get a snapshot view of the field, the Afterschool Alliance’s Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives Tiereny Lloyd offered some perspective on the challenges and victories of health and wellness programming in the afterschool field.

On health and wellness standards

“When the HEPA standards were introduced, they were rolled out with the larger nonprofit organizations—like YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs—that had the infrastructure to be able to disseminate information about the standards and support implementation. But for the programs that aren’t attached to those organizations, what about them? How do we reach those we don’t have direct access to—especially when they’re the ones who need it most? There’s a big communication gap.

Currently, 60 percent of afterschool programs know about the HEPA standard, which leaves 40 percent that do not. I would like to see 100 percent of afterschool programs at least know about them and almost that many actually utilizing the standards. The standards are very comprehensive, so it takes a lot of time and resources to complete all of them, but I would like to see every program using some form of those standards.”

APR
7
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Meet Charlotte Steinecke, our new Communications and Editorial Associate!

By Charlotte Steinecke

Salutations! My name is Charlotte Steinecke and I’m delighted to introduce myself as the new Communications and Editorial Associate at the Afterschool Alliance. It’s a privilege to join such a dedicated team united for a worthy cause, particularly at such a politically exciting moment. 

As the significantly older stepsister to two school-age boys, I get to see firsthand the way a good afterschool program helps students and parents in so many different ways. Getting to take that personal investment and make it the subject of my work every day is a wonderful opportunity! 

I come to the Afterschool Alliance from LivingSocial, where I was the editor on the travel vertical and worked closely with the marketing team. I’ve also worked at various nonprofits and corporate entities in D.C., including the Association of American Medical Colleges and ThinkFoodGroup. I’m a graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, and an indefatigable proponent of holistic—and exceptional!—education at all levels.

As the Communications and Editorial Associate at the Afterschool Alliance, I’ll be managing the Afterschool Snack blog (hello, audience! We’ll be seeing a lot of each other.) and providing communications and editorial support across the organization. I’m thrilled to be able to contribute to the Alliance’s work supporting afterschool programs, providers, families, and students across the nation.

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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
FEB
27
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Meet Maria Leyva, our new Development Operations Associate!

By Maria Leyva

Greetings, everyone! I am Maria Leyva, the new Development Operations Associate at the Afterschool Alliance. What a privilege it is to join such a stellar team. I will be working alongside passionate and dedicated individuals to advance the importance of afterschool and summer enrichment programs.

My interest and background in afterschool and summer programs stem from my own experience as a working parent. Thanks to afterschool and summer programs, my kids not only received homework help but were also exposed to music, interactive science activities, sign language, theater, comedy improv, and so much more.  So yes indeed, we must work together to support the critical work of the afterschool programs that nurture and strengthen our kids while supporting working families.

Prior to joining the Afterschool Alliance, I oversaw the development activities at the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ). This included grant writing, prospects tracking and research, and maintaining and nurturing foundation relations. In my time with CHEJ, I helped launch its annual fundraiser event, which convened a record-breaking number of supporters. Additionally, teamwork and diligence paid off when we secured the largest grant in CHEJ’s history. Prior to CHEJ, I held various positions with organizations including the county health department in Phoenix, Ariz.; Concilio Latino de Salud, a nonprofit agency dedicated to Hispanic health promotion; and the National Council of La Raza here in Washington, D.C.

As the Afterschool Alliance Development Operations Associate, I will work in collaboration with all staff to support the progress and timely submission of all foundation and corporate grant reports. Additionally, in collaboration with the Director of Development, I’ll be doing outreach and follow up to prospective donors, develop grant applications, and maintain a fundraising tracking system. Other priorities will be to research and identify new donor prospects while continuing to educate funders and the broader community about the value of afterschool and summer programs. I look forward to collaborating with everyone and contributing to the strong and steady growth of the Afterschool Alliance.

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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
JAN
31
2017

IN THE FIELD
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Meet Leah Silverberg, our new Research Assistant!

By Leah Silverberg

Hello Afterschool Snack readers! My name is Leah Silverberg, and I am the new Research Assistant here at the Afterschool Alliance. I am coming to the Afterschool Alliance as a recent graduate of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y., where I completed a B.A. in Biology and Studio Art. During my time at Bard, I worked as a peer health educator and emergency medical technician on campus, and worked with first-year college students to improve science literacy as part of the Bard College Citizen Science Program. 

Throughout my time in elementary, middle, and high school, I was fortunate enough to have access to consistent afterschool programming, and I’m passionate about increasing accessibility to these programs for all students. As a product of afterschool, I know how much these programs assisted my parents, and I personally benefited from the educational support and social and emotional development afterschool programs provide.

As the new Research Assistant, I will be working with the STEM and research teams on a number of in-progress projects, like our new evaluations database and our STEM Program Profiles page. I am excited to be a part of the Afterschool Alliance team, and look forward to working with the amazing and passionate people that work here. 

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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
DEC
23
2016

IN THE FIELD
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Celebrating our AmeriCorps VISTAs' 2016 accomplishments

By Andrea Szegedy-Maszak

Members of the VISTA team gathered on the National Mall in September.

For the last five years, the Afterschool Alliance has been a proud sponsor organization for nationwide AmeriCorps VISTA projects. VISTA, which stands for “Volunteers in Service to America,” is a 50-year-old service program with the central mission of alleviating poverty through capacity building for nonprofit organizations. VISTA members are considered full-time federal volunteers during their one-year term of service.

Our VISTA program—and the scope of our VISTAs’ work to support the afterschool field—has grown significantly over the past five years. Most recently, we’ve added VISTAs dedicated to supporting the STEM Ecosystem Initiative, as well as VISTAs focusing on mentoring opportunities for young men of color. Read on to learn more about our VISTAs’ work and a few highlights from 2016.

Our VISTAs’ major highlights from 2016

Oklahoma STEM Ecosystem VISTAs Sabrina Bevins and Aleia McNaney have taken on leadership roles in the planning of a Women in STEM book club and event series surrounding the release of the film Hidden Figures, culminating with a screening of the film. Sabrina has signed on a number of female STEM professionals to mentor young girls in Tulsa over the course of the program.

Thanks to Sabrina’s successful partner outreach, Cox Media has agreed to run four radio campaigns in promotion of the program, and a local theater company has donated a screening room that seats more than 400. Aleia has been spearheading communications efforts for the Hidden Figures program, including designing promotional materials for a book drive held Tuesday, November 29 in support of the book club.

New Jersey Meals VISTA Jaimie Held has been making strides in expanding afterschool and summer meals for kids and families in Newark, N.J. Jaimie created partnerships with local food banks to host afterschool and summer meals open house events in 2017. She also scheduled an afterschool and summer meals open house in January 2017 at Newark’s Bolden Student Center to recruit new afterschool and summer meal sites.

JUL
26
2016

IN THE FIELD
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Meet Andrea Szegedy-Maszak, our new Field Outreach Coordinator!

By Andrea Szegedy-Maszak

My name is Andrea Szegedy-Maszak, and I’m excited to introduce myself as the new Field Outreach Coordinator for the Afterschool Alliance! I’m joining the Afterschool Alliance as a recent graduate of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, where I completed my B.A. in Biology with a concentration on STEM education. I originally became interested in studying biology after participating in an out-of-school time microbiology program, and I’m thrilled to be contributing to the Afterschool Alliance’s mission to promote those opportunities for young people around the country.

During my time at Bard College, I focused my studies and extracurricular work around the development of curricula, educational tools and programming to support informal STEM education. I volunteered with a number of afterschool STEM programs, including hosting a weekly science club for K-5 students and serving as a mentor for a local public school’s annual science fair. Building on those experiences, in 2014 a peer and I organized and directed a series of free, week-long summer STEM camp sessions hosted at local libraries in the Hudson Valley. I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of afterschool and summer programming to engage and excite students who may not have felt confident pursuing STEM in the classroom, and I deeply value the opportunities these programs can provide. 

As a Field Outreach Coordinator, I’ll be working with the Afterschool Alliance VISTA team to coordinate and support the members of the new nationwide STEM Ecosystem VISTA project. STEM Ecosystems are multi-organization, cross-sector partnerships that share the common goal of making STEM learning widely available and a top priority for their communities. I’ll be supporting our VISTAs as they work to enhance the accessibility and quality of resources for Ecosystem partners, STEM educators and community members, and promote the capacity and sustainability of Ecosystem-supported programming.

JUL
20
2016

IN THE FIELD
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Meet Elizabeth Tish, our new Special Assistant to the Executive Director

By Elizabeth Tish

Hi, my name is Elizabeth Tish and I’m the new Special Assistant to the Executive Director here at the Afterschool Alliance. My first experience with afterschool occurred in high school, when I participated in a summer learning program focused on college access and success. The program taught me how to succeed as a first generation college student—lessons I’m thankful for to this day. I’m excited to be here at the Afterschool Alliance, where I can work toward the goal of more students having a transformational experience in an afterschool program like I did!

I graduated from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill with my BA in Public Policy this past December, and have completed two internships here in Washington, D.C. focusing on access to higher education and college affordability. While completing my degree, I had the opportunity to return to my summer program and complete research on what it means to enter college as an underserved student, as well as share my experiences in college with high school students who would soon start that process themselves.  

As Special Assistant, I will provide administrative and program support to the Executive Director, as well as work on special projects. I’m looking forward to learning more about the management of a national nonprofit like the Afterschool Alliance. I also hope to study and share the ways that afterschool programs can offer career and college readiness programming for their participants, especially programs that serve communities with many potential first generation college students like mine.  

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learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
JAN
15
2016

IN THE FIELD
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Meet Tiereny Lloyd, our new Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives!

By Tiereny Lloyd

Hello, Hello, Hello! I am Tiereny Lloyd, the new Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives at the Afterschool Alliance. As the Director of Health and Wellness Initiatives, in collaboration with the Policy team, I am charged with directing a national, state and local level effort to progress health and wellness policy for children and youth in afterschool, summer learning and early care and education programs. In this role, I have the unique opportunity to not only work on behalf of the out-of-school time community but also support the early childhood community as well.

I have a deep commitment to advancing the comprehensive health and wellness of children, particularly those most at risk. Before coming to the Afterschool Alliance, I implemented a national physical activity program for Head Start children while working at the National Head Start Association, managed an oral health campaign to decrease pediatric dental disease while working at the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, and most recently served as the Senior Manager of Strategic Relationships at SHAPE America for Let’s Move! Active Schools. Although those roles afforded me a national perspective of child health and wellness’ standards and practice, it was through my previous roles as a local pre-school teacher and director that often grounds, influences, and provides practical meaning to my advocacy work. 

Given the Afterschool Alliance’s successful track record of afterschool advocacy and true commitment to increasing access to quality programming, it is an honor to become the newest member of the Afterschool Alliance policy team. I am energized and ready to support the out-of-school time and early childhood program providers and organizations with the promotion of campaigns that will advance state health and wellness policy. Together, let’s make our kids healthier!!