RSS | Go To: afterschoolalliance.org
Get Afterschool Updates
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.
Afterschool Donation
Afterschool on Facebook
Afterschool on Twitter
Afterschool Snack Bloggers
Select blogger:
Recent Afterschool Snacks
NOV
2
2017

LIGHTS ON
email
print

Where were we during Lights On Afterschool 2017?

By Charlotte Steinecke

At the Afterschool Alliance, we spend a substantial part of our year focusing on Lights On Afterschool; when it finally happens, we’re running to keep up! We couldn’t wait to head out of the office (and sometimes out of the state) to explore the amazing programs and events that opened their doors to celebrate on October 26.

In our own words, here’s a small selection of where we were, what we saw, and who we met during this year’s Lights On Afterschool.

Andrews Air Force Base loves afterschool

"I had the pleasure of celebrating Lights On Afterschool with Matrice Brooks and the rest of the Youth Program staff on Andrews Air Force Base," said Shaun Gray, production and office manager. "As parents entered to pick up their kids, local youth programs were set up in the main area to offer sign-ups for sporting, art, and reading programs. McGruff the Crime Dog made an appearance but the highlight of the day was Sparky, a remote-controlled dog in a firetruck that sprays water."

Glowing bright in Tuscon, AZ

"We visited KIDCO, an afterschool program from the Tucson Parks and Rec department that serves 800 students during the school year and 1,200 students during the summer," wrote Andrea Szegedy-Maszak, our field outreach coordinator. "Their event was held in the beautiful Reid Park in Tucson, with an hour of lawn games before each KIDCO site performed a dance routine with a "decades" theme. More than 200 people attended the event, which kicked off with a group countdown until everyone cracked a glowstick and cheered for Lights On Afterschool!"

OCT
30
2017

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Welcome Marisa Paipongna, our new Field Outreach Assistant

By Marisa Paipongna

Hi! I’m Marisa Paipongna and I’m very excited to be the new Field Outreach Assistant at the Afterschool Alliance.

I became interested in the Afterschool Alliance due to my own afterschool experiences. Upon entering high school, I knew that I wanted to go to college but because I was a first-generation college student, navigating that pathway was fairly unclear. I heard my teachers emphasize the importance of being engaged outside of the classroom, so I decided to join an afterschool community service organization. That experience not only made me realize this passion I had for helping the communities around me, but it also opened my eyes to the fact that I could actually pursue this passion in college.

The values that I had gained and my motivation to positively impact communities only grew throughout my time in college, both inside and outside of the classroom. I recently graduated from the College of William & Mary with a B.S. in Kinesiology with a Concentration in Public Health, and a minor in Sociology. Throughout college, I served as a Health Outreach Peer Educator, creating and facilitating health programs for students throughout my campus. I interned at the USDA Rural Development California State Office in Davis, Calif. and also interned at the School Health Initiative Program throughout Williamsburg-James City County elementary schools in Williamsburg, Va.

While my degree and many of my experiences are related to health, I am passionate about pursuing efforts regarding afterschool programs because of the strong correlation that exists between education and health outcomes. As the Field Outreach Assistant, I will work closely with the Field Outreach team in recruiting and providing assistance to AmeriCorps VISTA members working on afterschool programs throughout the country!

share this link: http://bit.ly/2yYBokL
learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance Vista
OCT
16
2017

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Meet Arielle Kahn, our new Special Assistant to the Executive Director

By Arielle Kahn

Hello! My name is Arielle Kahn and I am the new Special Assistant to the Executive Director at the Afterschool Alliance. I am so excited to channel my passion for educational equity into my work here at the Alliance. I firmly believe that quality afterschool experiences can put children on a path to success. I know that in my own experience, afterschool and extracurricular activities were most formative to my development. I was fortunate to participate in a variety of afterschool programs that shaped who I am today.

I graduated from Duke University last May, where I majored in Psychology, minored in Education, and completed the Child Policy Research certificate. My passion lies at the intersection of these three fields as they relate to the pressing issue of equity in educational opportunities. This issue has been important to me since my first internship experience, when I taught ten underserved elementary age students through a summer learning program run by the Children’s Defense Fund. The following summer I interned with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation in the Healthy Schools Program to combat childhood obesity as an impediment to academic success. A year later I interned at the U.S. Department of Education where I worked on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to address opportunity gaps faced by boys and young men of color.

As Special Assistant, I will provide administrative and program support to the Executive Director, as well as work on special projects. I am enthusiastic about learning more about nonprofit management. Most of all, I believe in the work of the Alliance and am proud to work for an organization that works tirelessly to secure greater opportunities for children every day.

share this link: http://bit.ly/2yn6a6K
learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
AUG
11
2017

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Meet Faith Savaiano, our new Communications Associate

By Faith Savaiano

Photo courtesy of Jon Merlino Photography

Hello! I’m Faith Savaiano, the new Communications Associate and the latest team member to be joining the Afterschool Alliance.

I could not be happier to be joining the dedicated and capable team here working to ensure quality and affordable afterschool for all. Growing up in a home with two working parents, the access I had to afterschool programming allowed them to work hard to support my family, while I could learn and grow in a safe environment. I’m looking forward to communicating the incredible value of these programs, supported by the excellent research and policy efforts that are being conducted here on a daily basis.

As a recent graduate of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, I’m happy to be returning to Washington D.C. after earlier experiences here at U.S. Department of State and public affairs agency, Powell Tate. I’m passionate about supporting public policy efforts that create opportunities for those who are often underserved in our communities. Here at Afterschool Alliance, I’m thrilled to be working toward creating greater opportunity for the most deserving group I can think of—our youth!

In my role, I’ll be largely handling the digital media portfolio, meaning that I get to engage with all of you through our site and social platforms. I look forward to connecting with all of you to learn and spread the word about the importance of afterschool in our homes and communities!

share this link: http://bit.ly/2uyl84H
learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
JUL
24
2017

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Introducing Stephanie Rodriguez, the new Director of STEM Policy

By Stephanie Rodriguez

Hi! Stephanie Rodriguez here, the new Director of STEM Policy at the Afterschool Alliance. I’m incredibly excited to advocate for the importance of out-of-school time STEM learning and its role in encouraging students to engage in and pursue activities and careers in STEM fields. My personal, lived experience with informal STEM learning experiences fuels my passion for afterschool STEM and brought me to the Afterschool Alliance, where I will work to impact policies that support opportunities for all youth to engage with STEM learning.

I join the Afterschool Alliance fresh off my tenure as an AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation, where I worked on efforts to broaden participation in computer science and other STEM fields. Prior to the fellowship, I completed my PhD in immunology at Washington University in St. Louis where I studied the T-cell development process and devised innovative strategies to watch this phenomenon in live animals in real time using advanced microscopy techniques. While at WashU I also directed the Young Scientist Program, a 25-year-old program that engages St. Louis public school teachers and students in hands-on STEM experiences while providing critical resources to a community in need.

My own path to becoming a scientist was 100% paved by STEM experiences external to the classroom. In high school, I was part of an authentic research experience working at a Ball State University biochemistry lab through a program aimed at getting girls and underrepresented groups into STEM fields. The experience got me hooked on STEM, built my resume, connected me with mentors, and expanded my human capital and network. If not for that invaluable experience, I would not have been exposed to the STEM research enterprise nor had the confidence and interest to consider a career in a STEM field.

Afterschool STEM engagement is an opportunity all students should have access to and I am eager to jump into my new role and support policies that will make that happen!

share this link: http://bit.ly/2uRfrSa
learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
JUL
18
2017

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Meet Julie Keller, our Health and Wellness Intern

By Julie Keller

Hey, y’all! I’m Julie Keller, the new Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) Policy Intern at the Afterschool Alliance.

Within my role as the HEPA Policy Intern, I will be working with the director of health and wellness initiatives to advance state-level public policy and incorporate healthy eating and physical activity standards into out-of-school time programs. My past experience as a City Year AmeriCorps member and a Girls Inc. afterschool instructor gives me a unique perspective as I work on behalf of the out-of-school time community. I look forward to learning from the Afterschool Alliance team on the many ways to effectively support our youth at the national, state, and local level!

Throughout my childhood, I struggled with my health and lacked the education, resources, and opportunities to best take care of my mind and body. That experience cultivated my passion for the health promotion of youth and drove my college career at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to receiving my B.A. in Psychology, I pursued a certificate in Health and Wellness, developed and implemented weekly life and health skills trainings for the Health and Wellness Department volunteers, facilitated alcohol and drug safety seminars for incoming freshman, and managed data collection and analysis for the university’s wellness collaborative of more than 20 departments.  Although these roles afforded me practical skills and training within the public health sector, my dedication to advancing equitable out-of-school health and wellness opportunities is motivated by experiences with my students during my time as a City Year Corps member.

As I transition from direct service to advocacy, my students’ resilience and ambition will keep me grounded and committed to advocating for an increase of access to quality afterschool programming. I am ready to support out-of-school time and early childhood providers and organizations through the advancement of healthy eating and physical activity policy!

JUL
13
2017

IN THE FIELD
email
print

Meet our Communications Intern, Marco Ornelas

By Marco Ornelas

Hello! My name is Marco Ornelas and I am the communications intern for the summer here at the Afterschool Alliance. I am a senior at the University of California, Riverside where I major in Political Science with hopes of attending law school after completing my undergraduate education. I am also currently vice president of Delta Chi, a fraternity at my school, and a senator in UC Riverside’s student government, which represents the 11,000 students of the college of humanities.

I work as a classroom assistant at UC Riverside’s Early Childhood Services and recently worked on the 2016 presidential campaigns. My involvement in advocacy has allowed me to see firsthand the importance of ensuring every child gets a quality education. I am excited to work for Afterschool Alliance because I understand that children across the country depend on afterschool programs to compensate for the achievement gaps created during regular school hours. 

As the communications intern, I will work under the special assistant to the executive director and provide support to the communications team to advance our mission of increasing investments for quality afterschool education. I hope to help schools and organizations find the resources they need to fund afterschool programs in their communities. In addition, I look forward to informing the public of the benefits of afterschool programs and the dangers of defunding education.

share this link: http://bit.ly/2ujL1YG
learn more about: Inside the Afterschool Alliance
APR
14
2017

IN THE FIELD
email
print

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.”