Recent Afterschool Snacks
By Erik Peterson
Last week the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) at the Department of Health and Human Services proposed to amend the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) regulations
. According to ACF
, this proposed rule would strengthen health and safety requirements for child care providers, reflect current state and local practices to improve the quality of child care, infuse new accountability for federal tax dollars, and leverage the latest knowledge and research in the field of early care and education to better serve low-income children and families.
The proposed rule would only apply directly to child care providers who accept CCDF funds. More than 500,000 providers serve about 1.6 million low-income children through CCDF, including about 650,000 school-age children in afterschool and before-school settings. Many more children would benefit, however, because the providers also serve non-CCDF children. Under the proposed rule, states would require that all CCDF-funded child care providers:
- Receive health and safety trainings in specific areas
- Comply with applicable state and local fire, health and building codes
- Receive comprehensive background checks (including fingerprinting)
- Receive on-site monitoring
By Molly Tomlinson
Afterschool students at the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster’s Embryology Program watched and learned as Herman, Henry, Chickie, Chiquita and Butterscotch grew from eggs into fluffy, yellow chicks. The students monitored the temperature and humidity of the incubators, fed the chicks and take turns holding the newly hatched chicks. Club Executive Director Donata Martin told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that the afterschool program uses a curriculum which “integrates the concepts of embryology into easy-to-use math, science and language arts lesson plans.” She plans to repeat the program in the fall.
This week General Motors Co. (GM) launched GM Student Corps, a new program that is providing paid summer internships to 110 Detroit-area high school students who will work on community service projects. The program is “designed to help prepare teens for leadership and careers, as well as aid Detroit as it continues to evolve as a city where young professionals want to live and work,” The Detroit News reports. Teams of students are creating service projects, like cleaning up local parks or establishing a food bank or community garden in Detroit area neighborhoods. The students are responsible for budgeting, planning and implementing the projects over the summer, and they will be mentored by GM retirees and employee volunteers.
Afterschool programs in Lacey, funded by a North Thurston Public Schools’ 21st Century Community Learning Center grant, are transforming schools into a fun place to be after the school day ends. “On a recent afternoon, a group of students prepared mango mint salsa with fresh vegetables from the school’s garden, while others played math and reading games, worked on art projects, played computer chess and other programs in the library, and ran drills on the soccer field,” The Olympian reports. Program coordinators say that they’ve also seen academic gains in students and are hoping that the afterschool program can continue after the grant ends.
Afterschool students from programs at 22 schools across five counties premiered their short films at The State Theatre in Modesto last week. The films shown at the Reel Life Film Festival addressed a range of topics, like bullying, welcoming new students and sticking up for others. Students’ responsibilities weren’t limited to filming; students also had to pitch their story to “producers” (the afterschool program staff), develop plot lines and characters, figure out chronology and sequencing, and more.
By Erik Peterson
While Congress is currently engaged in debate over immigration policy and the 2013 farm bill, two other policy issues are waiting patiently in the wings for their chance in the spotlight. There is a possibility that the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee and the House Education and the Workforce Committee will mark up their own versions of Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization bills in June. At the same time, progress is slowly being made by the Appropriations Committee staff in both the House and the Senate on FY2014 spending bills. Now is a great time to weigh in on both of these issues:
- Contact your senators and representative to encourage them to support afterschool and summer learning as part of ESEA by co-sponsoring the Afterschool for America’s Children Act, S. 326. This bipartisan bill will enhance the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative by strengthening school-community partnerships among other improvements.
- Funding for 21st CCLC and the Child Care Development Fund remain critical. Contact your senators and representative to express how sequestration and the economy have impacted access to afterschool programs in your community. Call on them to support funding for afterschool and summer learning programs in the FY2014 appropriations process.
Thank you for taking action on behalf of the 18 million children who would be engaged in afterschool programs this afternoon if a program were accessible to them.
By Sarah Simpson
By Molly Tomlinson
At GRLZ Radio in Dorchester, a radio station and afterschool program run by St. Mary’s Center for Women and Children, teens learn radio production and communication skills while gaining an outlet for self-expression. GRLZ Radio is partnering with WERS and providing regular programming on its sister station ETIN
, and “soon the teens will be anchoring newscasts, assembling radio pieces, and handling production duties,” the Boston Globe Magazine
“Children in the Tag, You’re It! after-school program at Lincoln Elementary School in Wausau are having so much fun playing versions of the popular chase game that they might not even realize how many calories they are burning,” the Marshfield News Herald reports. The popular programs emphasize getting kids active and moving, playing well together and learning about healthy eating. At the end of the six-week session, afterschool students will take home a packet with how many calories they burned and other ideas for fun fitness activities.
A mentoring program that started with five teens in Angela Nash’s Columbus living room is expanding to an afterschool program that will eventually serve at least 50 at-risk youth. A Chosen Generation “matches volunteer mentors with at-risk youth as identified by teachers, school counselors and parents, and seeks to improve their performance in school and discuss problems the students are experiencing outside the classroom,” The Dispatch reports. It aims to reduce the academic achievement gap between minorities and low-income students and their peers, increase job readiness and employability and reduce risky behaviors for teens.
The Girls on the Run afterschool program at Roseboro Elementary School in Clinton was the inspiration behind the town’s 5K May Day run. One of the race organizers, Jessica Eason, told The Samson Independent that the program, “teaches the girls that it is okay to be yourself. You don’t have to be a follower. You can step out of the box and be who you are.” The proceeds raised from the race will help fund the afterschool program next year.
By Sarah Simpson
We’ve gotten a TON of awesome Lights On Afterschool poster entries so far! (Shout-out to Albuquerque Public Schools YDI/Marmon After-School Program for the amazing banner!) One of these posters could be the winner—OR it could still be out there somewhere! Send us your entry by June 1!
By Trevor Sparks
The chance to hang out with LeBron James, the Miami Heat power forward, is pretty rare. But even rarer is the chance for 10 academic all-stars from Akron Public Schools Extended Learning program to be flown to Miami and share the stage with James as he was named the NBA's Most Valuable Player for the fourth time.
Last Friday afternoon Akron students were sitting in class at Seiberling Elementary School in Akron, Ohio, but on Sunday morning, the 10 academic all-stars were enjoying a gourmet breakfast in a swanky dining room at the Mandarin Oriental in Miami, courtesy of the LeBron James Family Foundation. This was one of the many rewards for being selected out of the nearly 500 children participating in the foundation’s Wheels for Education program.
According to the foundation, the Wheels for Education program empowers children from single-parent households through innovative programming and initiatives and strengthening the ties between family members. Through the Wheels for Education program, kids make promises to go to school, do all of their homework, listen to their teachers, be helpful and respectful, and above all else, finish school.
By Erik Peterson
From Alabama to Washington state and places in between, afterschool programs are embracing the USDA Child and Adult Care Feeding Program’s (CACFP) At-Risk Afterschool Meals program. This spring, hundreds of afterschool programs are providing nutritious meals at no cost to those children who need them most. With summer around the corner, providers are also taking part in the Summer Food Service Program to ensure young people have the nourishment they need when school is out. Here are a few examples from around the country:
- In Huntsville, Alabama, and the surrounding area, children will be able to receive three meals per weekday during the summer as part of Huntsville City Schools’ new Summer Feeding Program. Young people under the age of 18 will be able to enjoy up to three meals per day at no cost at 10 area schools through the Summer Food Service Program. Summer learning programs will be offered at most of the schools allowing students to nourish both minds and bodies.
- The Albuquerque Journal recently reported on a number of schools in Albuquerque, New Mexico, including Kirtland Elementary School, that started serving a meal as part of their afterschool program.