Consider a Donation to the Afterschool Alliance in the New Yearby Susan Rohwer
We have seen a year of unprecedented challenges for the afterschool field in 2010. Recent policy developments and the painful economic downturn have combined to make this a very difficult year for afterschool programs and the children, families and communities they serve.
We at the Afterschool Alliance are working intensively with our partners at the national, state and local levels to bring resources to those most in need, and to emphasize the crucial role played by afterschool programs nationwide.
But, as we enter 2011, significant challenges loom. The 112th Congress will consider an appropriations bill that threatens to cut funding for afterschool programs, at precisely the time when children and families need them the most. We will continue our efforts to help programs keep their doors open, and will collaborate closely with the Obama administration, U.S. Department of Education and Congress to ensure that afterschool is part of future education reform.
We need your help to continue this critical work, and are asking you to consider including the Afterschool Alliance in your new years giving.
Any amount you can provide is greatly appreciated. All funds raised will go toward ensuring that America’s children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. Donations can be mailed or made through our website at afterschoolalliance.org.
Here are some highlights of all of the great stuff that happened this year:
- Our 9th annual Afterschool for All Challenge conference was held in conjunction with the National AfterSchool Association and the National League of Cities. The event was a great success, attracting more than 2,000 participants. At our “Breakfast of Champions,” we honored leaders from 10 states for their work on behalf of afterschool, and also held a high-impact ‘Afterschool for All Rally’ outside the U.S. Capitol. Check out pictures from the event.
- We celebrated our 11th annual Lights On Afterschool, October 21, 2010, which brought together more than one million Americans at some 7,500 events in every corner of the nation and on U.S. military bases worldwide. The Empire State Building and Mount Rushmore were both lit up in honor of the positive role played by afterschool programs in the lives of children and families. See photos from events all over the country.
- We continued to aid the work of 39 statewide afterschool networks by providing technical support , funding guidance, and policy updates.
- We worked closely with federal policy makers, partner organizations, and the national afterschool field to oppose changes to the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (formerly known as No Child Left Behind) that would divert and reduce funding for afterschool programs. We have held numerous meetings with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House on this subject. Read all of the policy work we’ve done on our blog.
- Two new research reports were released based on our initial 2009 America After 3PM study – America After 3PM: From Big Cities to Small Towns and America After 3PM Special Report on Summer: Missed Opportunities, Unmet Demand. The first report provides data on afterschool participation in several urban and rural communities, while the second reveals that 75% of America’s schoolchildren are not participating in summer learning programs. Both publications received significant media coverage.
- Partnered with Quaker Oats for an ‘Afterschool Rocks’ campaign to promote healthy eating and physical activity at afterschool programs. The campaign included several promotional events across the country, featuring recording artist Jordin Sparks.
- We have a new Director of STEM Afterschool Policy, who has worked to increase science, technology, engineering and math learning opportunities for kids enrolled in afterschool programs.
- Tracked and/or promoted more than 50 pieces of legislation, including key bills that would create new afterschool opportunities for older youth, provide additional funding to rural programs, and establish school nutrition and physical activity initiatives.
Thank you again for your support and for considering gift that will help keep kids safe, supervised and learning in the New Year.
© 2009 Afterschool Alliance