APAN February Newsletter

February 25, 2014

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Afterschool Policy Advisors Network

Greetings APAN Members,

This month we have chosen Citywide Afterschool System Building as our topic of focus. Given the broad nature of this topic, we will cover this particular topic as a series. This month we are spotlighting the major areas of focus within System Building and over the next several months will dive deeper into specific areas of interest.

Over the last decade, we have seen a fundamental shift in cities’ approach to afterschool programming, moving from management and funding of isolated programs toward in-depth coordination among city, school and nonprofit providers. As a result, we have seen concrete gains in academic outcomes and public safety. The five components of system building are: Mayoral Leadership, Commitment to Quality; Expanding Participation; Reliable Information; Multi-Year Planning and a Coordinating Entity.

Each of these areas is briefly highlighted on the National League of Cities introductory Afterschool System Building webpage.  To learn more about these areas of interest click here. We look forward to exchanging ideas, resources, best practices, and city spotlights over the remainder of the month with you all.

City Profile: Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, MN

APAN members have shared their desire to learn more about citywide afterschool efforts from other communities. For the month of February we are spotlighting Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park, Minnesota. 

In the belief that young people can be their communities’ change agents, Minnesota’s Brooklyn Bridge Alliance for Youth (Alliance) was created in 2008. The Alliance was originally formed through a joint powers agreement between two cities, four school districts, one county and two higher education institutions to serve as a Joint Powers Board for Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park...

Wallace Foundation Videos Show How Afterschool Can Help Cities Close the Opportunity Gap

"Afterschool is where the community can help the school push back against the hungry bear of poverty…that's really what keeps taking bites out of our progress." 

So says Robert Balfanz, a professor and senior research scientist at Johns Hopkins University, one of the experts in a new six-minute video from The Wallace Foundation. Hear a set of national experts discuss how afterschool can help cities close the opportunity gap between low-income students and their higher-income peers.  In a second video, field leaders lay out steps cities can take to build an afterschool system in order to boost program quality and attendance. The videos were taped in 2013 as part of The Wallace Foundation’s Better Together conference on how cities can improve access to high-quality afterschool – and help push back the hungry bear of poverty – by coordinating the work of government agencies, program providers and funders.

Afterschool System Building Resources

In recent years, the afterschool field has developed many resources to help cities coordinate their afterschool efforts. Below you will find links to a number of resources including the National League of Cities report on Municipal Leadership for Afterschool: Citywide Approaches Spreading Across the Country.

Messaging Resources

Every Hour Counts (formally the Collaborative for Buidling After School Systems) has produced a series of new messaging tools. These tools feature language that has been developed to explain the value of expanded learning systems and intermediaries to diverse audiences. NLC hopes that cities will find these messages useful and encourages cities to adopt the language to more effectively make the case for expanded learning systems to your stakeholders.

SAVE THE DATE: Summer Learning Day- June 20, 2014!

Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy day recognized to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for our nation’s youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development in communities all across the country. This day of celebration is supported by elected officials and policymakers, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, schools, universities, museums, libraries, and summer camps across the country. Whether you’re a community, summer program, school, or parent, there are many ways to celebrate Summer Learning Day!

Visit the National Summer Learning Association’s Ways to Celebrate webpage to learn how you can help spread awareness. Also, visit the Event Map to add your event or find a Summer Learning Day event near you!