This month we are focusing on the importance of quality in afterschool programming and citywide system building. High-quality afterschool programs have been shown to increase school attendance, raise graduation rates and reduce the likelihood that young people will smoke, drink, use drugs or become teen parents. These programs help cities reduce juvenile crime, promote healthy lifestyles and address childhood obesity, and build an educated and skilled workforce. As a supplement to the regular school day, quality afterschool programs also address the needs of working parents and increase their productivity at work.
In partnership with the Food Research and Action Center, NLC is hosting a webinar to inform communities about federal child nutrition programs meant to help families ensure that their kids get healthy food before, during and after school, as well as over the summer months. Join us to learn more about how you can help raise awareness and bring attention to the critical need for these programs in your community.Register Today!
We were so excited to host our bi-annual luncheon for the Afterschool Policy Advisors' Network on Monday, March 10th at our Congressional City Conference in Washington, DC. The luncheon room, filled with energy and passion, could barely accommodate the 70-plus participants that came together to learn how cities can support their young people in the afterschool and summer hours more effectively. This year's luncheon focused on the various federal funding streams available to help support afterschool programming in local communities and new federal policy proposals to pay attention to. View the presentation by Jennifer Rinehart from the Afterschool Alliance.
At our Congressional City Conference, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the joint signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with NLC outlining a plan to strengthen partnerships among federal and local governments, schools, families, and other organizations. As part of this MOU, the Department of Education and NLC will support the development of 15 community conversations hosted by mayors focused on early learning,citywide high-quality afterschool programs and postsecondary success. The conversations will also focus on closing achievement gaps (including for young men of color) and increasing student outcomes, including non-academic outcomes such as social-emotional skills, which Secretary Duncan emphasized were "just as important as academic skills." At the conference, the Secretary shared a handout, highlighting cities that are making rapid progress in early learning, K-12 education and higher education.Click here to read media coverage by Youth Today on this announcement...
How the President's 2015 Budget Impacts Afterschool and Summer Learning
To learn more about how the president's budget may impact afterschool, check out Erik Peterson's recent blog post, "The afterschool and summer learning perspective on the President's 2015 budget." Peterson, Vice President for Policy at the Afterschool Alliance, discusses the president's budget proposals for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, new education technology efforts, a new Race to the Top grant competition and juvenile justice reform initiatives.Read the blog post here...
Afterschool System Building Resources on Program Quality
In recent years, the afterschool field has developed many resources to help cities improve the quality of their afterschool programs. Below you will find links to a number of resources from organizations across the country that focus on afterschool program quality. City leaders may utilize these resources as a way to generate deeper dialogue with afterschool providers in their communities to raise the quality of programming efforts and to discuss desired program outcomes.