Washington, DC - The National League of Cities (NLC) has announced that five statewide afterschool networks will receive technical and financial assistance to host Statewide Mayoral Summits on Afterschool and Expanded Learning in the spring and fall of 2014. These summits represent the first statewide convenings of local elected officials that are focused specifically on the issue of afterschool.
Selected networks include:
• New Hampshire Afterschool Network
• New Jersey School-Age Care Coalition
• New York State Afterschool Network
• South Dakota Afterschool Partnership
• Utah Afterschool Network
Networks will partner with state municipal leagues and mayors to host the summits with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation. Host mayors include: NLC Second Vice President Ralph Becker, Mayor, Salt Lake City, UT; Mayor Cory Booker, Newark, NJ; Mayor Byron W. Brown, Buffalo, NY; Mayor Mike Levsen, Aberdeen, SD; and Mayor Ken Merrifield, Franklin, NH.
"The newly announced afterschool summits will provide a unique opportunity for stakeholders across these five states to engage in a critical dialogue on out-of-school time programming. Millions of children in this country are unsupervised during the afterschool hours. We know that effective afterschool programs improve education, safety, and health outcomes, equip youth with skills for a successful future, and help us build stronger, healthier communities," said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, AZ. "These summits will help city and state leaders work together more effectively to ensure that all children have access to high-quality afterschool opportunities. The adage ‘it takes a village' means all of the village must engage."
Each summit will bring together local elected officials, state agency officials, and school and community partners to focus on expanding afterschool opportunities for children and youth. The summits will emphasize the links between afterschool learning, in-school education, and readiness for the workforce, and show how coordinated efforts can make high-quality afterschool opportunities available to more children community-wide. The networks will each receive a $9,000 grant to host its summit, along with assistance from NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families on outreach and strategic planning.
The initiative builds on two previous rounds of mayoral summits sponsored by statewide afterschool networks and supported by NLC and its foundation partners. The first round of summits took place in Arizona, Georgia, Iowa, Michigan and South Carolina in 2009 and 2010. The second round took place in Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington in 2012.
More than 1,400 local and state leaders participated in the first two rounds of summits that raised awareness of the importance of afterschool as one potential solution to a variety of city challenges and helped city leaders develop new action plans and investment strategies to address gaps in their communities. NLC has documented the many ways in which municipal officials are supporting afterschool programs to address a range of city priorities, including their leadership in coordinating the efforts of local providers and funders.
To learn more about the statewide afterschool networks, visit http://www.statewideafterschoolnetworks.net/.
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.