WASHINGTON - National League of Cities (NLC) First Vice President Chris Coleman, mayor, St. Paul, MN, spoke at the launch of a new publication highlighting the success of afterschool programming today at the National Press Club. Standing with other national and local leaders in the education and afterschool fields, Coleman stressed the importance of collaboration among city, school district and community partners to support afterschool opportunities.
Edited by Terry K. Peterson, Ph.D., Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success is a compendium of studies, reports and commentaries from more than 100 city officials, educators and advocates. Mayor Coleman joined four other municipal elected officials from around the country as co-authors of an article sharing the work they have initiated at the local level to bring different stakeholders together to support afterschool programs and demonstrate that education is about more than just what happens during regular school hours.
"Supporting afterschool programming is part of our city's education improvement strategy, economic development strategy, neighborhood development strategy and crime prevention strategy. In short, it's all connected," Coleman said. "When young people have quality afterschool learning opportunities, they are inspired, they are engaged, they are safe and they gain the necessary skills and knowledge to prepare themselves for higher education or skilled jobs."
The book's main themes, echoed throughout the nearly 70 articles, include:
• Solid evidence from research and practice demonstrates that afterschool and summer learning programs increase college and career readiness.
• Afterschool and summer learning programs improve student academic performance as well as a range of youth outcomes (social, emotional, physical wellness, character, resilience, and more).
• School-community partnerships maximize resources, save money, and build community ties.
• Afterschool and summer learning programs engage families in their children's learning.
Municipal leaders have long been at the forefront of local efforts to build citywide systems of high-quality afterschool programs. With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families has worked with dozens of cities over the last decade to help them build these systems, expand access to and participation in afterschool programs, and improve program quality.
Mayor Coleman is past chair of NLC's Council on Youth, Education and Families. Together with the mayor of Minneapolis, Mayor Coleman recently co-hosted a statewide mayoral summit on afterschool and expanded learning that took place in St. Paul in March 2012 with assistance from NLC and support from the C.S. Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation. St. Paul is also one of nine cities selected to participate in The Wallace Foundation's Next Generation Afterschool System Building Initiative, a project coordinated by NLC.
At the book release, Mayor Coleman was joined by William S. White, president and CEO, Charles Steward Mott Foundation, and fellow contributors Terry K. Peterson, Former Counselor to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Gail Connelly, Executive Director, National Association of Elementary School Principals, , and Ayeola Fortune, Education Team Director, United Way Worldwide. In conjunction with the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project, the event and publication were made possible by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
More information about the book, as well as additional resources, can be found at: http://www.expandinglearning.org.
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.
The Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project is a 50-state initiative harnessing the power of networks and leaders to help schools and communities leverage the time beyond school to accelerate student achievement. A partnership of funders led by the C.S. Mott Foundation support the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project.