NLC Selects Seven States to Host Summits on Afterschool and Expanded Learning
WASHINGTON—At the inaugural Afterschool STEM Summit in Washington this week, the National League of Cities (NLC) announced the selection of seven statewide afterschool networks (SANs) to receive technical and financial assistance to host statewide municipal summits on afterschool and expanded learning in 2016. The summits will bring together city leaders and state agency officials to focus on improving and expanding afterschool and summer learning opportunities for young people.
These summits reflect a growing national movement of mayors, councilmembers and other elected officials who are taking the lead in their cities to develop and promote high-quality, citywide afterschool and summer learning programs. The summits will emphasize the links between afterschool learning, in-school education and workforce readiness, and show how coordinated efforts can make high-quality afterschool opportunities available to more children community-wide.
Selected networks include the Alabama Afterschool Community Network, the Florida Afterschool Network, the Indiana Afterschool Network, the Kansas Enrichment Network, the Missouri Afterschool Network, the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership and the Ohio Afterschool Network. The SANs are statewide organizations dedicated to improving policies, partnerships, funding, and quality of afterschool opportunities. NLC has supported 19 state municipal summits over the past five years.
"Afterschool programs are a proven way to keep kids safe, inspire learning and activities, and help working families," said Bob Buckhorn, mayor, Tampa, Florida. "All students should have access to these life changing opportunities regardless of where they go to school."
"Education, including the availability of meaningful learning opportunities outside of the classroom, is the most important issue facing our region," said Sly James, mayor, Kansas City, Missouri. "To be truly great we have to have excellence across the board, including in our citywide afterschool programs."
"Summer and afterschool learning programs are critical in bridging both the academic and opportunity gaps many of our children experience," said Nan Whaley, mayor, Dayton. Ohio.
The municipal summits on afterschool and expanded learning will:
- Educate city leaders about the critical need for afterschool in their state;
- Engage mayors in helping to inform afterschool and expanded learning policies at the state level;
- Connect mayors and councilmembers with peers from across their state to develop strategic partnerships that advance afterschool and summer learning initiatives; and
- Highlight successful approaches to building citywide afterschool systems.
"Afterschool programs are a powerful solution to not only keep young people safe, but also equip young people with the necessary interpersonal and workforce skills for a successful future," said Clifford Johnson, executive director, NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. "These summits will help city and state leaders work together more effectively to ensure that all children and youth have access to high-quality afterschool opportunities."
All of the afterschool networks will partner with mayoral champions to host the summits, with technical assistance and support from the NLC. Each state summit will be supported by a $9,000 grant generously funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation.
The National League of Cities (NLC) 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.