State League Afterschool Initiatives
Nearly 100 mayors and other city officials joined education, business and community leaders in Tucson on March 3, 2010, at an Arizona Mayoral Summit on Afterschool/Extended Learning. The summit was hosted by the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence, Tucson Mayor Robert Walkup, Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman and Flagstaff Mayor Sara Presler. Summit attendees shared strategies and best practices, identified priorities for a statewide afterschool agenda, and focused on key issues such as afterschool accessibility, program quality, and ways to use out-of-school time programs to boost youth workforce readiness skills.
With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the YEF Institute provided financial and technical assistance to help the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence - one of 38 statewide afterschool networks funded by the Mott Foundation - organize the event. The Arizona League of Cities and Towns, the McClelland Institute for Children, Youth and Families, and representatives from the City of Phoenix served on the summit planning committee.
On Jan. 22, 2010, more than 90 city officials from across Georgia attended a summit in Atlanta on "Safe, Healthy and Strong Cities: the Promise of Afterschool Programs," sponsored by the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) and Georgia Afterschool Investment Council (GAIC). As part of the 2010 Mayors Day Conference, this pre-conference event provided mayors and other municipal officials with information on the benefits of afterschool and summer programs, offered tools and resources to help cities expand afterschool opportunities, and showcased successful local initiatives in Georgia.
Panelists discussed afterschool funding and partnerships with schools, business and community organizations. Participants also had the opportunity to discuss collaborating with GAIC and GMA to host local forums and explore joint fundraising possibilities. Reflecting its strong partnership with GAIC, GMA recently highlighted the 100 local Lights On Afterschool events that took place in cities and towns throughout Georgia as part of the national celebration sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance.
The Iowa League of Cities partnered with the Iowa Afterschool Alliance to host a series of three online webinar forums on afterschool in October 2009 as part of its participation in a YEF Institute initiative funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. These free forums focused on supporting mayors in developing afterschool leadership at the local level through information sharing, subject-matter expert discussions, and resource identification. The sessions provided a valuable discussion on improving academic achievement, building a skilled workforce, and supporting working families in Iowa's communities.
At the annual convention of the Municipal Michigan League (MML) held in September 2010 in Dearborn, Mich., MML joined the YEF Institute in co-sponsoring a preconference "Michigan Mayoral Summit on Helping Our Youth Succeed in the Workforce" organized by the Michigan After School Partnership (MASP). Co-chaired by Grand Rapids, Mich., Mayor George Heartwell and Adrian, Mich., Mayor Gary McDowell, president of the Michigan Association of Mayors, the summit focused on citywide systems of afterschool programming that offer expanded learning opportunities and help prepare young people for careers.
Mayors and city department staff discussed strategies to provide programming for the 500,000 children and youth in Michigan who go home unsupervised after school. Participants also connected with MASP's state policy efforts, and learned about effective local partnerships in Grand Rapids, Adrian, Farmington Hills and other Michigan cities. The summit was the last of five statewide mayoral summits on afterschool that the YEF Institute has supported through technical assistance and small financial grants made available through the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns Executive Director Daniel Beardsley joined municipal leaders at a convening in Warwick, R.I., to learn how the cities of Warwick and Providence are expanding afterschool opportunities for children and youth. Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian and Providence Mayor David Cicilline hosted the meeting, in which a dozen leaders from cities throughout Rhode Island participated. The Rhode Island After School Plus Alliance, one of 38 statewide afterschool networks funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, coordinated the meeting.
On July 15, 2010, the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC) partnered with the South Carolina Afterschool Alliance (SCAA), NLC, Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to host a statewide mayoral summit on afterschool and expanded learning. Held in Charleston, S.C., and co-chaired by Charleston Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., and Williamston Mayor A. Carthel Crout, the event brought together more than 75 municipal and school district officials from cities and towns across South Carolina.
Mayors, councilmembers and school superintendents used the summit to develop specific, measurable goals and action steps for improving the range of afterschool learning opportunities for children and youth. NLC's Leadership Training Institute helped organize the event as a pre-conference training session at the MASC annual meeting. The gathering was one of five statewide mayoral summits on afterschool that the YEF Institute is supporting through technical assistance and small financial grants made available through the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
Each year, thousands of communities across the nation celebrate Lights On Afterschool events as part of a national initiative sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance to increase public support for high-quality afterschool programs. In October 2010, the South Dakota Municipal League joined the SD School-Age Care Alliance to plan South Dakota's first statewide Lights On Afterschool event, which was held at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The event focused on the 32 percent of South Dakota children who would be likely to participate in afterschool programs were it not for lack of availability and cost barriers, and highlighted the benefits of afterschool programs for children, families, communities and the national economy.
The Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) partnered with the Utah Afterschool Network (UAN) to host a roundtable discussion on afterschool programming at the ULCT annual convention in Salt Lake City. Incoming ULCT President and West Valley City, Utah, Mayor Mike Winder participated in the workshop, titled "Safe, Healthy and Strong Cities: Got Afterschool?" Other panelists included the executive director of UAN, consultants who conducted research on afterschool in the City of South Salt Lake, the director of the Utah Department of Workforce Services Office of Work and Family Life, and the principal of a local elementary school. The convention agenda also included a workshop on "Creating Effective Youth City Councils."
Statewide Mayoral Summits on Afterschool and Expanded Learning
In 2009, the YEF Institute selected five statewide afterschool networks to receive financial and technical assistance to host Statewide Mayoral Summits on Afterschool and Expanded Learning. The five networks include the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence, Georgia Afterschool Investment Council, Iowa Afterschool Alliance, Michigan After-School Partnership and South Carolina Afterschool Alliance. Each network worked closely with state municipal leagues to host a statewide mayoral summit in 2009-10 with a $5,000 mini-grant. The networks are funded in part by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, which supports 38 statewide afterschool networks across the country that shape state policies and build partnerships to improve local afterschool programs.
The summits sought to build stronger relationships between statewide afterschool networks, state municipal leagues, and municipal leaders in selected states and provide local officials with an opportunity to share ideas on how to develop citywide afterschool systems and advance state afterschool policy and funding initiatives.
In 2012, nine statewide afterschool networks will host statewide mayoral summits on afterschool learning opportunities for children and youth. Networks are partnering with state municipal leagues in planning the summits and are receiving technical and financial assistance from the YEF Institute through this initiative, which is supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation. Many of the summits will be held as part of state leagues' 2012 annual conventions. The nine networks selected to receive assistance in hosting a summit include:
- Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning
- Maryland Out of School Time Network
- Youth Community Connections (Minnesota)
- Nebraska Community Learning Center Network
- North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs
- Oregon Afterschool for Kids
- Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network
- Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time
- Washington Afterschool Network
The summits will bring together mayors, councilmembers, state agency officials, school and business leaders, program providers, network representatives, and community partners to discuss strategies for expanding afterschool opportunities and using afterschool programs to improve educational outcomes and build a skilled workforce.
Cities and Statewide Afterschool Networks Partnering to Support Afterschool
The YEF Institute has published a strategy guide for municipal leaders and state municipal leagues on Cities and Statewide Afterschool Networks Partnering to Support Afterschool. The guide highlights opportunities for cities and state municipal leagues to collaborate with statewide afterschool networks and offers several examples of how these partnerships have made a difference in supporting high-quality afterschool programming.
Statewide afterschool networks, which are supported in 38 states by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, connect key state and local partners - including program providers, statewide advocacy organizations and municipal and school district officials - and help them influence state policy and funding for afterschool.
Many statewide networks are already working with city leaders to secure state funding for afterschool programs, increase public support for afterschool, improve state policies, and help cities and other local partners strengthen local program quality. For example, the Connecticut statewide afterschool network has successfully worked with mayors and other city leaders to advocate for a $4.5 million line item in the state budget for afterschool programs. The Michigan After-School Partnership has worked with the cities of Detroit and Grand Rapids to change state regulations governing afterschool programs that serve older youth, leading to significant cost savings and making programs eligible for more funding.