A Field Trip to Capitol Hill to Show Afterschool Works
By Laurie Lennon, Jaclyn De Bonis, June 22, 2017
On June 7, more than 200 advocates from 45 states took part in the Afterschool for All Challenge, an annual event focused on raising awareness about the unmet demand for afterschool programs. This year the call to action is particularly urgent, as President Trump has proposed eliminating all federal funding for afterschool, which would leave nearly 2 million kids without programs.
Led by the Afterschool Alliance, parents, kids, afterschool staff and other advocates rallied on Capitol Hill to share their stories.
Colby Holmes, who traveled from New Hope, Alabama, helped a team of afterschool students create and install portable solar panels for local families who couldn’t afford to heat and cool their homes. Colby discovered his passion in afterschool. He wants to be an electrician, and he starts community college this fall. Colby’s mom, a single parent with four children, says the afterschool program helped her finish her degree, get hired as a certified clinical medical assistant and move off food stamps and Medicaid.
Dale Austermuhl and his daughter Eva flew in from Fairbanks, Alaska. Dale, a single dad with a full-time job, shared how Eva went from a struggling second-grader to a straight-A student. Her afterschool program not only helped her get better grades; it also helped her gain confidence, develop responsibility and explore her interests, like cooking and gardening.
These stories are not uncommon. This year’s Challenge tallied 3,700 meetings, calls and emails in support of federal afterschool funding.
For nearly four years, our Burness team has partnered with the Afterschool Alliance to help share stories about the millions of kids and families who rely on afterschool. These programs not only help kids do better in school and stay on track for lifelong success, but they also help working parents keep their jobs.
Learn more and take action with this tool from the Afterschool Alliance, which shows you how budget cuts will affect afterschool programs in your state