Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Advocacy Day on the Hill #a4AChallenge

There are so many champions of afterschool programs in Congress! Today I was able to talk about the importance of 21st CCLC funding for afterschool and summer programs with staff representing all of Higher Achievement's states: DC, Maryland, and Virginia. We are ready to see what happens with the next phase of ESEA reauthorization and the FY12 budget process, but we can all agree that:

--Afterschool and summer programs have proven positive effects on students (both academic and behavioral), and the supports they provide are especially critical for poor and minority youth.

--Partnerships between community-based organizations and schools bring the best of both worlds together! Students need lots of choices for learning and other activities that look and feel different from school.

--Now, more than ever, the federal government needs to invest in our youth. Nonprofit organizations leverage 21st CCLC dollars to bring more public and private dollars into schools and to the students that need them the most.

Great to see so many advocates out today - and exciting to hear about the impact this work is having across the country!

- Rachel Gwaltney

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