Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Long History of Afterschool in America: Who Knew?

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
Last month, many participated in a national campaign to raise awareness among outsiders of the valuable contribution of afterschool programs in the Lights On celebration. However, it is important that insiders - aftereschool leaders and workers -  know that afterschool has deep and colorful roots in American history. It is a unique institution and every afterschool leader and worker should be literate on its history. 

Robert Halpern
For more than two decades, I have been creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations to afterschool stakeholders across the country. The most popular presentation, regardless of attendees, was a history of afterschool inspired by a book, Making Play Work by Robert Halpern. 

After every presentation, youth workers and program leaders came up to me to say things like, "That was great! It's good to know that I belong to something larger than just an afterschool program - I am participating in continuing the long history that we learned about. Who knew?". The people who were most energized were young afterschool workers!  

I recently placed these History of Afterschool slides on the web-based Slideshare, which have attracted over 500 views (see 3 of the slides above). You can also access the narrative here

I urge you all to read Robert Halpern's book and to share these slides and narrative with program staff and other afterschool stakeholders. 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Supporting Our Youth in Times of Fear and Threats

By Sam Piha As our young people are returning to classrooms and afterschool programs, our country is gripped by confusion, fear, and anger...