Wednesday, August 16, 2017

We Stand with Charlottesville

By Sam Piha

Like many of you, we were horrified and dismayed by the violent events in Charlottesville, VA. Many young people were also a witness to these events through the television and social media, and many will be participating in your youth programs.

We thought it important to address these events and offer resources that can help youth workers respond accordingly. We invited Jessica Donner, Executive Director, Every Hour Counts, to share her comments and some resources. Every Hour Counts is a national coalition of citywide organizations that increases access to learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students. Below are her comments. We also offer links to additional responses and resources. 

Lastly, we want to call your attention to an upcoming Speaker's Forum entitled "Growth Heartset": Establishing a Culture of Caring by Stu Semigran. This is very relevant and will be conducted in both Oakland and Los Angeles.


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By Guest Blogger, Jessica Donner


Jessica Donner
Our hearts are heavy with the demonstration of violence, bigotry, hate, and racism in Charlottesville last weekend, and yet we are emboldened to deepen our commitment to fighting hatred and inequality as educators, systems builders, and youth workers. Our network of 23 communities reaching more than 500,000 young people works tirelessly to bring communities and different cultures and ethnicities together. We hold diversity—in cultures, gender, spoken languages, religion, race and ethnic backgrounds—as a treasure to be honored and celebrated in our communities.

Together, we will make sure that young people across the country feel safe and supported during this frightening time. We believe it is critical for all of us—youth leaders, expanded-learning front-line staff, and intermediary and city leaders—to understand the role these events play in the lives of so many young people with whom we work. We will work systemically and more explicitly to create safe and equitable spaces for young people to express their anger, fears, and hopes and dreams.

To help you navigate complex and difficult conversations and grow as advocates and educators, we’ve compiled a starting list of resources for program providers, parents, and educators:

  1. Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide
  2. Crucial, Courageous Conversations: How to Talk to Kids About Racial Violence
  3. Resources for Educators to Use in the Wake of Charlottesville
  4. Diversity Toolkit: Cultural Competence for Educators
  5. An Equity Action Agenda for Youth Development Professionals
  6. Why the Myth of Meritocracy Hurts Kids of Color 
  7. How to talk to your kids about the violence in Charlottesville
 

Photo credit: Every Hour Counts

We’d love to know what resources you’re using to build a more equitable world for young people in the face of entrenched inequality. Let us know on Twitter using the hashtag #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.

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Additional Resources: 



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Speaker's Forums: Learning Opportunities for Afterschool Professionals

By Sam Piha


We know that due to budget restrictions, afterschool workers have less access to professional development. 

The How Kids Learn Speaker’s Forums are designed to offer expanded learning professionals easy and affordable access to training opportunities led by innovative practitioners. 

Below are some exciting Speaker’s Forums scheduled for this fall. We hope to see you and your staff there. 

"Growth Heartsets": Establishing a Culture of Caring with Stu Semigran

Come and learn skills for developing a new "growth heartset" in our teaching and learning. This interactive session focuses on shaping successful learning environments that thrive upon a foundation infused with caring, connectivity, and proven SEL practices.

Stu Semigran is the co-founder and president of EduCare Foundation and the executive director of EduCare's ACE (Achievement and Commitment to Excellence) Student Success Program, which currently serves more than 35 high schools and middle schools in Southern California.

When: Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 9:00am - 12:30pm - OAKLAND
Thursday, October 5, 2017, 9:00am - 12:00pm - LOS ANGELES
Cost: $11.54 (includes continental breakfast and ticketing fees)




Wrapping Our Heads Around “Fake News” with Elyse Eidman-Aadahl

How do we, as adults, make sense of this rapidly developing media and communications ecology? What does it imply for our work with youth? How can we help young people become more savvy and responsible consumers and producers of media now and into the future? These are the questions we will consider in this forum.

Elyse Eidman-Aadahl is Executive Director of the National Writing Project (NWP), where she draws upon 15 years of experience designing and leading national programs, partnerships, and action-learning efforts for the NWP and other educational organizations.

For more information and to register, click here.

When: Tuesday, October 3, 2017, 9:00am - 12:30pm - OAKLAND
Cost: $11.54 (includes continental breakfast and ticketing fees)



"Taking Off the Mask": Working with School-Age Boys with Ashanti Branch

Through presentation, hands on activities, and film, this workshop will introduce participants to the world of gender-specific support groups, with a focus on school-age boys and our societal notions of "masculinity". 

Ashanti Branch is Founder and Executive Director of The Ever Forward Club. Ashanti was raised in Oakland by a single mother on welfare. In 2004, during Ashanti's first year teaching high school math, he started The Ever Forward Club to provide support for African American and Latino males who were not achieving to their potential. In April 2017, Ashanti was awarded a fellowship from the national organization, CBMA - Campaign for Black Male Achievement. 

For more information and to register, click here.

When: Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 9:00am - 12:30pm - OAKLAND
Cost: $11.54 (includes continental breakfast and ticketing fees)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Afterschool Change Maker: An Interview with Terry Peterson

By Sam Piha


Terry Peterson, Board Chair of the Afterschool Alliance, has been a leader in the afterschool movement for many years. We conducted a video interview with Terry after the 2016 elections. Below we have provided an edited version of this video interview. 

We also selected some responses from the longer video interview, which you can read below. 


Q: Can you offer any positive advice with the election of President Trump?

A: Obviously, everybody's tuned into the Presidential results from the 2016 election, and they're very important, but we need to keep in mind that much of the programming, and even funding for afterschool comes locally, from municipalities, school districts, United Way's, and other local foundations. 

In some states such as California, New York, Illinois, Connecticut, Tennessee and others, public funding comes from the city, state, and federal levels. What I would recommend to people is that they work at all those levels to expand the number of programs locally. 

Q: What have we heard from President Trump that may predict future opportunities for afterschool?

A: I would consider the following:
Tax credits: His daughter, actually put forth in the election, a proposal to increase the tax credits in refundable tax credits for families who pay for childcare, which would be a whole new interesting way to support families. They would have to put some out-of-pocket expenses in, but they might get part of it back. Many parents pay 4,000 - 5,000 dollars a year, per child, for afterschool and summer programming. If they could perhaps get some of that back, as a tax deduction, or if they're a low income family, we'd get a tax rebate, that might really help us expand the field. It's a very different way than direct funding, but we need to look at that.

Infrastructure: President Trump has proposed a big infrastructure building program. I don't know what it's going to include, but he has mentioned schools. 

What about if schools that are being remodeled, they create an afterschool community learning wing, with the latest technology for kids and families? That might be a possibility. It is a very different approach, but we need to reiterate, we need to keep working at the local level with local foundations, city, state, and federal levels, maybe in some new ways and see if we can continue to move this field forward.

Q: What are recent developments in the afterschool field that you think are important?

A: We now have what you might call an afterschool infrastructure or platform, but not everywhere. We still have a lot of places where we don't have any programs – places where we might need them the most. 

In many places in the country, we have quality afterschool programs that allow us to use afterschool partnerships and programming to get into new areas where young people need support.  A couple of areas of recent developments that I think are particularly exciting:

College and Career Readiness – There is a growing concern that middle and high school students don't have a real clear path to graduate from high school. "How do I go to college? How do I get a job? What kind of workforce skills could I get, or do I need?" We could start working on those workforce skills and college and career readiness in afterschool programs by partnering with businesses and community colleges. 

STEM and STEAM - There's real interest right now in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. When you throw arts in there, it's STEM + the arts, it's STEAM. There is a lot of interest in how you could use afterschool and summer programs to interest students in STEM or STEAM.

Some really good examples around the country have been able to take students that said, "Ooh, science, math, I can't do that". They go through the summer program, afterschool program, build robots, use dance and drama to learn technology or science, or learn coding and come out saying, "I think I can do that". 


Photo Credit: http://www.farbrook.org/
One of the award-winning summer learning programs named by the National Summer Learning Association, was a STEAM Summer Learning Program that I'm very familiar with. They have a five-week program where they teach STEM only through the arts - through dance, drama, visual arts, and music. It's an all day program and attendance is about 90 percent. You walk in there and they're engaged fully. I think we need to find ways to bust out from just sort of our typical way of delivering programs.


Photo Credit: The Star Online
Entrepreneurial education - A lot of young people say, "I don't want to work for a company. I want to start my own business". You can run entrepreneurial learning, community service, and afterschool and summer programs that really help young people engage in their community, and in their growth in some new ways.

Credits for participation – Older youth can earn credits in afterschool and summer programs. For children who are struggling in school, if they fail a subject or two, they never get to interesting advanced content. They bubble along at the bottom of the courses, so they never see the power of taking more advanced courses. They can't get to the design course in arts or career and technical fields. 

A few places are now experimenting with offering credits in afterschool and summer programs. In addition to the credits offered during the school day, they can be involved in another program afterschool, weekends and summer, and earn another credit or two. 

Think about that. For five years, you can earn almost a semester worth of credit. For some kids, those credits are powerful door openers to get into community college or a four-year college. That's another area we need to explore, and there's starting to be interest in.

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Dr. Terry K. Peterson is Board Chair of the Afterschool Alliance and Senior Fellow at the Richard Riley Institute at Furman University and College of Charleston. Former U.S. Secretary of Education Dick Riley has called Terry “the king of afterschool.” During his decades-long tenure in public service, Terry held senior state- and federal-level positions in which he developed numerous education policies and funding streams, including at the U.S. Department of Education where he helped create the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative.

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You can read other blogs by the LIAS project by going to: 

  • Expanded Learning 360°/365 Project website
  • LIAS Blog Written for the California Afterschool Network

Monday, July 31, 2017

Tracking Federal 21st CCLC Funding

By Sam Piha


Sam Piha
We have been following President Trump’s proposed budget which eliminates the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. 

Below is an update from Lucy Friedman of ExpandEd Schools.

“The House Appropriations Committee voted to pass a spending bill that would cut $2.4 billion from the Department of Education.


Lucy Friedman
While the House bill improved on the Trump Administration proposal by rejecting its shortsighted attempt to completely eliminate the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Program, it still results in a $191 million cut from the previous year. Ultimately, the House bill falls short in providing the critical support needed to provide high-quality and evidence-based after-school programming for 1.6 million children in families in high-need communities across the country.”

In California alone, this would result in more than a  $20 million cut to 21st CCLC afterschool programs, with a $10 million cut to high school afterschool programs.
Photo Credit: Long Beach Youth Institute
Ms. Friedman goes on to state, “We hope that the Senate will course correct and provide the necessary supports for critical education programs that help all children succeed. ExpandED Schools and our fellow advocates like Every Hour Counts will continue to keep you abreast of federal policy news and ways you can help. Stay up-to-date on the latest news by signing up here and keep calling your senators to let them know you care about education.”

You can also track the budget process and learn how you can add your input by going to the Afterschool Alliance website. 

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You can read other blogs by the LIAS project by going to: 


  • Expanded Learning 360°/365 Project website
  • LIAS Blog Written for the California Afterschool Network

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Considering Cultural Context When Promoting SEL

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
There is a growing consensus among educators and youth development experts that skills related to social emotional learning (SEL) are important to youth’s future success. We see this emphasized in the work promoting a positive school climate and the improvement of afterschool programs.

In fact, the California Department of Education - Expanded Learning Division (EXLD) has pulled together an ongoing SEL Planning Team. This Planning Team will offer recommendations on how best to integrate SEL into the System of Support for Expanded Learning, deepen SEL opportunities for students, and foster alignment around SEL strategies with the school day.

But how do we take into account cultural differences in framing SEL? Are SEL concepts culturally bound? We believe that these are important questions to explore.

In their support of California's CORE Districts and the integration of SEL, the Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY) amended their work on SEL concepts.

Katie Brackenridge
According to Katie Brackenridge (Vice President of Programs at PCY), “Based on input from several large school districts, we are shifting our language, from stressing the 'I' to 'We are, We belong, We can'. This is based on multiple conversations about a collectivist versus individualist world view and the reality that increasingly the kids in our schools are coming from countries and cultures that are more collectivist than the dominant white culture in the US.”

Below are two resources to explore these issues. How would you answer the questions around SEL and cultural differences?

- A brief video presentation, “The Limits and Possibilities of Social Emotional Learning” featuring Dr. Shawn Ginwright from San Francisco State University.



- An article entitled, Why Don’t Students Take Social-Emotional Learning Home? by Vicki Zakrzewski from the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.


Photo Credit: Hemera, via the Greater Good Science Center
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You can read other blogs by the LIAS project by going to: 

  • Expanded Learning 360°/365 Project website
  • LIAS Blog Written for the California Afterschool Network

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Afterschool Change Maker: An Interview with Sylvia Yee, Part 2

By Sam Piha


Sam Piha
Sylvia Yee, Vice President of Programs at the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, recently retired. She was a strong believer in the importance of schools working closely with the communities they serve, and the power of public and private partnerships. 


We recently conducted a video interview with Ms. Yee before she retired. Below we offer part 2 from that interview. (View Part 1 here.)    

Q: The Beacons were based on a youth development perspective. Can you explain?


Sylvia Yee
A: The Youth Development Movement began during the early 1990s. A number of things came together that really catalyzed a new way of thinking about working with young people. Carnegie released an important report called "A Matter of Time", which argued that  the after school hours were an important time of both opportunity  and of risk for young kids, if they were left to their own devices with nothing to do. 

This report inspired us to think about making the after school hours a time of productive activities, where kids could be safe, and where they could learn in both informal and formal ways. It was a call to take that time and that space seriously.

Youth development wasn’t really about “kids as problems” and the need for services. It was about "How do we engage young people in their own development? How do we tap into their energy, their initiative, their leadership, and their capacity to give back to their peers and communities?" I loved it. It was really exciting. There were a lot of innovative programs that put kids at the center and put kids out front.


This had a really profound effect over the next couple of decades on the kind of programs that public systems support, the kind of policies and money that are now  available for after school programs. It ignited peoples' understanding of what after school programs could do when it's infused with this Youth Development perspective, and the importance of it. 



Q: How did the youth development perspective impact the San Francisco Beacons? 


A: The Youth Development Movement really set the stage for the San Francisco Beacons. The San Francisco Beacons benefited a lot from all this research and discussion about a new way of providing opportunities to young people. They were in  the vanguard of much of this work by establishing models for other places of how this could be done at scale, what the training should look like, the partnerships that it would take, and much more. We are greatly indebted to the Community Network for Youth Development, which managed the Initiative in its founding days and conducted trainings for the Beacon sites.

Q: In what way does the idea of equity intersect with after school?

A: These after school programs  are a way to level the playing field for all kids, so that all kids have the same chances to play leadership roles, to learn life skills, to get academic support.

I think equity is a prime motivating value of  advocates for after school programs. Every kid deserves to have this safe environment where they can learn and stretch their wings to become who they want. 

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Sylvia Yee, former Vice President of Programs at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, started her career as a high school teacher. She moved on to administer educational programs at the elementary, secondary, and university levels in the United States and in China.

Passionate about social justice, Yee has been active in the fight for equal rights and opportunities at the local and national levels, and championed immigrant rights and gay and lesbian rights over the last two decades. A long-time community activist and leader, she was the  chair of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center in San Francisco where she led the center’s organizing and other activities aimed at addressing issues such as affordable housing and services for low-income seniors and youth. She also led a community nonprofit agency, Mission Graduates, which provides college going support to low-income, immigrant children in San Francisco and later worked as a program executive in education and health at the San Francisco Foundation.

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You can read other blogs by the LIAS project by going to: 


  • Expanded Learning 360°/365 Project website
  • LIAS Blog Written for the California Afterschool Network

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Afterschool Change Maker: An Interview with Sylvia Yee, Part 1

By Sam Piha


Sam Piha
Sylvia Yee, Vice President of Programs at the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, recently retired. Ms. Yee, who joined the Haas Jr. Fund in 1993, had a profound impact on the afterschool and youth development movement in the San Francisco Bay Area and the state of California. She was a strong believer in the importance of schools working closely with the communities they serve, and the power of public and private partnerships. 

In partnership with other leaders in the City, Ms. Yee launched the San Francisco Beacon Initiative by bringing together the city and county of San Francisco, the school district, and a bevy of other private foundations. (You can view a brief video on the history of the SF Beacon Initiative featuring Ms. Yee by clicking here.)

We recently conducted a video interview with Ms. Yee before she retired. Below we offer some excerpts from that interview.    

Q: How did you form your interest in the Beacon Schools model? 


Sylvia Yee
A: I got interested in the New York Beacons during a visit  to New York in 1992. I was able to see live what a community school looked like:a school that opened its doors after school, on the weekends, in the evening that had this really close connection to community. 


Debbie Alvarez from SFUSD, Laura Pickney from the mayor's office, and several other private funders, conducted a joint visit to New York. All of us came away just energized by what it would mean to recreate this in San Francisco.

Q: What did you find most interesting about the Beacon Schools model? 


A: One of the things that was new about Beacon Schools was that it was a Community Center in a school setting, and that the (quality of the) relationship and the partnership between the community and the school was actually pretty new.


It was also unique in the sense that this was about smart government. This was about using underutilized public space that lay empty on the weekends and evenings and after school. It was a smarter way for government to partner with non-profit organizations and to partner with community groups in a new way to serve kids. Remember this was before California Proposition 49 and the federal 21st Century Community Learning  Centers initiative.


It wasn't just about the use of school space. It was also about how kids were served. This was just at the beginning of the Youth Development Movement, and the  exciting new youth development ideas which were about what all kids need to grow up healthy.


The New York Beacons were attractive because it was this coming together, this partnership between the community and non-profits in school sites. They were a space where kids could experience a whole variety of activity and programs and spread their wings.


Q: How did you adapt this model to San Francisco? 


A: When we brought Beacons to San Francisco, we did it in a San Francisco way. We asked kids and parents in each of the neighborhoods what they wanted in their Beacons. At the same time as we established some common goals and principles for all Beacons, and some common programs that we wanted, we encouraged each Beacon to be culturally relevant to their neighborhood and to their kids--to do things in a way that was responsive and made sense to them. That's what I meant by doing it in a San Francisco way.

We helped bring private funders together and formed a philanthropic collaborative that  made it easier for the Beacons because we all agreed that all of the sites would submit a single proposal, instead of submitting 10 different proposals to 10 different foundations, and that we would all receive common reports. Everybody tried to figure out how to “bust the barriers” to making this successful.



Q: What were some of the challenges? 

A: Very simple things in the beginning seemed like big barriers: for schools and non-profit organizations to learn how to really be partners, to negotiate who cleans up the classrooms after the after school programs, to negotiate extra hours for the janitors.


There were some really hard nitty-gritty things that made using school sites difficult  to use, and I am happy  that the Beacons helped pave the way so that today, many more organizations and many more schools can have this kind of relationship more easily.

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Sylvia Yee, former Vice President of Programs at the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, started her career as a high school teacher. She moved on to administer educational programs at the elementary, secondary, and university levels in the United States and in China.

Passionate about social justice, Yee has been active in the fight for equal rights and opportunities at the local and national levels, and championed immigrant rights and gay and lesbian rights over the last two decades. A long-time community activist and leader, she was the  chair of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center in San Francisco where she led the center’s organizing and other activities aimed at addressing issues such as affordable housing and services for low-income seniors and youth. She also led a community nonprofit agency, Mission Graduates, which provides college going support to low-income, immigrant children in San Francisco and later worked as a program executive in education and health at the San Francisco Foundation.

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You can read other blogs by the LIAS project by going to: 

  • Expanded Learning 360°/365 Project website
  • LIAS Blog Written for the California Afterschool Network

Friday, June 16, 2017

Send the Message: Afterschool Works for Everyone

By Sam Piha


Sam Piha
In our earlier blog posts, we have been tracking efforts to preserve afterschool funding at the state and federal level. Below is an update courtesy of efforts by our colleagues at the Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY), New York State Network for Youth Success, the Afterschool Alliance, and others.



FEDERAL
At the federal level, it is important that we work to preserve support for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) funding. You can get more information from the Afterschool Alliance


"Our efforts to educate members of Congress on the 21st CCLC program must not let up, especially with less than 4 months until the FY2018 Federal budget is required to be passed. This postcard campaign is a great opportunity to have your staff, students, and families share why this program is important to them." - New York State Network for Youth Success


Photo Credit: Afterschool Alliance

STATES
You can follow what is happening in your state by clicking hereYou can also get more information about individual states by clicking here

CALIFORNIA
For our California readers, advocates have been working to increase the amount of resources for programs. This increase is important given the increase in program costs, especially wages.

“The Budget Conference Committee voted Thursday night to provide an additional $50 million in ongoing funding for ASES. This is not a done deal until Governor Brown signs the budget, but the Administration publicly supported the Conference Committee's action last night (which included increased funding for ASES), so we are hopeful. The full Senate and Assembly will vote on the full budget package next week, and then it will head to the Governor for his approval. Read the full press release here.”          - Partnership for Children and Youth


Photo Credit: Partnership for Children and Youth

You can help support this increased call for California afterschool by getting involved. For more information click here

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You can read other blogs by the LIAS project by going to: 

  • Expanded Learning 360°/365 Project website
  • LIAS Blog Written for the California Afterschool Network

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Stream Finding the Gold Within

By Sam Piha


Sam Piha
Over the last two years, we have sponsored numerous screenings of Finding the Gold Within, a film by Karina Epperlein

FINDING THE GOLD WITHIN follows six African American college students from Akron, Ohio, for three and a half years. They have been mentored by the unique after school program Alchemy, Inc. and are well equipped with self-confidence and critical-thinking skills, ready to become the heroes within their own stories. The protagonists grow before our eyes, whether navigating racial provocations, or seeking support with friends, estranged fathers, and wise grandmothers. Each of them is hell-bent on disproving society's stereotypes and low expectations. What will their paths and trials look like?


Screening and appearances at Pacifica Graduate Institute, Photos by Timothy Teague
These screenings were conducted in partnership with Alameda County Office of Education; the San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families; and Oakland Unified School District. Our latest screening was for participants at the 2017 BOOST Conference. We also featured mentors and youth from Alchemy, Inc. at our conferences and Speaker's Forums


We are excited to announce that Finding the Gold Within is now available for streaming on several platforms: Amazon Prime, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, and Hoopla.

We encourage everyone to view this documentary and share with youth and other afterschool stakeholders.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Call or write Congress to support afterschool and summer learning programs

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
During the Bill Clinton presidential administration, Congress approved the first appropriation for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). It was one of the fastest growing social programs in our country’s history. 

President Trump’s budget calls for eliminating funding for the 21st CCLC. It’s now up to Congress. Nearly two million children and families would be left without reliable afterschool choices.

You can make a difference: call on Congress to protect funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. The Afterschool Alliance is urging afterschool advocates to phone their representatives on Wednesday, June 7th but you can call or write anytime. We wrote to Rep. Barbara Lee, and she quickly replied. 


Below are some resources that may be helpful. 

  • You can go here to find talking points and suggestions from the Afterschool Alliance to assist you with your call or letter. 



Photo Credit: The Afterschool Alliance
*Please note that calling your representative in Congress to urge them to save 21st CCLC funds is considered lobbying and should not be done during staff hours paid for by 21st CCLC funds. If you have any questions on what you can do to participate, please feel free to reach out to the Afterschool Alliance. 



Thursday, June 1, 2017

Mindfulness Trickle Up - From Afterschool to School

By Sam Piha


Sam Piha
We have been promoting the use of mindfulness techniques in afterschool to address the self care of youth workers and the needs of youth participants. Mindfulness is well aligned with social emotional learning (SEL).

There is new information and growing evidence that confirms that mindfulness exercises within school and afterschool settings are excellent ways to promote the health and well-being of adult staff and increase impulse control and ability to stay focused among youth who participate in the exercises. 

Over the years, we have conducted trainings for the Riverside County Office of Education and Delano Union School District. We have posted interviews with Ken Dyar and Allison Haynes on their experience of Mindfulness in Afterschool.


Dr. Katarina Roy Schanz
We were thrilled when Dr. Katarina Roy Schanz, Student Assistance Program Coordinator at Riverside Unified School District, requested training for her in-school staff. This was a great example of "trickle up" -  from afterschool to school day.

Below Dr. Roy Schanz responded to a couple of questions for this blog post.

Q: Why are you bringing mindfulness into Riverside Unified School District?

A: The primary target group for this mindfulness training are our Student Assistance Program (SAP) Counselors and SAP Behavior Support Teams. We are hoping to add another skill set for them to use in their work with students. Additionally, adding mindfulness to their self-care practice will help the team both personally and professionally.


Photo Credit: http://www.theidproject.org/

Q: What are you hoping that you can accomplish with mindfulness training for school personnel? 

A: The research around mindfulness in schools prompted our decision to provide this training for our Student Assistance Program team. They will then take their learning to the staff and students at their respective schools. We’re hoping that by implementing a mindfulness practice, we will see decreases in anxiety and improvements in self-awareness and social-emotional skills, among other positive changes.

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Dr. Katarina Roy Schanz is the Coordinator of the Student Assistance Program with Riverside Unified School District. Dr. Roy Schanz has been an educator for 21 years. She has served as a school counselor, assistant principal, and principal. Dr. Roy Schanz holds two Master’s degrees, one in School Counseling from the University of La Verne and the other in Educational Administration from California State University, San Bernardino. Additionally, she earned her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from the University of La Verne.
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Temescal Associates developed a 16-week curriculum for afterschool workers as well as a two-day training for school and afterschool staff. You can view the curriculum here and contact us if you wish to purchase a full color hard copy.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Advocating for Sustained Funding of Youth Programs: An Interview with Margaret Brodkin, Part 2

By Sam Piha


Sam Piha
With the call to defund the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers Initiative, never has it been more important that we act to ensure the sustainability of funding for youth programs. Below, we provide Part 2 of an interview with Margaret Brodkin (view Part 1 here). Ms. Brodkin led a campaign in the early 1990’s to develop a permanent “children’s fund” in San Francisco – a stable and sustainable fund of city tax dollars dedicated to programs that support children and youth. 

Ms. Brodkin has gone on to assist cities and counties across the country to develop their own “children’s fund”. 

Q: Can you give details on what else this “children’s fund” proposal included? 

A: The latest version of the Children’s Fund passed in 2014. There were lots of other provisions in this version, as well as the other versions – although we kept adding stuff each time. Major provisions included:
Photo Credit:
https://cacnc.org

1) Creation of a Children’s Baseline Budget. This required the city to calculate what is being spent on kids every year, and not reducing that amount in each year’s budget. The Baseline could also go up (or down) with the city’s revenues. This turned out to be as valuable as having new revenue. 

2) Creation of an Advisory and Oversight Committee appointed by the Board of Supervisors and the Mayor with the power to oversee the Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families (DCYF) budget, have input into the hiring of the DCYF director, and approve the community needs assessment and allocation plan.


3) Creation of a planning process that required a Community Needs Assessment, defining multiple levels of input from the community and all relevant city departments, and an Allocation Plan that determines what services will be funded and by how much.

4) In 2014, the age range of those served was expanded to age 24, with a special funding stream for transitional age youth.

5) Requires program evaluations for what is funded.

6) Has a specific list of services that can be funded. Services include: youth development, family support, early care and education, career readiness, violence prevention. It also includes services that cannot be funded using Children’s Fund monies. This includes funding for law enforcement. 

7) Creation of a Providers Advisory Committee to DCYF.

8) 25 year sunset.

Q: In what ways was this revolutionary for American cities?
Photo Credit:
http://www.childrensaidsociety.org/

A: We were the first city in the country to do anything like this. Other people looked at it and it got replicated in a number of other places, like Oakland, Portland, and Seattle. I have a project where I’m helping cities and counties around the state do the same thing. 

I work with people now trying to do the same thing and one of the biggest barriers they face are city representatives saying, “that's not our job – it’s not something you use city government dollars to do. That’s the job of state, federal, and foundation dollars. Our job is to provide police and fire and this is somebody else's job”. 

Q: What were some of the bigger challenges and lessons?

A: The challenges we faced were political in nature. When you want to get money out of the government, its politicians that ultimately have to do it, or the public in our case. We had to put the issue before the public with an election. There were a number of things:

1) We are working in a field that has a huge amount of power because there are so many of us - youth workers, child care workers, and parents. What we do is so important but we're not good politicians. One of the challenges is how do you train a field to use its political power? 

It took years and years to get people to feel like “I can go into city hall; I can testify; I can bring parents from my program; I can be part of the budget process; I can walk precincts; I can become a political force for the things that I believe in”. That's a major change in how we think of ourselves, not just as people who care for kids and young people, but people who can use their political power to change policies.
Photo Credit:
http://fonddulac.uwex.edu/
2) Part of the challenge is getting out of our bubble where everybody is a child care worker, and figure out who our allies are. I was in a meeting yesterday in another county where they're trying to do a children's fund and who's at the table? The iron workers. How do we align ourselves with labor? How do we align ourselves with the faith community? How do we develop a broader base of support for the things that we believe in? 

I’m as guilty as anyone. We use a language no one understands. So we have to learn a whole set of new skills. How do you talk to people who have no idea what you're talking about when you actually say “youth development”? It’s not a common phrase. What do you really mean by that? It’s a whole process of learning how to be in a political arena, in an arena where you have to persuade people.


Photo Credit: http://www.margaretbrodkin.com/
3) Another challenge is that the people in our field are really, really nice people. They don't like to talk about money, so they don't like to say we need money. Playing hardball politics is really, really hard. It doesn't come naturally to all people. 

4) How can we all get on the same page? How do we not fight with each other - the child care people fighting with the youth development people, fighting with the family support people? We have to learn how to develop a common agenda and work together or we diffuse our power and our ability to get things done.

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Margaret Brodkin
Margaret Brodkin is a nationally recognized children’s advocate and policy pioneer and known as the “Mother of the San Francisco Children’s Fund,” a multi-million dollar annual fund that made San Francisco the first city in the country to provide local dedicated funding for children. She is currently Founder and Director of Funding the Next Generation.


Ms. Brodkin served 26 years as Director of Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth in San Francisco, California – turning a small community organization into an influential powerhouse for kids and a national model for creating a diverse and lasting local children’s movement. Ms. Brodkin later served as Director of San Francisco’s Department of Children, Youth & Their Families. She then served as the Director of New Day for Learning – an intermediary partnership organization launching San Francisco’s community school initiative, resulting in the institutionalization of community schools as a centerpiece of the SFUSD education reforms.