By Sam Piha
Can you name one challenge that we will face in 2021?
|Dr. Dale Blyth|
Can you name one opportunity that you see in 2021?
"These same challenges can be turned into uplifting and exciting opportunities that are in front of us in afterschool in 2021. Within EduCare, we are actively developing our "return to school" (3Rs- Reconnect- Reinspire- Reignite learning) model for high school students returning back onto school sites hopefully in early 2021. The intent is to provide essential mental health support and social-emotional skills development while reestablishing a positive school culture that assists students restore themselves, renew their relationships, and step forward into learning." – Stu Semigran
"I believe learning and development, both how important they are and how hard they are to do intentionally, has dramatically increased as a result of 2020. The opportunity for afterschool in 2021 is to position itself as a viable, valuable and versatile place where such learning and development can and is being done." – Dale Blyth
What do you think we should be thinking about as we look forward to a new presidential administration?
"With the possibility of broader government support for social causes such as afterschool and expanded learning, we need to keep building our collective voices and advocacy for the essential increased funding for expanded learning programs." – Stu Semigran
"I think now is the time to push for a significant children and youth cabinet with a lead "czar" that focuses on what is best for the learning and development of children and youth in America. the type of people and places where real, forward thinking policy and practices might be promoted and resourced. Such a cabinet and czar needs to explicitly recognize and engage families but also child care and youth development programs in the community. A focus on all adults, all settings, and all approaches to learning and development in a strength- based approach." – Dale Blyth
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. Currently serving more than 45 high schools and middle schools in Southern California, EduCare also is the grant manager for the ASSETs after school programs at 17 LAUSD Beyond the Bell high schools and 1 middle school. Over 30,000 students are served each year through EduCare afterschool and youth development programs.
Dr. Dale Blyth is a senior research consultant and advisor who recently retired as Extension Professor in the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Minnesota where he served as the Howland Endowed Chair in Youth Development Leadership and Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. For 15 years he served as Associate Dean directing the Center for Youth Development. The Center was home for the Minnesota 4-H Program, the Youth Work Institute, Youth Community Connections (then the statewide Mott network), and conducting applied research and evaluation. Recently he led an initiative to advance social & emotional learning outcomes. He serves on several community, state and national groups related to out of school time, data systems, and youth development.