Participation in after school programs can have a positive effect on students.
Yet, the latest America After 3PM report shows that 19.4 million children in the United States are missing out on the associated benefits due to the lack of access to affordable, quality programs.
Educators can help increase access to quality programs in their communities by becoming advocates. As advocates, they can generate support and expand resources by raising awareness of the importance of after school programs. They can also support quality improvement by voicing the issues, needs and opportunities that exist in these programs. Below are a few simple ways to advocate for after school:
- Celebrate Lights On After School: This annual event highlights the many ways after school programs support students, families and communities.
- Provide an inside look at your program: Contact the local newspaper or news station to run a feature on your program.
- Partner with other after school programs and coalitions: Find other programs with a shared mission, or contact your state after school network. Together, brainstorm strategies to support after school programs.
- Reach out to local and national policymakers: Make your voice heard by writing to government officials, inviting them to your program or signing petitions.
By becoming a champion for after school, you can help students have access to quality programs and the tools they need to succeed in school and life.