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City, State Leaders to Host Out-of-School-Time Summits

After-school networks in nine states will be hosting mayoral summits in the next year on how to build and improve cities' out-of-school time and after-school systems, the National League of Cities announced today.

The summits will be facilitated through the Youth, Education and Families (YEF) institute at the National League of Cities, a Washington-based nonprofit that helps cities strengthen leadership and overall quality of life. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation will be providing financial support to the nine cities; each will receive $6,600 to host the events, as well as programming support from the NLC.

Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington will use the gatherings to discuss how their cities can build community partnerships, maximize resources during tough fiscal times, and particularly, leverage support from state, city, and local leaders. Top researchers on OST systems and city leaders will take part. Iowa, Georgia, South Carolina, Michigan, and Arizona held similar events in 2009 and 2010.

"The goals of the summits are to educate city officials and their partners about the importance of addressing after-school and OST needs, to talk about how coordinated approaches can maximize impact, to help cities think of an action plan to get their leaders more aware and engaged in the topic, and to connect the statewide after-school networks and cities so that they can help one another change policy at the state or local level," said Bela Spooner Shah, principal associate at the Youth, Education, and Families Institute.

Currently, NLC researchers are also working on the final stages of a report on 27 U.S. cities' OST systems, due out in the coming months. Notable efforts in cities like New York and Providence, R.I. (written up in past blog items), have led to increasing efforts on the part of cities throughout the U.S. to build municipal-supported OST systems.

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