If you're looking for some interesting reading on expanded learning, check out this conversation on the Center for American Progress website. Jeff Riley, the academic superintendent for middle and K-8 schools in Boston, tells the Center about the expanded schedule educators have put in place at Boston's Edwards Middle School. When the state's education department offered 26 schools the chance to add time to their days, Edwards adopted "a 'layer cake' approach where we took our traditional school day and kept it intact, and then added on an extra academic piece and an extra enrichment piece," Riley says. The staff ...


Want to learn more about the Obama administration's new Promise Neighborhoods program? Here's your chance: The U.S. Department of Education is hosting free pre-application Webinars—tomorrow and next Monday, May 10. Much the way the widely praised Harlem Children's Zone has worked to reach children in tough circumstances, Promise Neighborhoods should offer children in low-income communities "a continuum of academic programs and family and community supports, from the cradle through college to career, with a strong school or schools at the center," the department says. The department also recently released rules for the Promise Neighborhoods program. To learn more,...


Cities seeking role models on the after-school programming front need look no further than Providence, R.I. According to a new study, in a relatively short time, Providence has put the pieces together for a strong network of after-school initiatives targeting middle school students—traditionally, a challenging group to enroll. "AfterZones: Creating a Citywide System to Support and Sustain High-Quality After-School Programs" explores the community-based options Providence began knitting together for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders in 2004. The city, which was awarded a grant from the Wallace Foundation to support after-school programming, has benefited, the report says, from strong...


If you want middle and high school students to enroll in and stick with your after-school programs, give them lots of leadership opportunities within those programs. That's one of the findings in a new study from the Harvard Family Research Project and Public/Private Ventures (P/PV). "Engaging Older Youth: Program and City-Level Strategies to Support Sustained Participation in Out-of-School Time" makes clear that expanded learning programs are important in the lives of adolescents and teenagers, not just young children. "Participation in out-of-school-time (OST) programs can help keep [youths] connected to positive role models and engaged in their education at ...


"How much can you learn in a year after school?" That's the question The After-School Corporation asks in its new annual report—and the answer appears to be...quite a lot. TASC's just-released 2009 report takes a close look at schools where TASC is active. TASC postulates that its programs have given students 28,800 minutes—or the equivalent of 72 days—of extra learning time after 3 p.m. So, how did schools use this extra time? Well, at P.S. 182 in the Jamaica, Queens section of New York City, it meant adding about 90 minutes a week...


In the best of all worlds, many would say that after-school and summer school enrichment programs would be wrapped into a greater, unified system of engaging students and their families. This week, my Education Week colleague Alyson Klein touched on that very issue in her coverage of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. She wrote: ...at a hearing of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee last week, lawmakers agreed that the idea of educating "the whole child" encompasses a wide range of support services, which advocates are hoping could be reflected in the rewrite of ...


I loved this recent item about Washington, D.C.'s long-ago "Juvenile Decency Corps" in ASCD's inservice blog. And, while I concede that the name of the group sounds out of date, its mission was anything but. The Juvenile Decency Corps focused on helping 250 children in a troubled three-block area in Washington stay in school and out of trouble. In the summer of 1963, teen volunteers were trained so they could work with younger children on enriching activities. The volunteers would tutor younger children, play games with them, lead them through arts and crafts projects, and take them on ...


The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation honored Afterschool Alliance board chair Terry K. Peterson for "excellence in the service of children, schools, and communities" at the Afterschool Alliance's "Breakfast of Champions" this morning. Peterson, a former U.S. deputy secretary of education, received the foundation's William S. White award in recognition of his longtime advocacy for students and after-school programs. In addition to chairing the Afterschool Alliance board, Peterson serves as the director of the Afterschool and Community Learning Resource Network in Charleston, S.C., and works with other education groups, including the National Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins ...


Even as after-school educators from around the country gathered this week in Washington to celebrate their work, news of a more distressing nature surfaced in Detroit, where the school district's emergency financial manager has cancelled extended-day, after-school programs until further notice. Last Friday, a district court judge temporarily barred the city district from implementing its academic plan. That action forced the district to cancel a scheduled training for after-school educators and to consider canceling summer school, as well, according to Robert Bobb, the financial manager who had advanced the academic plan and who was accused by the school board of ...


It was a busy opening day yesterday at the National Afterschool Association conference just outside Washington. One message came through loud and clear, though: Expanded learning needs powerful advocates in these difficult budget times. Members of the Afterschool Alliance—which is holding its Afterschool for All Challenge concurrently with the NAA meeting—were planning to rally on Capitol Hill today to press for the after-school-for-all cause. Many were meeting with individual members of Congress, as well. "You couldn't be in D.C. at a better time," Jen Rinehart, the Afterschool Alliance's vice president for policy and research, told participants...


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