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City Leaders to Gather in Support of After-School

Five states will bring together state and local leaders to discuss how their states can improve and promote after-school programs and expanded learning.

These "mayoral summits," to be held next year, are billed as the first ever to focus exclusively on after school, according to a press release from the National League of Cities, a Washington-based organization that is providing technical assistance to launch the events.

The summits, hosted by after-school networks in the five states—New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, South Dakota, and Utah—will feature mayors from all participating states. These summits build on others that took place in 2009, 2010, and 2012, covering 14 other states.

Financial support for the summits is being provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Wallace Foundation. (The latter supports coverage of expanded learning, among other topics, in Education Week.)

The Wallace Foundation has supported citywide systems for after-school and extended learning opportunities for some time. In 2003, it underwrote a project with five cities to build citywide systems for after-school programs. The foundation currently is working on a similar project with nine other cities: Baltimore; Denver; Fort Worth, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; Philadelphia; and St. Paul, Minn.

The topic of systemswide collaboration for out-of-school programs was the focus of a conference I attended a few months ago in Baltimore, summarized in the recently released report: "Better Together—Building Local Systems to Improve After-School." The National League of Cities and the Wallace Foundation were part of a group of organizations that also included the American Youth Policy Forum, the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, and the Forum for Youth Investment that hosted the event.

The report includes recommendations for how to build systems for after-school, profiles of leading research and programs in the field, and examples of how some communities (and leaders) have tackled challenges to building out-of-school programs.

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