MN Afterschool program funding at risk
Monday, February 02, 2015 6:45 AM

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MN Afterschool program funding at risk

If you have or know kids who attend free and low cost afterschool programs at schools like Folwell, Green Central, Sanford, and others, there is a good chance they rely on 21st Century funding for those programs to run. Cuts to that funding are currently being discussed THIS WEEK that would greatly impact afterschool activities in Minnesota.

Here is what you can do:

Please click the links below to file a 'formal bill comment' about the impact of losing 21st Century funding.  Draft language is at the bottom of this email.  Send emails/messages to these three places.

 

Here is some sample language for you to include in your emails.  You can just copy and paste or edit as you please:

 

Hello,

I am writing to express my concern about the elimination of 21st Century funding.  These funds are critical for young people, families, and communities.  21st Century funds provide safe and supportive learning environments for 5,000+ young people in Minneapolis programs alone.

Afterschool programs help working families, keep young people safe during the hours after school when juvenile crime peaks, and improve academic achievement. These programs also provide children with physical activity and engage them in their learning.

Please support a dedicated funding stream like 21st CCLC that leverages the resources of for-profits, faith based organizations, community based organizations (CBOs), tribal organizations, non-profits, local government, colleges and universities in addition to school districts, to provide students the support they need to succeed in school and life.

I am concerned that in the ESEA draft bill proposed by Sen. Alexander, most, if not all, of the funding currently supporting 1.6 million students in afterschool and summer programs through 21st CCLC is at risk of being redirected to programming within the school day.

Without a dedicated funding stream for afterschool and summer learning, students will lose out on essential learning opportunities that help them prepare for school, college and careers.  A wide range of research has found that regular participation in high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs is linked to significant gains in academics, school attendance, and work habits, as well as reductions in behavior problems among disadvantaged students.

I fear that with federal support for afterschool program, families will struggle to access a wide array of services that are currently provided or coordinated by comprehensive afterschool and summer learning programs including meals, access to social services, tutoring and mentoring.

The ability of quality programs to leverage state and local resources, professional development and training, to achieve desired outcomes around student success will be lost given the broadening of the funding stream and competing provisions.

Given these concerns, we strongly urge Congress to maintain authorization of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative and strengthen it as proposed in the bipartisan Afterschool for America's Children Act.

Sincerely,

Your Name