Afterschool Alliance

To engage public will to increase public and private investment in quality afterschool program initiatives at the national, state, and local levels.

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$4.8M

Annual Revenue

92%

Spent On Programs

5%

CEO Compensation

Advocacy

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Awareness

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Direct Service

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Private Sector Collaboration

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Policy Legislation

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Research

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Financials

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Management

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About Afterschool Alliance

In the 1990s, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation partnered with the U.S. Department of Education to raise awareness about the need for expanding after-school programs through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative.

Their work caught the eye of the Open Society Institute (founded by George Soros), the Entertainment Industry Foundation, and the Creative Artists Agency Foundation. In 2000, these foundations, along with the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, worked together to form the Afterschool Alliance and achieve their goal of providing after-school programs to all children in the United States.

The primary activities of the Afterschool Alliance are conducting and reviewing research, helping to form and advance afterschool program-related policies, and providing tools to advocates. They work holistically, teaming up with policymakers, advocacy groups, businesses, and afterschool program providers in order to evaluate, improve, and promote after-school programs. Their work focuses on grades K-12.


Why We Chose to Feature This Organization

After-school programs are beneficial to all children: they improve academic performance, help to develop emotional and social skills, and reduce bad behavior. They provide a safe and supervised environment, healthy snacks, opportunities for exercise, homework help, and highly trained staff. For children living in poverty, the need for these activities is much greater than for those who come from wealthier families.

The demand for afterschool programs far exceeds the supply, especially in impoverished areas where families need the aforementioned benefits of afterschool programs the most. Families in poverty are less likely to live near affordable grocery stores that sell healthy food and are less likely to have health insurance. The schools that their children attend likely have higher dropout rates, lower test scores, and may be situated in areas with high crime rates. 

Afterschool Alliance’s research, collaboration with policymakers, and advocacy efforts help improve education for low-income families by increasing access and affordability of these crucial afterschool programs.  

Research

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Financials

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Management

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The Trump administration has proposed eliminating $1.2 billion from the fiscal year 2019 budget for federal grants awarded to local afterschool and summer programs attended by 1.6 million children nationwide. The argument for reducing the funds is that there is no evidence these programs are effective, however that notion is false. There is plenty of evidence that these programs increase academic performance, improve social skills and behavior, and reduce dropout rates.

In order to stop the budget cut from happening, our government needs to know that these programs are effective, and that Americans support and desire them. Afterschool Alliance provides advocates with the tools they need to connect with policymakers and successfully make a case for federal funding of afterschool and summer programs.

LEARN - FACTS

In order to successfully convince someone of something, you need to have your facts straight. The first step for would-be advocates is to learn and study the research relating to after school programs. In their “Afterschool Works: The Facts” factsheet, Afterschool Alliance provides pertinent statistics and sources that prove that afterschool programs help to close the achievement gap between low-income and high-income students, improve academic performance in reading and math, improve school attendance, and decrease the likelihood of dropping out of school. Additionally, these programs increase students’ engagement during the school day, which in turn decreases disciplinary action and risky behavior while improving decision making skills. The sources of these statistics are provided in the endnote section, allowing for advocates to easily provide proof of their arguments.  

LEARN – IMPACT

The United States is a large and diverse country, and each state is impacted by budget changes differently. In order to personalize an advocate’s argument, Afterschool Alliance has provided an interactive map which shows how many children in each state are currently enrolled in potentially affected programs versus how many would be served if the elimination is passed (hint: it’s always zero, no matter the state), the state’s current budget allocation, and the proposed allocation in the fiscal year 2019 budget (again, always zero). After reading the stats, advocates can directly contact their representatives. Afterschool Alliance asks for the advocate’s zip code, which takes them to a pre-written letter that will be addressed to their senators and district representatives. Advocates are free to type what they wish, but the pre-written letter is an easy way to make a solid argument and contact those with the power to stop the budget passage.

ACT

In addition to the aforementioned pre-written letter that would be sent to congress, Afterschool Alliance provides advocates with phone numbers of local representatives (based on zip code) and a call script. For those directly involved in afterschool programs and wanting to make a bigger impact, Afterschool Alliance provides tips and tools for arranging a lawmaker site visit to local programs. They provide sample invitations, schedules, and thank you letters, webinars, scripts, talking points, program profile templates, and do’s and don’ts so that advocates can successfully show their program’s effectiveness, purpose, and needs.

Those wishing to advocate online are provided with a digital toolkit which includes email templates, example tweets and status updates, facts regarding afterschool programs, and links to relevant blog posts.     

The Afterschool Alliance believes in the power of afterschool programs because they know that they work. Their belief is more than just an inkling – thanks to extensive external and internal research, they know for a fact that these programs keep children safe, encourage learning, and help working parents keep their jobs. Afterschool Alliance is constantly evaluating and researching afterschool programs, making sure that they’re still effective and looking for new ways to improve. They produce a variety of in-house research such as reports, issue briefs, and fact sheets. They are a well-regarded and highly trusted organization whose research is used by policymakers, education providers, parents, and education advocates.

America After 3PM

In 2004, Afterschool Alliance began "America After 3PM " as a means of collecting reliable data detailing how children are spending their time after school but before their parents return from work. For this report, Afterschool Alliance contracted Shugoll Research to collect data from households across the United States, discovering data such as the number of children enrolled in after-school programs, the number of children who would be enrolled if they had access to such programs, how many children are unsupervised after school, and how parents feel about the effectiveness of the programs their children are participating in.

After-school program participation has consistently risen over the past ten years, up from 11% of children (6.5 million) in 2004 to 18% (10.2 million) in 2014. When looking at it from a household perspective, nearly 1 in 4 households have at least one child enrolled in an after-school program. While participation has increased, so has demand. Unfortunately, the demand vastly exceeds the supply, leaving some 19 million interested children without access to a program.

While participation in programs spans income levels, ethnicities, and genders, the need for availability is higher for low-income students. Low-income parents face two problems: Their need is higher that wealthier households, but their access to programs is lower. In addition to having less programs available, low-income parents frequently cited that the costs and lack of safe transportation to the location were keeping them from enrolling their children in after school programs. The average weekly cost is $113.50, making it a substantial expenditure for those with limited resources.

After school programs vary widely. Programs are mostly offered by public schools (43%), but boys & girls clubs, YMCAs, private schools, and religious organizations offer them as well. No matter who runs the program, the majority are located in public school locations (73%), easing the burden of transportation for low-income students. Some programs teach children hands-on skills such as website development and coding, while others offer dance lessons from retired dance professionals. No matter the focus of the program, a wide variety of activities are supported. 80% of parents reported that their child’s after school program provided an opportunity for physical activity, 77% offered homework assistance, 72% offered snacks, 72% offered opportunities for reading and writing, 69% offered STEM learning opportunities, and 63% offered music or art. As we can see, these programs prove to be especially beneficial for low-income children who often lag behind their wealthier peers in terms of extracurricular activities and homework assistance.

When describing their ideal characteristics of an after-school program, parents listed providing a fun experience, physical activity, development of workforce skills, learning activities not already offered during the school day, and healthy snacks as their top priorities. Parents of students in after-school programs are highly satisfied with their offerings. More specifically, 88% of parents are satisfied with the quality of care, 84% believe that staff are knowledgeable and well-trained, 80% are happy with the variety of activities offered by the program, 78% are satisfied with the amount of homework assistance provided, and 74% believe that the program is making their child more excited about learning.

Afterschool Alliance’s "America After 3PM" research and corresponding report are extensive, thorough, and provide a solid picture of the state of our current program offerings as well as our need for expansion. They use their findings to push for additional funding and resources for after-school programs, in the hopes that more and more students will have the opportunity to enroll and benefit from a program.

Management

Afterschool Alliance

Jodi Grant

Executive Director

Experience and Education
  • General Counsel for the US Senate Budget Committee
  • Director of Work and Family Programs at the National Partnership for Women and Families
  • Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School
  • Undergraduate degree from Yale University
Compensation
$242,000

Afterschool Alliance

Ursula Helminski

Vice President of External Affairs

Experience and Education
  • Marketing Assistant at The Nature Conservancy
  • Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science from Duke University
Compensation
$162,000

Afterschool Alliance

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