CAN Newsletter – June 28, 2016
The State of the State of Expanded Learning in California 2015-2016 provides an overview of the public investment in expanded learning opportunities in California. This year’s report outlines that expanded learning programs provide after school and summer learning opportunities to nearly 500,000 of California’s students with the greatest needs through nearly 4,500 expanded learning programs. While California is ranked number one in after school nationally, there are significant fiscal challenges and unmeet need for expanded learning programs. Without relief to funding challenges, programs are being forced to reduce enrichment activities and academic supports, professional development, staff hours, and access as programs decrease the number of students served and risk closing their doors altogether. The report outlines that students who fully participate ASES or 21st CCLC after school program gain the equivalent of up to an extra 90 days of school, regular attendance in expanded learning programs increases student achievement, attendance and positive behaviors, and narrows the achievement gap, and expanded learning programs in California increase health and nutrition and offer innovative learning opportunities all year round.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson recently announced the winners of the Distinguished After School Health (DASH) program certificate. The California Department of Education (CDE) released the list of 187 schools statewide that received the certificate. In 2014, Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) authored Senate Bill 949, which required CDE to develop a process to determining DASH standards and recognition. DASH recognizes programs that excel in providing health education, nutrition, and physical activities for their students. CDE assembled a panel of volunteers to screen the applications for alignment with the goals outlined in Senator Jackson’s legislation. Access the complete DASH awardee list here.
In 2015, more than 1.7 million of California’s most vulnerable kids fell into the summer nutrition gap. “School’s Out…Who Ate?” is an annual report published by California Food Policy Advocates to examine the reach of federal summer meal programs across the state. The report describes a summer nutrition gap that spans over 1.7 million kids across the state. That means 85 percent of children who rely on the health and academic benefits of free or reduced-price lunches during the school year miss out on similar meals during the summer. On the upside, while California’s summer meal gap is substantial and persistent, when it comes to federally funded free or reduced-price (FRP) summer lunches served, progress continues to be made. From July 2014 to July 2015, more than 130,000 additional FRP lunches were served across all summer nutritional programs for an overall increase of 2 percent. Read more here.
Summer is a terrific time to delve into your data to make plans for the coming year. Here are a few resources to get you started. Dabbling in the Data, is a free guide from Public Profit that can be used to keep your team engaged and energized while reviewing data. The guide has many fun activities that will help team members think differently about how to use data to improve practice. ASAPConnect offers the Quick CASP. The Quick CASP is a quality assessment tool to help summer learning programs continuously improve their program quality and the Quick CASP Crosswalk outlines connections between the Quick CASP and the Quality Standards for Expanded Learning California.
The National Summer Learning Association is holding their annual advocacy day on July 14, 2016. National Summer Learning Day is led by the National Summer Learning Association to elevate the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer. Many kinds of high-quality learning opportunities during the summer can make a difference in stemming learning loss and ultimately, closing the country’s achievement gap. Our first lady, Michelle Obama, reminds us how important the summer months are to kids. Up to 3 months worth of knowledge from the previous school year could be lost during the summer months if kids are not engaged in acquiring new skills, activities, and/or reading. “Don’t let summers go to waste!” Learn more about hosting a Summer Learning Day event or to take the pledge.
In 2017, The Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO) will publish two issues: a special issue in Spring and their regular issue in Fall. At this time, they are welcoming submission of papers for both their Spring 2017 special issue and Fall 2017 regular issue. JELO is a peer-reviewed, online, open access publication of the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation. The JELO connects research and promising practices throughout California and the nation, fostering a dialogue that engages both researchers and practitioners in the field. Submissions must be made by August 31, 2016. For more information click here or contact Kim Boyer for any questions.
Does your after school program need computers? Is your school’s computer lab not available after hours? Apply for free computers to dedicate to your program. RRRcomputer.org is a fiscally sponsored non-profit organization with the mission to enhance a child’s education by providing computers to children in grades K-6. They reclaim computers from local tech companies, refurbishes them to be child ready and safe, and sets them up for you to reuse. To apply, simply fill out the online form or contact apply@RRRcomputer.org.
The California AfterSchool Network is now connecting expanding learning programs and job seekers. Job openings can be for any level of an out-of-school time program or organization serving youth. Visit our website to post a current job opportunity or check out our job listings today.