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This edition of our e-blast will share some exciting opportunities to grow and develop your system-building work.

E-Blast Contents

Upcoming Events:

Other Information of Interest:

Upcoming Events

Better Together Upcoming Webinar Series Preview
Over the coming months, AYPF will be hosting a series of webinars for the Better Together conference attendees focused on key themes related to systems-building including data-sharing, measuring outcomes, and sustainability strategies through connections to state and national initiatives.  We will be sending a separate email with webinar dates, speakers, and registration links, so stay tuned!  Remember, these webinars are learning opportunities for YOU to share and engage with colleagues in other cities engaged in this work.

National League of Cities Webinar on Increasing Access to Breakfast, Summer and Afterschool Meals in Your City, Wednesday, March 26
In partnership with the Food Research and Action Center, NLC is hosting a webinar to inform communities about federal child nutrition programs meant to help families ensure that their kids get healthy food before, during and after school, as well as over the summer months. Join us to learn more about how you can help raise awareness and bring attention to the critical need for these programs in your community. Register here.

Ready by 21 National Meeting April 22-24
Registration is still open for the Ready by 21 National Meeting, which will be held April 22-24, 2014 in Northern Kentucky. Join hundreds of leaders from around the country who are working toward the same goal: Getting all young people ready by 21 for college, work and life. Find out more about the meeting, and take advantage by registering today.

Save the Date for Summer Learning Day, June 20
Summer Learning Day is a national advocacy day recognized to spread awareness about the importance of summer learning for our nation’s youth in helping close the achievement gap and support healthy development in communities all across the country.

National Summer Learning Association National Conference, November 17-19
The National Summer Learning Association is offering early bird pricing through April 30 for its annual conference.

The conference theme, "Accelerating Achievement,” encourages presenters and participants to examine how summer is an accelerator for education priorities such as 3rd grade reading proficiency, college and career readiness, school transitions, English language acquisition, STEM education, and more.

Other Information of Interest

Afterschool Videos: Bring the Experts Home!
National experts can help you make the case for your community’s investment in afterschool and afterschool systems.  In two new six-minute videos from The Wallace Foundation, field leaders discuss the need for afterschool, the potential benefits, and the advantages and key points of citywide afterschool coordination.

Kick-off a meeting with a video?  Post to social media?  Email to key supporters?  If you have other ideas or hear any reactions, we’d be glad to hear from you.

 “Afterschool: Hours of Opportunity”


  •  Robert Balfanz (Johns Hopkins University)
  • Jonathan Bryce (Baltimore City Public Schools)
  • Carla Sanger (LA’s Best)
  •  Chris Smith (Boston After School & Beyond
  • Gina Warner (National Afterschool Association)     

“Better Together: Boosting Afterschool by Building Citywide Systems”  


  • Betsy Brand (American Youth Policy Forum)
  • Jessica Donner (Every Hour Counts)
  • Audrey Hutchinson (National League of Cities)
  • Chris Smith (Boston After School & Beyond)
  • Bela Shah Spooner (National League of Cities)
  • Nicole Yohalem (Author, Building Citywide Systems for Quality)

Afterschool System Building Resources on Program Quality
In recent years, the afterschool field has developed many resources to help cities improve the quality of their afterschool programs. Below you will find links to a number of resources from organizations across the country that focus on afterschool program quality. City leaders may utilize these resources as a way to generate deeper dialogue with afterschool providers in their communities to raise the quality of programming efforts and to discuss desired program outcomes.

Afterschool Alliance Issue Brief on Supporting Students with Disabilities and Other Special Needs
The Afterschool Alliance released the second MetLife Foundation issues brief of 2014, “Afterschool Supporting Students with Disabilities and Other Special Needs.”  The issue brief highlights the variety of ways afterschool programs provide a safe and supportive space where students of all abilities can learn and grow side-by-side.  Four afterschool programs across the country are spotlighted for their work providing an inclusive learning environment that fosters a sense of belonging and promotes the overall success of every student.

Afterschool Alliance Report on Positive Outcomes and Promising Practices
The report, “Taking a Deeper Dive into Afterschool: Positive Outcomes and Promising Practices” is Afterschool Alliance’s in-depth look at high-quality evaluations of the afterschool field—examining both outcomes associated with participation in an afterschool program and practices associated with a quality program.  The report looks at outcomes associated with school engagement, student behavior and academic performance, as well as summarizes best practices, including intentional programming and strong program design, staff quality, effective partnerships and program evaluations.

Afterschool Alliance blog post on Afterschool and Summer Learning Perspective on President Obama’s 2015 Budget
Earlier this month, President Obama released his budget request for the upcoming 2015 fiscal year.  This blog post highlights the budget requests that pertain to the afterschool and summer learning field, providing numbers and summaries of programs and initiatives, such as the 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative and the Child Care Development Fund.  

Every Hour Counts Messaging Update
How does The Hunger Games help reduce summer learning loss? How can community service make teens more reflective? Find out in Expanded Learning Systems in Action, the latest in our series of messaging tools, which offers an on-the ground take on how systems support youth in communities across the country. Access the full guide and watch a webinar to learn how you can message the value of your system.

Every Hour Counts Blog Posts
Subscribe to Expanded Learning Perspectives, the blog of Every Hour Counts, to receive up-to-date news and reflections on developments in the expanded learning and systems-building fields. Recent posts describe initiatives to increase parent engagement and help girls become “lifelong STEM lovers.”

ExpandED Options by TASC
What do high-school students really need to succeed? Access to real-world learning opportunities and paid summer internships. TASC’s latest one-pager, “Learning Beyond High School Walls,” explains how the ExpandED Options program is giving high-school students in NYC just that.

National Center on Time and Learning Redesigning and Expanding School Time to Support Common Core Implementation
NCTL along with The Center for American Progress believe that  meeting the demands associated with the Common Core will be a challenge, but high-quality expanded learning time is one of the most far-reaching implementation strategies and can enable students to successfully meet these higher expectations. The report, Redesigning and Expanding School Time to Support Common Core Implementation, looks at how high-performing expanded-time schools give teachers more time for ongoing professional development and collaboration needed to implement the Common Core standards.

National League of Cities Congressional City Conference APAN Luncheon a Huge Success!
NLC recently hosted their bi-annual luncheon for the Afterschool Policy Advisors’ Network on Monday, March 10th in Washington, DC. Participants came together to learn how cities can support their young people in the afterschool and summer hours more effectively. This year’s luncheon focused on the various federal funding streams available to help support afterschool programming in local communities and new federal policy proposals to pay attention to. View the presentation by Jennifer Rinehart from the Afterschool Alliance.

National League of Cities Community Conversations
At NLC’s Congressional City Conference, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the joint signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding with NLC outlining a plan to strengthen partnerships among federal and local governments, schools, families, and other organizations.  As part of this MOU, the Department of Education and NLC will support the development of 15 community conversations hosted by mayors focused on early learning, citywide high-quality afterschool programs and postsecondary success.  The conversations will also focus on closing achievement gaps (including for young men of color) and increasing student outcomes, including non-academic outcomes such as social-emotional skills, which Secretary Duncan emphasized were “just as important as academic skills.”  At the conference, the Secretary shared a handout, highlighting cities that are making rapid progress in early learning, K-12 education and higher education.

Click here to read media coverage by Youth Today on this announcement.

The Wallace Foundation Grant to Chicago Consortium for School Research
The Wallace Foundation has awarded a grant to the Chicago Consortium for School Research at the University of Chicago to create a framework that clarifies what is known and unknown about “noncognitive” factors - attitudes, skills and character traits – that contribute to college and career success.

The Wallace Foundation Grant to Teachers College, Columbia University
The Wallace Foundation has awarded a grant to Teachers College, Columbia University, to study “collective impact.” Specifically, the research will investigate whether and how community institutions in three mid-sized cities can work together to tackle social and educational challenges in their local communities. 

Invite Others!

Thanks to all of you once again for participating in the conference. We are excited to help facilitate your current work through regular communications and a series of events related to key conference themes. We also encourage you to share this e-blast with others in your community who can benefit from ongoing resources. Feel free to forward this email to others and invite them to sign up to participate.

If you have been forwarded this email and would like to receive ongoing communications from AYPF, please email aypf@aypf.org with the subject line: Better Together.

The American Youth Policy Forum, a nonprofit, nonpartisan professional development organization based in Washington, DC, educates and informs policymakers, practitioners, and researchers working on education, workforce, and youth issues at the national, state, and local levels. AYPF has had a long history and involvement with afterschool issues and continues to work with national, state, and local policymakers and practitioners to continue to build and deepen knowledge, understanding, and support of expanded learning, afterschool, and summer programs for adolescent youth and of school-community partnerships. For more information on our work in afterschool and expanded learning, please visit:  http://www.aypf.org/programareas/afterschoolexpanded-learning/.


Every Hour Counts, formerly the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, is a coalition of citywide organizations that increase access to quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students. The organization is a leading voice promoting expanded-learning systems, which provide learning and enrichment through after-school, summer, and other initiatives. Expanded-learning systems help students be more connected to school, build self-confidence, and connect with caring adults, so every student can thrive. Every Hour Counts is a source for news, resources, and best practices in after-school and systems-building. Stay connected to Every Hour Counts’ growing network of system-builders and upcoming events through Facebook, Twitter, our blog and quarterly e-news and at www.afterschoolsystems.org.


The Forum for Youth Investment is a nonprofit, nonpartisan "action tank" dedicated to helping communities and the nation make sure all young people are Ready by 21®: ready for college, work and life. Informed by rigorous research and practical experience, the Forum forges innovative ideas, strategies and partners to strengthen solutions for young people and those who care about them. For upcoming events and webinars, see http://www.readyby21.org/events. The David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, a division of the Forum, empowers education and human service leaders to adapt, implement and scale research validated quality improvement systems to advance child and youth development. For upcoming events and webinars, see http://www.cypq.org/projects/overview.


The National League of Cities (NLC) is a national membership organization dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. Working in partnership with 49 state municipal leagues, NLC serves as a resource to and an advocate for the more than 19,000 cities, villages and towns it represents.  To learn more, visit www.nlc.org

The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute), a special entity within NLC, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities. Within the afterschool program area, YEF has provided technical assistance to over 40 cities to help build their citywide afterschool systems and established the Afterschool Policy Advisors’ Network (APAN), a network of city leaders interested in learning and sharing best practices on afterschool efforts.  Over the past decade, YEF has documented lessons learned and created numerous strategy guides with useful city examples and profiles.  To learn more and to access these resources, please visit http://www.nlc.org/find-city-solutions/institute-for-youth-education-and-families/afterschool.


The Wallace Foundation is a national philanthropy that seeks to improve education and enrichment for disadvantaged children. The foundation has an unusual approach: funding projects to test innovative ideas for solving important social problems, conducting research to find out what works and what doesn’t and to fill key knowledge gaps – and then communicating the results to help others. Visit the Knowledge Center to learn more about their strategies, tools, and grantees.


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