Allies for Youth Outside of School

Two organizations that do an incredible job at emphasizing the importance of student allies outside of school are After School Alliance and Eagle Rock School.

After School Alliance is a national program that aims to rally communities together to promote after school programs for students. The need that After School Alliance identifies for after school programs is listed on their website. They state,

“Afterschool programs are critical to children and families today, yet the need for programs is far from being met.

  • In communities today, 11.3 million children take care of themselves after the school day ends.
  • Just 10.2 million children are in afterschool programs—but the parents of another 19.4 million children say their children would participate in afterschool if a program were available.
  • A report on 21st Century Community Learning Centers (afterschool programs receiving federal funds) showed that 45 percent of all participants improved their reading grades and 41 percent improved their math grades.
  • On school days, the hours between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. are the peak hours for juvenile crime and experimentation with drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and sex.
  • Teens who do not participate in afterschool programs are nearly three times more likely to skip classes than teens who do participate. They are also three times more likely to use marijuana or other drugs, and they are more likely to drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes and engage in sexual activity.
  • Parents with children in afterschool programs are less stressed, have fewer unscheduled absences and are more productive at work. “

After School Alliance targets the need for student support outside of school through a variety of different programs. All of these programs work to raise awareness for the need of after school support for students within communities. Their programs work together with communities and their schools to bring resources needed for after school programs to reach communities that need them. After School Alliance succinctly lists their vision, mission, and goals as follows:

“Vision: The Alliance works to ensure that all youth have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs.

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

Goals:

  • To be an effective voice for afterschool in efforts to expand quality afterschool programs.
  • To serve as an information source on afterschool programs and resources.
  • To encourage the development of local, state and national afterschool constituencies and systems.
  • To communicate the impact of afterschool programs on children, families and communities.”

After School Alliance is the nation’s leading champion for after school support for students.

Another notable after school ally for students is Eagle Rock School located in Estes Park, Colorado. Eagle Rock School uniquely identifies the need for student support outside of school by being an advocate for students to engage in learning outside of their classrooms and within their communities. The administrators at this school founded for students who were not successful in the traditional classroom setting promotes students to connect with their communities outside of school to engage in holistic learning. Eagle Rock School collaborates with the philosophy of Big Picture Learning, which proposes that student learning is greater than the confines of the school building. Eagle Rock identifies the way it works together with Big Picture Learning stating,

“And therein lies the common thread between Big Picture Learning and Eagle Rock — a shared belief that students need to be reengaged in their own learning. The founders of BPL believe students should spend considerable time doing real work in the community under the tutelage of volunteer mentors, meaning they wouldn’t be evaluated solely on the basis of standardized tests.”

Schools like Eagle Rock School do an exemplary job of promoting students to engage in learning outside of their traditional school settings. They do this through offering students opportunities to engage in this type of learning outside of the classroom, and by connecting them with volunteers, mentors, and programs after school. Administrators at this school ensure students are not only getting supported with their in-school growth, but with their out-of-school growth as well.

If you are interested in more information about either of these programs, you can visit their websites listed below:

About Eagle Rock School

http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/

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