Let’s turn #MOLightsOn this October!


It’s October, which brings about crisp weather, falling leaves, and our favorite celebration of the year–Lights On Afterschool!

Lights On Afterschool is an annual nationwide celebration where millions of people around the country join together to shine light on the important role afterschool programs play in keeping youth safe, helping working families, and expanding learning outside of the classroom. The Afterschool Alliance founded this event, and has an abundance of resources to help programs join in the festivities. Visit their website here for resources for making your event a success, and to register your event! Last year, we had 290 events registered in Missouri. This year, we hope to exceed 300 events to help highlight more of the amazing programs we work with every day.

Regional Lights On Afterschool Summits

This year, MASN will also be hosting two regional summits to bring together policymakers, community leaders, business partners, and other interested stakeholders to highlight the value and importance of afterschool programs for youth and their families, and to discuss what is needed in terms of programs, policies, and partnerships to increase access to high-quality out-of-school time opportunities for all Missouri youth. We invite all interested stakeholders to register and attend a regional summit near you. Visit our website here, or see the event details below for more information.

#MOLightsOn Contests-Join the celebration and win!

We are bringing back the #MOLightsOn contest, to encourage programs and individuals to share their support for programs and their Lights On Afterschool celebrations. To enter the individual contest, there are three simple steps to follow:

  1. Print the sign below, or by downloading the PDF here.
  2. Write or draw why you support afterschool programs in Missouri.
  3. Upload your picture to Facebook or Twitter and using the #MOLightsOn hashtag.

1 tagged photo=1 entry


To enter the program contest, there are two simple steps to follow:

  1. Host or attend a Lights On Afterschool event!
  2. Take a picture from the event and upload it to Facebook or Twitter, using the #MOLightsOn hashtag. Include some event details like: Name and location of the program, age group of youth, who attended? (parents, legislators, teachers, etc), and what did you to celebrate?

1 photo per event=1 entry

Entries to both contests will be accepted from October 10 to October 28, 2016.

Winners will receive recognition online and some new afterschool swag to keep the #LightsOnAfterschool year round.

Join us in celebrating all of the great programs and professionals around the state who work each day to ensure that youth are safe, engaged, and constantly learning when school is out! 

Growing Opportunities–August 2016 Program of the Month Award Winner!

The Growing Opportunities Program in Maryville, MO was nominated and won our August Program of the Month award. You can read more about the program and some of the exciting activities they have going on each day after school below, or download the PDF here.

Congratulations to the staff at Growing Opportunities, and thanks for all you do each day to serve Missouri youth and their families!



Brad Hembree–July 2016 Staffer of the Month

Brad Hembree from the Lee’s Summit School District BASS Program was nominated and won our July Staffer of the Month award. You can read more about Brad and some of the awesome things he does with youth in his afterschool program each day below, or download the PDF here.

Congratulations to Brad Hembree, and thanks for all you do each day to serve Missouri youth and their families!


Kids Safari @ Korte Elementary – July 2016 Program of the Month!

The Kids Safari program at Korte Elementary School (Independence, MO) was nominated and won our July Program of the Month award. You can read more about the program and some of the exciting activities they have going on each day after school below, or download the PDF here.

Congratulations to the staff at Kids Safari at Korte Elementary, and thanks for all you do each day to serve Missouri youth and their families!

Program of the Month_July_KidsSafari_Page_1

Program of the Month_July_KidsSafari_Page_2

Advocacy Opportunity–Outreach to Senator Blunt during Recess

We wanted to provide a quick update regarding the current situation with 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) funding in Congress.

First—the GOOD news. As of July 18, it was confirmed that in the House version of the appropriations bill, funding for FY17 will be maintained at current levels. That said, in the latest markup of the Senate bill, funding for 21CCLC in FY17 is cut by about $116 million. Based on the Afterschool Alliance’s worksheet, this would be about a $2 mill (1.8) cut for Missouri, affecting our ability to serve approx. 1800-2000 youth.

There are still many steps in the process, but right now, with Congress on recess and being in the midst of an election year, the process is somewhat on hold. With that being said, now is a great time to make sure we are contacting Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, specifically, because of his role in the appropriations process as the subcommittee chair responsible for funding 21CCLC, to remind him of the value of our programs for youth and families across the state.

There are several ways to go about this—here are a few options below:

  • Senator Blunt is hosting a number of “Mobile Offices” around the state, which give folks an opportunity to meet with staff members from his offices. Here is a list of the mobile offices with dates, times, and locations.
  • If you are in one of the major areas where the Senator has a regional office, set up an appointment to meet with his district office team. Here is a list of locations and the main contact information for each office.
  • If you don’t have time for a face-to-face meeting with staff, make sure to send some kind of electronic communication via social media or email. If you go through the Afterschool Alliance’s site here, you can find templates to make things easier for you.

Last year, our grassroots efforts were critical in ensuring that we kept 21CCLC funding as a dedicated, stand-alone program in ESSA. We won that battle, but now we have to ensure that the program is adequately funded to serve as many Missouri youth as possible.

As always, thanks for your support and for the work you do each day to improve the lives of youth and their families throughout our state! 

Accepting Applications: 2016-2017 Missouri Afterschool Ambassadors

Have you ever been interested in learning more about communicating the afterschool message? Do you want to work with MASN to fight for stronger local, state and federal policies to support afterschool and summer learning programs?

The Afterschool Ambassador program is a unique opportunity to hone your advocacy and communication skills while working for a cause that we all love–afterschool programs!

The Missouri Afterschool Network (MASN) is pleased to announce that we are currently accepting applications for our second cohort of Afterschool Ambassadors for the 2016-2017 school year.

Purpose:  The Afterschool Ambassador program was founded out of the work of the MASN Public Policy and Advocacy committee. The goal of the program is to empower and enable up-and-coming leaders in the field of afterschool to spread the message of the importance and value of afterschool programs for youth, families, and communities across the state of Missouri.

Application Timeline:

July 22-August 22:  Applications accepted for the 2016-2017 Cohort

August 29, 2016: MASN announces 2016-2017 Ambassador Cohort

September 2016-August 2017:  Term of service for Ambassador


There will be 10 ambassador slots available, up to 4 of which can be filled by ambassador mentors. Participants have the opportunity to participate as an ambassador for up to 2 years, and if invited, can serve as an ambassador mentor for up to 2 years. Selections will be made based on qualifications and interest, and the selection committee will also try to ensure geographical coverage of the state. To apply to be an ambassador, please complete the attached application, or visit the SurveyMonkey link (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/1617AmbassadorApp) to complete it online.

Some of the activities that will take place throughout the program include:

  • Ambassadors will attend a one-day intensive training related to advocacy, media relations, and building relationships with policymakers in September 2016 (mileage reimbursed and lunch provided).
  • Ambassadors will participate in monthly conference calls that include topical webinars, update calls during the legislative session, and individual calls to support ambassadors in their local/regional work.
  • Ambassadors will work to build relationships with local and state elected officials through email or phone communication, social media or face-to-face meetings throughout the year.
  • Ambassadors will commit to one policymaker engagement project, such as:
    • Hosting a regional Lights On or training event
    • Hosting a legislative site visit to your program
    • Making a legislative visit to the Capitol during session (ex. Missouri Child Advocacy Day)
    • Hosting a local forum or summit to discuss afterschool in your region

Ambassadors are also welcome and strongly encouraged to attend other MASN events throughout the year, including:

  • MASN’s quarterly committee meetings
  • MASN’s Celebration of Afterschool (Ambassadors recognized at the spring event)


For more information or questions about the program, please contact Casey Hanson, Policy and Communications Coordinator, at hansoncb@missouri.edu or (573) 882-9665.

Click here to apply online, or download a PDF version of the application here.