As we celebrate Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, MASN staff and coaches wanted to share why they love and appreciate afterschool professionals throughout the state.
Clint Darr, Afterschool Regional Educator, Mid-Missouri
It is an honor for me to have the privilege of visiting, coaching, training, and working alongside the professionals in the field of afterschool. I am constantly amazed to see the great things that are going on in afterschool programs around the state, and I know it is because of the effort, dedication, and passion of the professionals who staff these programs. These professionals embrace the principals of program quality assessment and improvement, and I get to witness first-hand the safe, supportive, interactive, and engaging programs they have created. Thank you for the long hours, hard work, tears and laughter that you give for your students and for the difference it makes in their lives!
Terri Foulkes, Executive Director
My boys have developed their closest friends as a result of their afterschool program. Afterschool gives them time to talk, learn, explore, and play with other kids which helps them to connect with one another. I am thankful for afterschool staff throughout the state that take the time to get to know each child and help them to feel comfortable being themselves, explore their interests, and develop new talents and skills.
Casey Hanson, Policy and Communications Coordinator
In my role, I get to not only witness the work being done on the frontlines, but also the advocacy program staff are doing outside of the work day with community leaders and policymakers to make sure their programs are supported and sustained. I am so impressed by the level of passion and dedication the professionals in Missouri demonstrate on a daily basis.
Thank you to all of the professionals in our state who spend long hours and sometimes hard days to ensure that youth have a safe place to be, where they can find a sense of belonging, explore and discover their passions, and learn to be their best selves. Your work is invaluable to communities throughout our state.
Brad Lademann, Afterschool Resource Center Coordinator and Regional Educator
The thing I love most about afterschool is the opportunity for staff to be creative in furthering the education of their students. Whether the creativity comes out in a lesson or in who the program may work with as a partner, the students in afterschool get to continue learning in ways that are not typically seen in a regular day classroom.
To all of the afterschool professionals in Missouri, thank you for making the time, and putting in the work, to plant the seeds of education and hope in the students you work with.
Kay Lewis, Afterschool Regional Educator, St. Louis & East Region
Thank you to the programs and professionals for promoting partnerships within the communities to meet the diverse and changing need of families!
Sandra Pratt, Afterschool Regional Educator, Southwest Missouri
I love being a part of a group of individuals that puts “kids first” and makes it their passion, it is energizing and allows me to learn and share with other sites!
Thank you to all the afterschool professionals that help to make youth feel safe and supported and are always willing to go the extra mile to give youth opportunities and encouragement that they need to become engaged in their programs!
David and Connie Toney, Afterschool Regional Educators, Southeast Missouri
We love afterschool because it provides every single person involved, no matter the age or role, the opportunity to learn new things, expand experiences, make connections, and feel safe, supported, and valued.
We value those that work in the afterschool field and the work that they do because they care about children—and the development of knowledge, creativity, & personal and social skills.