Summer Advocacy Update

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Federal Budget Update

Even though school is out and many programs are closed for the summer, now is a perfect time to focus on advocacy efforts. The budget process really kicks off this month as the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittees will meet in the House and the Senate. The House started the FY19 budget process last week, and their initial bill maintains 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding at FY18 levels. The Senate is expected to begin their process later this month.

Read a full report from the Afterschool Alliance here. 

While it is encouraging that Congress does not seem supportive of the administration’s proposal to completely eliminate the program, there is still a long way to go in the process. A final budget is not expected until after the November 2018 election.

With that said, now is the time to contact members of Congress to let them know how important afterschool and summer learning programs are to youth, families, and communities across Missouri. You can do this one of a few ways:

  1. Use this super handy link from the Afterschool Alliance to send messages to your Representative and Senators or give their office a call in less than 5 minutes.
  2. Set up a time to meet with your member of Congress and/or their staff in district. Contact Casey Hanson at hansoncb@missouri.edu for guidance on how to do this!
  3. Plan a site visit and invite your member of Congress or staff out to your program. If you have summer programming, invite them now, or start to plan something for the Fall when school resumes. (Casey will help with this, too!)

No matter how big or small the action, we need to ensure that our legislators are hearing from us about afterschool. So whether you have 5 minutes to make a quick contact or several days to plan an event, you must make sure your voice is heard over the next few months.

National Summer Learning Day – July 12

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Even though school is out, many professionals throughout Missouri and the nation are working hard to keep kids learning this summer. That’s why on July 12, the National Summer Learning Association will host its annual awareness event – National Summer Learning Day – to highlight the importance of keeping kids learning, safe and healthy every summer, ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed in the year.

The National Summer Learning Association website has many valuable resources to help you advocate for the importance of summer learning, including:

  1. A place to add your Summer Learning Day event to a national map.
  2. Resources to help promote the value and importance of summer learning.
  3. A “Take Action” Center to help you contact Congress regarding summer learning.

Summer Learning is a key piece of the out-of-school time puzzle, and it’s important that we continue to advocate for opportunities afterschool AND in summer, so that when school is out, we know youth have a safe place to be where they can explore, learn, and grow.

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