April showers bring May flowers and many opportunities for advocacy with the state legislature in full swing and Congress working on the budget in Washington.
Legislative Advocacy in April
In President Trump’s skinny budget proposal, funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers is eliminated. While the budget ultimately has to pass through Congress and is nowhere near final form, this is alarming news for afterschool advocates. 21stCCLC funding is the largest source of funds for afterschool in Missouri at just over $18 million annually, serving over 18,000 youth daily, and over 24,000 youth throughout the school year and in summer.
Now is the time to let our Federal Senators and Representatives know that “Afterschool Works!” in Missouri for youth, family and communities. To take action and make your voice heard, take a few minutes and visit the action center here.
Local Advocacy in January
To support our advocacy efforts, we are also teaming up with the Afterschool Alliance to collect stories about the impact afterschool has on youth, families, and communities throughout Missouri.
We want to hear stories from youth/afterschool alum, parents, teachers, afterschool professionals and other partners. Stories can be anecdotal, or if you work in a program and have data to share, you can share that as well. You can also upload pictures to share with your story.
Activities for Youth and Parents
In addition to collecting afterschool stories from youth and parents, Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week (April 24-28) is a great time to involve them in thanking the professionals who work in programs every day. Give parents and youth an opportunity to leave thank you notes for the staff in your program, or share why they appreciate the professionals who are truly the HEART of afterschool.
Staying Connected via Social Media
We will be taking to social media for Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week (April 24-28) using the #heartofafterschool hashtag to show our support for afterschool professionals during the week!
As we continue our advocacy efforts, use the hashtag #MOAfterschoolWorks to share what is going on in your program and to show how afterschool is working for the youth and families in your community.
Don’t forget to follow us @MO_Afterschool on Twitter and look for the Missouri AfterSchool Network on Facebook!