The end MAY come…


May is the culmination of the school year and the state legislative session. In many ways, it is a time to celebrate the end of things. But it also marks the beginning of many people’s favorite time of year: summer!

Download a PDF version of this page here.

Legislative Advocacy in May

With legislative session wrapping up in Jefferson City in May, now is a great time to thank our legislators for their service and for accomplishments throughout the legislative session. It is another key step in continuing to build relationships with our legislators.

If you have summer programming, it can also be a great time to think about inviting legislators to your summer program, as they will spend most of their summer in the district connecting with constituents. Visit or to connect with your legislators this summer.

Though session is ending in Jefferson City, the next round of budgeting is kicking off in DC. 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 May

The end of the school year can be a great time to reflect on some of your best success stories from the previous year. As we continue to collect success stories, reach out to students, parents, and teachers to find out what some of their highlights of the year were.

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.

Share your afterschool story here!

Activities for Youth and Parents

End of year events are a great way to engage youth and their parents by highlighting what the youth have been working on throughout the year in your program, and by having fun, family-oriented events to cap off the school year. Consider how your end of year events might engage parents with their youth, while showing off the great work you’ve been doing throughout the year.

Check out some of ideas for fun Family Nights here

Staying Connected via Social Media

As we continue our advocacy efforts, use the hashtag #AfterschoolWorks to share what is going on in your program and to show how afterschool is working for the youth and families in your community. Early next month, a team of Missourians will be meeting with our members of Congress in DC on June 7, and need your support from online (and by phone!) to let our representatives and senators know how important our programs are in Missouri.

Don’t forget to follow us @MO_Afterschool on Twitter and look for the Missouri AfterSchool Network on Facebook!


April is for ADVOCACY!

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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.

Share your afterschool story here!

Activities for Youth and Parents

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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!

Download a printable version of this calendar here.

January = Advocate & Educate!


MASN’s Public Policy & Awareness Committee is kicking off the New Year with a new advocacy plan. Each month, we will share a blog post (and downloadable/shareable PDF) with advocacy activities for programs to implement throughout the year. We hope these inspire you to find new ways to connect with leaders at the state and local level, and to incorporate advocacy into your program throughout the year.

State Advocacy in January 

Legislative session is back in swing in Jefferson City, as this month the 99th Missouri General Assembly is sworn into office.

Find out who represents you. You can find your State Representative by visiting ( or your State Senator by visiting (

Introduce yourself. A great way to start communicating is by introducing yourself to your legislator and/or their staff with a quick phone call or email. Invite them to your program at some point throughout the year for a site visit or to attend an event you host throughout the year.

Read these tips from the Afterschool Alliance’s Afterschool Snack blog for connecting with new members of Congress and the state legislature. 

Does your legislator tweet? Find their Twitter handle, and make sure you use the #moleg hashtag when tweeting to Missouri legislators.

Here are a few statewide officials Twitter handles to start with:

Missouri Governor @EricGreitens

US Senators @RoyBlunt and @ClaireCMC (Claire McCaskill)

If you connect with your elected officials or are planning a visit, reach out to MASN so we can support your efforts. Contact Casey Hanson, Policy and Communications Coordinator, for more information  at

Local Advocacy in January

Take this opportunity to make connections with local leaders in your community. Set up meetings with your mayor, city council members, and school board, or plan to attend their public meetings. Reach out to other civic organizations, including your community’s chamber of commerce and other clubs, like Rotary, Lions Club, etc. These organizations can often provide great resources in terms of volunteers and financial resources!


Activities for Youth

This month we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 16, which is now also the National Day of Service. This is a great opportunity to share MLK Jr.’s story with your youth, and to discuss the importance of community service. If you are in full day programming on the 16th, plan for a way to help your youth give back by serving your community.

Learn more about the MLK Jr. Day of Service here.

Talking about MLK Jr.’s Dream speech is an opportunity to help youth turn their dreams into goals. Help the youth in setting SMART goals for the year this month and develop accountability systems in your program to help them achieve these goals throughout the year.

Check out this article about setting SMART goals with your youth from Edutopia.

Activities for Staff

As we get into the legislative session, encourage your staff to sign up for Twitter! It’s a great resource for connecting with elected officials and is critical for advocacy.

Don’t forget to follow us @MO_Afterschool and use the #MOAfterschoolWorks hashtag so we can share your posts!

Upcoming Dates to Remember:

1/16/17—MLK Jr. Day/National Day of Service

1/31/17—Deadline for Intent to Submit in Afterschool Works! Video Contest

Next Month:

Black History Month (February)

Why We ❤ Afterschool (Valentine’s Day – 2/14)

Have ideas for future months? Email Casey Hanson at to submit your thoughts.

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 ( 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 or (573) 882-9665.

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

2016 Municipal Summit Recap


Mayor Sly James providing opening remarks at the Kauffman Foundation Center in Kansas City, MO to kickoff the 2016 Municipal Summit on Afterschool, Summer, and Expanded Learning. 

On June 4, the Missouri AfterSchool Network teamed up with the Kansas Enrichment Network and the United Way of Greater Kansas City to host the “Strengthening Opportunities for Youth, Creating Opportunities for Cities”: 2016 KS/MO Municipal Summit on Afterschool and Expanded Learning. Host Mayors Sly James of Kansas City, MO and Peggy Dunn of Leawood, KS helped to facilitate a day of learning, sharing, and planning with city leaders and community partners from around the bi-state region. The summit was possible through generous support from the National League of Cities, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the Wallace Foundation.

Check out the links below for some media follow-up from the event:

“Mayor Sly James Stresses Importance of Afterschool and Summer Programs for Kids” (KCUR 89.3)

2016 Municipal Summit on Afterschool and Expanded Learning Wrap-Up Video

**Special thanks to our partners at LINC in Kansas City for providing support and creating this video to capture some of the key moments from the summit!

#KSMO4Afterschool Social Media Recap

A huge thank you to our co-hosts, sponsors, planning committee members and speakers for making this event possible! We have ignited some great conversations about afterschool and expanded learning opportunities across the state, and look forward to continuing our work in partnership with municipal leaders to ensure all Missouri youth have access to high-quality out-of-school time opportunities!

Spring Opportunities for Advocacy!


Spring break can be a great time for hosting legislator site visits, as legislators generally have their Spring Break at the end of March and so do most of the school districts in our state.

Does your program offer Spring Break or Holiday Break care? This could present a great opportunity in the middle of session to invite your legislators into your program. Some ideas might be:

  • Inviting legislators to plays or concerts you have throughout the week
  • Invite a legislator as part of your curriculum—host a roundtable or town hall style event, and help the children prepare questions or ideas to share in advance.
  • Invite your legislator to join in a meal or activity time.
  • Invite your legislator for a full tour of the program and opportunity to meet with kids, staff, and parents.

Visit the Afterschool Alliance’s “Preparing for a Site Visit” page here for more information and ideas for your site visit.


Spring also brings us to the 34th Annual Missouri Child Advocacy Day! This annual day at the Capitol brings together advocates from all throughout Missouri to meet with legislators and ensure that children remain a priority as they work throughout the legislative session.

We hope you’ll join us on April 23 for Missouri Child Advocacy Day in Jefferson City at the Capitol! If you plan to join the afterschool community, follow these 3 steps:

1) Register for the day by visiting

2) Let us know you’re coming so that we can bring you afterschool materials here:

3) Attend our Child Advocacy Day Prep webinar on March 29 at 10:00am to prepare for the big day in Jefferson City! Here is the webinar link: