Mission: To increase public and private investment in afterschool program initiatives at the national, state, and local levels so that all youth have access to affordable, quality afterschool programs.
About the Organization: Established in 2000 by the Charles Stewart Mott, Creative Artists Agency, and Entertainment Industry foundations; the Open Society Institute/After-School Corporation; JCPenney Company; and the U.S. Department of Education, the Afterschool Alliance works with government agencies and elected officials, business and community leaders, afterschool networks, and program providers to boost support for afterschool programming. According to the alliance, afterschool programs keep children safe and give them new opportunities to learn while providing working parents with peace of mind. What's more, children in afterschool programs have better attendance records, do better in school, are more likely to graduate, and are less likely to use drugs or alcohol. The Afterschool Alliance advocates on behalf of efforts to expand affordable quality afterschool and summer programs; serves as an information and resource hub; encourages the development of local, state, and national afterschool constituencies and systems; and communicates the positive impact of afterschool programs on children, families, and communities.
Current Programs: The organization's policy and advocacy work includes educating policy makers about the value of afterschool, before-school, and summer-learning opportunities; hosting the Afterschool for All Challenge, which brings parents, youth, and afterschool leaders from across the country to Washington, D.C., for trainings and meetings with members of Congress; and advocacy at the local, state, and federal levels, with a focus on children and youth most in need. The organization's research and other resources include reports, briefs, fact sheets, and surveys, as well as the Afterschool Impacts Database, a searchable platform that helps users navigate the growing body of evidence showing how afterschool and summer-learning programs support students and strengthen communities.
As part of its field-building efforts, the alliance provides tools and resources on various topics to twenty-five thousand afterschool programs nationally, provides technical assistance to fifty state afterschool networks, and works to place AmeriCorps VISTA members in communities where they help advance afterschool initiatives. Last but not least, the organization's work to raise public awareness of the benefits of out-of-school-time learning includes helping more than eight thousand programs showcase their work during Lights On Afterschool, a nationwide celebration of afterschool programs held every October.
Website: Visitors to the organization's website can search for afterschool programs in their community; learn what to look for in a quality program; read up on the latest news and program highlights; and/or learn about current policy issues relevant to afterschool programs. They can also look up afterschool program data by state; browse webinars and tools and resources for starting and sustaining a program; learn how to take action to support afterschool programs; and/or make a donation to support the alliance.
Funding: The Afterschool Alliance is funded by foundations, corporations, and individuals.