Where is the support and the funding for the development of these programs coming from?
There is enormous support for more and better afterschool programs from many sectors of society. Agreement on the need for such programs crosses
gender, age, income, and partisan lines. In fact, nine out of ten Americans believe there should be organized activities for children and teens during afterschool hours, according to data from national surveys conducted by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and JCPenney between 1998 and 2000.
Americans support these programs for various reasons. For many senior citizens, afterschool programs mean safer neighborhoods. Working parents want to make sure their children are safe and well-occupied. Increasing numbers of single mothers depend on such programs to be productive members of the workforce. For families receiving welfare, the federal welfare reform legislation of 1996, which moved large numbers of welfare recipients into work-related activities, created a great need for afterschool programs.
Political support is also strong. Expanding afterschool programming was one of the five top recommendations of the 1998 United States Conference of Mayors' National Summit, and one of the top three priorities for the National Governor's Association under the 1999 chairmanship of then Delaware Governor Thomas R. Carper. In addition, legislation on "new standards" has created pressure to increase student academic performance and help schools meet the demands of these standards. A recent survey found that 86 percent of the nation's police chiefs agreed that "expanding afterschool programs and educational child care programs like Head Start would greatly reduce youth crime and violence." [Fight Crime Invest In Kids, Poll of Police Chiefs. Conducted by George Mason University Profs., Steven Mastrofski and Scott Keeter. http://www.fightcrime.org, 1999.]
|The afterschool movement has grown as a result of broad-based, bipartisan support. In California, one parent discusses how a community banded together to initiate the programs they needed.
Public and private funding for afterschool programs has increased enormously in the last few years. Major private foundations are increasingly recognizing out-of school time as a program and funding priority. Many national organizations, such as the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), the National School-Age Care Alliance (NSACA), the Afterschool Corporation, the YMCA, and the Afterschool Alliance are publishing information and special reports, conducting research, holding forums on the issues, and pursuing other activities to strengthen and support the development of quality afterschool programming. The Exploration and Resources sections of this workshop provide more information about funding.
|Adriana de Kanter La Perla comments on the allocation of funds in afterschool programs.|
Now that you have a sense of the scope of the afterschool program field, move on to the Demonstration section of the workshop, where you will have the chance to see specific examples of various programs.