On March 10, 2015, hundreds of afterschool advocates gathered in Washington, DC to visit Capitol Hill and communicate their support for the impact and importance of federal investments in afterschool programs as part of the 15th Afterschool For All Challenge. ASTC and the Afterschool Alliance, through funding from the Noyce Foundation, participated in the Afterschool For All Challenge, along with more than 400 in-person participants. Participants were given the chance to meet with congressional staffers and Members of Congress to advocate for the Supporting Afterschool STEM Act and the Afterschool for America’s Children Act. The conversations on the Hill during the Challenge led to eleven new co-sponsors joining the Supporting Afterschool STEM Act and an additional five co-sponsors adding their support to the Afterschool for America’s Children Act.
Included in this year’s Challenge participants were youth representatives from five ASTC-member institutions, who were able to share their personal experiences in afterschool programs and why support for such programs is critical. These institutions included the Center for Aquatic Sciences at Adventure Aquarium in Camden, New Jersey; Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio; National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland; Connecticut Science Center in Hartford; and the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Connecticut.
In the video below, the youth team from the Evolutions program at the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History describe their experience with the Challenge:
A webinar highlighting this program was held in April, and you can view the recording at vimeo.com/124345087.
To learn more about the Afterschool For All Challenge, and to add to the momentum by emailing your representatives, visit www.afterschoolalliance.org/challenge.cfm. You can also find your state’s afterschool network at www.afterschoolalliance.org/policyStateMap.cfm.