YMCA of the USA Supports Strengthening Afterschool Programs Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C., (FEB. 27, 2013) – Today, YMCA of the USA, the national resource office for the nation’s 2,700 YMCAs, joined leading afterschool and youth development advocacy organizations in support of the “Afterschool for America’s Children Act.” Introduced by U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Patty Murray (D-Wash.), this bipartisan legislation would strengthen the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) initiative—the nation’s only federal funding stream for afterschool programs.
The “Afterschool for America’s Children Act” supports the innovative advances occurring before-school, afterschool and in summer learning programs by:
- Enhancing school-community partnerships to include sharing of data and resources,
- Promoting professional development of program staff,
- Calling out STEM, physical activity and nutrition education as allowable uses; and,
- Providing accountability measures that show student progress over time toward meeting indicators of student success.
“As the nation’s largest nonprofit provider of quality afterschool programs, we applaud the sponsors of this bill for seeking to strengthen the 21st CCLC initiative,” said Neal Denton, YCA of the USA’s Senior Vice President/Chief Government Affairs Officers. “Our commitment to nurturing the potential of every child and teen means supporting a variety of strategies that seek to improve the academic achievement of students, particularly those in high-poverty and low-performing schools. These strategies include afterschool, Expanded Learning Time, community schools, and other effective approaches being implemented across the country.”
Current 21st CCLC funding levels are insufficient to meet the afterschool needs of children and families in our communities. Current levels cannot maintain existing afterschool participation/enrollment and support additional strategies that seek to provide students with academic enrichment opportunities. Efforts to support Expanded Learning Time should be accompanied by additional funds or funding streams. This will ensure that the one million children currently participating in safe and supervised afterschool programs supported by 21st CCLC will continue to benefit from afterschool programming.
As the a leading nonprofit committed to youth development, the Y has a long history of encouraging and supporting children in building literacy, improving academic engagement and performance, skill building, accessing higher education, and employment training.
About the Y
The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the U.S., 2,700 Ys engage 21 million men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. ymca.net
YMCA of the USA
Wednesday, February 27, 2013