School children hanging out in the school yard.

Thirteen of the nation’s leading youth development programs launched Be a Champion, #InvestInKids to raise awareness and increase support for youth programs across the country. The Be a Champion, #InvestInKids campaign is funded through generous support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation. Participating organizations include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Camp Fire, Coaching Corps, Girls Inc., National 4H Council, NatureBridge, Outward Bound, Playworks, Positive Coaching Alliance, the Student Conservation Association and the YMCA.

Many women have faced gender discrimination in the workplace. How to respond to men who claim their behavior was unintentional, Lorrie Owens, administrator for IT services for the San Mateo County Office of Education in California, suggests refocusing the conversation on how their words were perceived. “Stress: ‘This is how it was received,’” she said, adding that she tries for a non-confrontational approach. “Sometimes people try to belittle your perception of what they just said. Firmly, professionally stand your ground.”

Portrait of young businesswoman with white helmet looking up and seen from the industrial steel cable reel for crane in factory warehouse. She is testing and working with winding wire and cable drum accessories metal wire spool reel wear resistance.

The destruction of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 transformed New Orleans into a place where construction is not just a high demand, high-wage career, but an act of service to the community. unCommon Construction (UCC)—a non-profit organization in New Orleans that delivers afterschool programming and weekend on-site apprenticeships—engages high school students in career pathways within the construction industry, while also building and selling essential market rate homes for residents and families in the students’ home town.

Techbridge Girls strives to meet girls exactly where they are. In scaling up, Techbridge Girls have used data and in-depth research to identify needs in the landscape and to adapt both their programming and organizational structure to reach girls where they are with life-changing STEM enrichment. With every adaptation, they have always put the voices and lived experiences of those they serve at the center of their work.

House Resolution 180 was unanimously adopted by the House Children and Youth Committee on January 22. The legislation is sponsored by Representative Jake Wheatley and directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to conduct a study of the commonwealth’s current return on investments regarding afterschool programs and provide feedback on developing a means to capture outcomes for the purpose of bolstering return on investments for these programs. We thank those supporting the Resolution and ask PSAYDN members to continue to educate policymakers about the importance of afterschool.

Twenty years ago, funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) totaled $453 million. Twenty years later, funding has reached an all-time high of $1.25 billion. We should all be proud of this incredible 176% growth, which has expanded access for youth nationwide. 21st CCLC programs served 400,000 students in 2000; in 2020, the projected number of students rises to an estimated 1.8 million.

PSAYDN at Center for Schools and Communities
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