Month: November 2020

The American Institutes for Research recently published a study that examined the promotion of healthy development of girls at Girls Inc. Overall, the study found that girls who participated in Girls Inc. were more likely to engage in activities and express beliefs that lead to physical and mental well-being, academic achievement, and the development of leadership skills. It is important to have a range of activities and opportunities available to young people that allow them to feel safe and comfortable to explore their self-identity, interests and passions. Gender specific programming is a critical part of those offerings and can afford girls and boys a unique opportunity to grow and thrive.

When schools and programs closed due to the pandemic in March, the Mighty Writers afterschool program in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, quickly stepped up to make sure the immediate needs of children and families were being met. The program distributes food, diapers, bilingual books and more to some 300 families per week and offers free online afterschool programming focused on creative writing and developing students’ voices. Mighty Writers was recently awarded a $75,000 grant from the Longwood Foundation of Chester County to continue and expand this work.

Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, wrote an op-ed for the new media website MomsRising discussing how the pandemic has caused less afterschool support for kids from low-income families. “If the sustainability of afterschool programs is in jeopardy, the future of the students they serve is in jeopardy, too — and afterschool program closures loom large.”

RAND researchers investigated the relationship between teachers’ reports of their students’ internet access and their interaction with students and families during school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. These data are drawn from the American Instructional Resources Survey, which was fielded in May and June of this year and included questions to teachers regarding their instruction during school closures as a result of the pandemic. Findings from the survey reveal how limited home internet access has been a barrier to providing instruction amid pandemic-related school closures. The problem is particularly acute among high-poverty schools.

Join the National Geographic Society for special editions of National Geographic’s Explorer Classroom this fall designed for out-of-school time educators. Live YouTube shows connect young people with cutting-edge scientists, researchers and powerful storytellers around the world. The events are free and include live Q&A with the explorers as well as an event guide for your learners to get the most out of the experience. These events are supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

Organizational and program policies cover physical health and safety, which has become increasingly important as we navigate the challenges of many unknowns related to COVID-19. But what about psychological first aid, aka PFA? Are the members of our field equally equipped to support those affected by trauma resulting from the ongoing bad news and challenges related to the pandemic, racism, natural disasters, and more?

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