The Afterschool Alliance in Washington, DC, this week announced that Kasey Carter, executive director at Communities In Schools of Greenbrier County (CISGC), has been selected to serve as a 2015-2016 Afterschool Ambassador. She is one of just 15 leaders from across the country to be chosen for the honor this year.
“We are so pleased to have Mrs. Carter serving as an Afterschool Ambassador this year,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “I look forward to working with Kasey this year to bring us closer to the day when every child will have the chance to participate in an afterschool program.”
“I am excited to be part of the Afterschool Alliance’s work to increase resources for afterschool programs,” said Carter. “During my time working with young people, I’ve seen firsthand how afterschool programs give students opportunities to explore their interests and discover their passions, while giving parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their children are safe and supervised, with engaging, educational activities, after the school day ends.”
CISGC partners with Greenbrier County Schools to provide afterschool programming to students at Western Greenbrier Middle, Eastern Greenbrier Middle and Greenbrier East High School. The programs are funded through two Innovation Zone dropout prevention grants by the WV Department of Education.
The afterschool programs follow a similar format: providing participating students a nutritious dinner, time for academics-tutoring, mentoring, credit recovery or homework help-and an enrichment activity, such as knitting or working with plants in a greenhouse or guitar-building. Each afterschool program also has an entrepreneurial component. Teachers work with students to develop a business and marketing plan for the products and services created during the enrichment activity, giving the students real life experiences with web design, product development, customer service and more.
Each Ambassador will organize a major event for Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance’s annual rally for afterschool, to be held on Oct. 22 this year. Last year, 1 million people participated in some 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events across the United States and at U.S. military bases worldwide.
A large and growing body of evidence demonstrates improvements in attendance, behavior, academic achievement and more among children in afterschool programs. Researchers have also found that afterschool programs encourage increased parental involvement – an important building block for student success.
The 2014 “America After 3PM” household survey of more than 30,000 families, commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, found that participation in afterschool programs increased to 10.2 million students nationwide, up from 6.5 million in 2004. But the unmet demand for afterschool programs has increased as well. Today, for every child in an afterschool program, there are two more whose parents say they would participate, if a program were available. One in five students in the United States today is unsupervised after the school day ends.