Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NLC Report Focuses on 'The Afterschool Hours' New Publication Showcases the Efforts of Eight Cities

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

NLC Report Focuses on 'The Afterschool Hours' New Publication Showcases the Efforts of Eight Cities

Article excerpt

Vigorous leadership by mayors and city council members can yield big dividends through improvements in the quality of afterschool programs, according to a new NLC publication that spotlights eight successful community initiatives focusing on engaging students in the critical hours after school.

The publication, "The Afterschool Hours: A New Focus for America's Cities," demonstrates the connection between the availability of quality afterschool programs and improving both the quality of life and economic development in cities. Afterschool can keep young people safe, help working families and support academic achievement.

While highlighting eight cities engaged in this work, this report offers practical advice and lessons for any local official to use.

The eight communities-Charlotte, N.C., Fort Worth, Texas, Fresno, Calif., Grand Rapids, Mich., Indianapolis, Ind., Lincoln, Neb., Spokane, Wash., and Washington, D.C.--each assembled a diverse group of key stakeholders, including municipal officials, school board members, school administrators, parents, community based organizations, and business and civic leaders to design or improve implementation of afterschool programs.

Participating cities focused on a range of issues pertinent to the needs of their communities, including access to services in underserved neighborhoods; improvement in program quality; building public will; alleviation of turf battles and competition through effective partnerships; development of governance and finance structures to sustain programs; and engaging youth in program development. …

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