Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bogalusa and Biloxi Restore Afterschool Programs Impacted by Hurricane Katrina

Magazine article Nation's Cities Weekly

Bogalusa and Biloxi Restore Afterschool Programs Impacted by Hurricane Katrina

Article excerpt

NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families (YEF Institute) and the National Education Association (NEA) have embarked on a joint initiative to help the cities of Biloxi, Miss., and Bogalusa, La., rebuild and strengthen afterschool programs for children and youth.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina's devastating impact on the education infrastructure in both cities, NEA and the YEF Institute saw an opportunity to assist these cities in reviving their afterschool activities.

Quality Afterschool Initiative

The Quality Afterschool Initiative seeks to reestablish a range of high-quality afterschool programs at local schools and community centers. The programs will support learning after the school bell rings, present children and youth with positive alternatives that keep them safe and out of trouble, and meet the needs of working parents who are unable to supervise their children when they get out of school.

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"Afterschool programs make a difference in children's lives and contribute to their academic success," said Biloxi Councilmember Bill Stallworth. "Participation in quality programs can help them succeed in school and stimulate their educational aspirations for the 21st century."

New Afterschool Collaborations

Faced with scarce resources, city and other key community stakeholders in Biloxi and Bogalusa have stepped up to a new level of collaboration to address unmet needs and sustain afterschool programs over time. Municipal leaders, NEA and its affiliates, school district officials, Boys and Girls Clubs and other community groups and social service agencies have joined together to create local plans for afterschool and to enhance existing programs.

"Administrators in Bogalusa recognize the value of afterschool programs to continue learning after the traditional school day." said Ruth Horne, superintendent of Bogalusa City Schools. …

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