Archive | October, 2011

Lannon Now A Board Member of FAN

21 Oct
The Florida Afterschool Network is pleased to announce Michael Lannon, Superintendent of Schools for St. Lucie County is now a Board Member. He is a longtime supporter of FAN and previously served on the Panel of Champions.
Lannon has more than 43 years of experience in education. Before coming to St. Lucie County, he served as the elected Superintendent of Monroe County School District. His work experience includes teaching in Los Angeles, teaching on the Navajo Indian Reservation in New Mexico, serving as Community School Coordinator, Assistant Principal at elementary and middle school levels, and Principal high school level. He serves on the Board of Directors and was past President of the Florida Association of District School Superintendents. He is an active member of the Governors Board for the American Association of School Administrators. He was also the 2007 Florida Superintendent of the Year.
He serves on the boards of the Economic Development Council, United Way of St. Lucie County, Workforce Development Board, St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce, Children’s Services Council, Early Learning Coalition, The Alliance of the Treasure Coast and the Education Foundation of St. Lucie County.
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Optional Flexibility Waiver Threatens Quality After School Programs: A Message from FAN Executive Director Larry Larry Pintacuda

16 Oct

Hello Friends,

For more than 10 years, Florida afterschool providers have been working together with the Florida Department of Education to build first-rate 21st Century Community Learning Centers across Florida. We have created quality standards, trained staff and leaders, and linked to national research and stakeholders. We have explored the best ways to learn in the afterschool hours, built strong partnerships with schools and a wide variety of community partners, and found ways to serve and engage families.

Through these efforts, Florida has developed an exemplary 21st CCLC program which is focused on continuous improvement, as well as fun, hands-on engaged learning for our students. Students who participate in 21st CCLC programs throughout the state are offered opportunities to conduct science experiments, solve hands-on and real-world math problems, develop reading skills, engage in meaningful service learning, work with mentors, learn musical instruments, play sports, learn to paint, sculpt and dance, and have other experiences that change and shape their lives forever.

Currently we are facing a potential threat to the funding we have been working so hard to obtain. The Optional Flexibility Waiver provision is included as part of the President Obama’s No Child Left Behind waiver announcement. This provision could fundamentally alter the purpose of the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program by allowing these funds (Title IV, Part B of NCLB) to be used to add time to the regular school day without providing guidance on how such time would be used.

We recognize that though this voluntary waiver will provide educators and State and local leaders with flexibility regarding specific requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), unlike the other waiver provisions, the expanded learning time provision could significantly and negatively impact federal afterschool program funding.

Successful afterschool programs are effective not only because of the scope of academic and personal development services provided, but because these services are provided at a time when the children who need this programming the most would be otherwise unsupervised, unsupported, and disengaged from meaningful enrichment. Allowing these funds to be used during the course of the regular school day would prevent these effective programs from providing either a full scope of valuable services or a safe place to learn and grow.

Much progress has been made to create quality afterschool programs. It is imperative that steps are not taken backwards. We are all dedicated to insuring our nation’s children are provided every opportunity to achieve at the highest academic levels. And while we have the same end in mind, it is imperative that we chart the best path to reach this goal. As Winston Churchill famously said, “Americans can always be counted on to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all other possibilities.”

We hope that rather than exhaust precious time and funds, Florida’s elected officials and educational executives will do the proverbial “right thing” and not “check the box” on the optional waiver, thereby allowing the 21st CCLC program to continue to operate in its current, successful form.

I have personally reached out to our elected officials and the head of the Department of Education voicing concerns of this program’s impact on after school program funding. We ask all our supporters to please support our effort to secure Florida’s 21st CCLC programs and ensure quality afterschool programming for the children of Florida who need it most.

Thanks for your support,
Larry

Lights on Afterschool Day: Proclamation by Governor Scott

10 Oct

WHEREAS, aferschool programs provide safe, challenging, engaging and fun learning experiences to help children and youth develop their social, emotional, physical, cultural and academic skills; and

WHEREAS, after school programs have provided significant leadership in the area of community involvement in the education and well-being of our youth, grounded in the principle that quality afterschool programs are key to helping our children become successful adults;

WHEREAS, Lights on Afterschool, the national celebration of afterschool programs aims to promote the importance of quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, families and communities; and

WHEREAS, more than 28 million children in the U.S. have parents who work outside the home,  and more than 14 million have no place to go after school; and

WHEREAS, many afterschool programs across the county are facing funding shortfalls so severe that they are being forced to close their doors and turn off their lights; and

WHEREAS, Florida is committed to investing in the health and safety of all young people by providing expanded learning opportunities that will help close the achievement gap and prepare young people to compete in the global economy.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Scott, Governor of the state of Florida, do hereby extend greetings and best wishes to all observing Oct. 20, 2011 as Lights on Afterschool Day.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have herento set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Florida to be affixed at Tallahassee, the Capitol, this 30th day of September, in the year two thousand eleven.

Before, During and After School: Florida KidCare is There

4 Oct

Good eating habits, exercise and sufficient sleep are just a few ways for kids to stay healthy. If you add quality health insurance with Florida KidCare to the mix, you have a recipe for children to be successful before, during and after school.

Florida KidCare is the state’s low-cost health insurance for children birth through age 18. The program has four components that address the needs of kids at every age and every income level.

There are currently about 1.9 million kids who receive services such as doctor visits, immunizations, dental care, prescriptions and much more. One of the best parts about the program is that all children in Florida can apply—regardless of income.

The amount families’ pay is based on household income and family size. Many pay $15 or $20 a month, but most pay nothing at all. Plus, we have a full-pay option available for households above twice the Federal Poverty Level or for a family of four, those making more than $44,000 per year.

After school officials, teachers, administrators and staff all have a responsibility to ensure that students have access to the resources that will help them excel – from crayons and paper to tutoring and health insurance, they all are equally important.

If there is a child in your after-school program without insurance, talk to his or her parents about applying for Florida KidCare. They can apply online at www.floridakidcare.org; print an application from the website and mail it to P.O. Box 980, Tallahassee, FL 32302-0980; or call 1-888-540-5437 to have an application mailed to them.