Archive | March, 2012

Launch of the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project 2012

20 Mar

The Florida Afterschool Network invites you to join a growing community of people who are speaking out for school-community partnerships that provide opportunities for student success. We are seeking supporters who agree with the expanded learning principles below. Your name and/or organization will be part of a powerful cadre announced at the upcoming launch of the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project.

Dedicated to helping schools and communities leverage the time beyond school to accelerate student achievement by sharing research and best practices, this 50 state initiative is supported by a coalition of foundations led by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, including the Florida Afterschool Network.

Principles of Expanded Learning: Quality Expanded Learning and Afterschool opportunities will:
• Build upon school-community learning partnerships where teachers and school leaders work closely with community-based professionals, sharing a common vision, goals, leadership and professional development opportunities.
• Incorporate learning that is hands-on, engaging and helps children and youth gain the skills and knowledge they need for success in school and life.
• Add time for learning and enrichment that complements the school day.
• Engage family to participate in their children’s lives and learning.
• Utilize financial models that are affordable, scalable and sustainable.
• Link to meals and related learning supports for eligible children and youth and their families.

Please join the effort by lending your name. Sign on now at http://www.expandinglearning.org/signon/ . More opportunities to learn, share and engage will be announced soon.

I appreciate your early support.

Larry Pintacuda
Chief Executive Officer
Florida Afterschool Network

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Setback Does Not Stop Our Work – Next Session Can’t Come Fast Enough

13 Mar

After many long weeks and countless sleepless nights, we lost the non-siblings. The Tampa Bay Times nailed it in the editorial of March 1st 2012 when they called the Early Learning Bill (HB 5013) the “Latchkey Key Kid Creation Act.” Despite the last ditch efforts of Claudia Davant, Jack Cory, Steve Wilkerson and Ted Granger, we were not successful in having the legislature maintain non-siblings of low income “working families” as a school readiness eligible category this session. I use the words “this session” because we will be successful in having non-siblings of low income “working families” reinstated as an eligible group next session!

So here is where we stand for FY 2012/2013:

• The current 32,000 afterschool children enrolled in the school readiness program are grandfathered in. They will have their eligibility re-determined under the current statutory criteria.
• Siblings of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers enrolled in the school readiness program maintain their eligibility.

FAN will immediately pull together a small planning group to develop strategies for getting this turned around next session. Among the strategies will be:

• Messaging
• Data
• Pre-election and post-election initiatives (During the election we need to ask incumbent and challenger(s) their stance on this specific issue)
• Increased funding opportunities
• Substantive legislation development
• Key executive branch and legislative targets
• Major Business consortiums

This is certainly not an all-inclusive list, but a few quick thoughts to tell you initial thinking. While we are all disappointed, this set back will not discourage us. We will keep fighting for our children!

Next session can’t come fast enough!

Larry Pintacuda
Chief Executive Officer
Florida Afterschool Network