Archive | September, 2012

Celebrate Lights on Afterschool October 18th 2012

26 Sep

Each October more than one million Americans and thousands of communities nationwide celebrate Lights on Afterschool to shine a light on the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. By hosting a program, organizations are celebrating the good works of afterschool programs. This year’s Lights on Afterschool will occur on October 18th. In Florida, more than 400 afterschool programs plan to participate and have registered celebrations with the Afterschool Alliance.

For the seventh year, the Florida Afterschool Network in partnership with Bright House Networks has provided $10,000 in funding grants to eight deserving afterschool programs. Awarded through a competitive RFP process, each organizations was asked to provide details on the event and why they were deserving of the grant.

Recipients of the grants include the Boys and Girls Club of Citrus County, the Science Center of Pinellas County, Brevard Public Schools, the Boys and Girls Club of Martin County, the City of Hialeah, Pasco County Schools, Prime Time Palm Beach County and the YMCA of Northwest Florida.

Why are these events important? In Florida, 750,000 kids in grades K-12 are responsible for taking care of themselves after school. By shining light on the benefits of afterschool programs, we hope to receive more funding in order to serve more school age children. The Florida Afterschool Network and Bright House Networks encourage all afterschool providers to help celebrate Lights on Afterschool on October 18th.

Florida Afterschool Network (FAN)

The mission of the Florida Afterschool Network is to provide unified leadership to advocate for the development, enhancement and sustainability of innovative, high quality afterschool programs and policies statewide. The Florida Afterschool Network joined a national initiative dedicated to afterschool programs with funding in 2005 by the Charles S. Mott Foundation.

Bright House Network

Bright House Networks has long been a supporter of organizations that provide services to children and families, and recognized as being a good corporate citizen. Bright House employees take great pride in working, mentoring and serving the needs of others in their communities. Bright House is privileged to partner with FAN in celebrating Lights on Afterschool.

Lights on Afterschool

Lights On Afterschool is a nationwide event that recognizes the critical importance of quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, their families and communities. It is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, the only organization dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and advocating for more afterschool investments. The Afterschool Alliance works with the Administration, the U.S. Congress, governors, mayors and advocates across the country. Today the Afterschool Alliance boasts more than 25,000 afterschool program partners and their publications reach more than 65,000 interested individuals every month. More information on the Alliance and Lights On Afterschool is available at

Mark Your Calendars for September 22, 2012: FAN to be featured on American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen

20 Sep

Please mark your calendars for September 22, 2012 and tune into your local public television station for the airing of a critically important program, titled American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen. The Florida Afterschool Network will be featured at 5:53 p.m.

American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen is a multi-year public media initiative, supported by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), to help local communities identify and implement solutions to the high school dropout crisis. We know that Public Broadcasting has a long history improving educational outcomes for high-need students and communities. The dropout crisis demands attention now, and Public Broadcasting has risen to the challenge to address this national problem.

In Tallahassee, WFSU will showcase 10 local organizations and the work it is doing on a community level to help students stay in school until graduation. In addition to the Florida Afterschool Network, others in the include Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend, 211 Big Bend, 50 Large of Leon County, The United Way of the Big Bend, Communities in Schools, The Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend, Distinguished Young Gentlemen, The Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend and Take Stock in Children program. Each of these organizations strives to engage children and families with the goal of helping them live successful productive lives. In order to do that, these organizations need ongoing community support whether it be financial or volunteer and mentoring.

Kim Kelling-Engstrom, Director of Educational Services, WFSU TV, and a Florida Afterschool Network Champion, was kind enough to include (FAN) as a partner agency. The FAN segment will air at 5:53. Please take some time out of your day to watch this important and timely program.

With special guests including Michael Powell, representing America’s Promise Alliance, and PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez, the national television broadcast will air live on public television stations from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. EST on Sept. 22 on WFSU-TV. The event will feature 20 national organizations that are working with local public media stations to help young people stay in school and on track for on-time graduation, segments about local community groups, compelling stories from students themselves, and highlights from PBS national and local content – from PBS NewsHour and Need to Know to Jim Glassman’s Ideas in Action and Tavis Smiley Reports: Too Important To Fail. The broadcast will also include the premiere of a new student film from Reel Works New York and a preview of the upcoming FRONTLINE documentary, Dropout Nation.

Don’t miss the chance to vote in 2012!

6 Sep

If you support children being our state’s highest priority, then the most powerful tool you have in making that possible is your vote! So, to ensure that each of us speaks up on behalf of all children, The Children’s Movement has partnered with TurboVote, an online platform that makes voter registration “as easy as renting a DVD from Netflix.”

Please know that The Children’s Movement and TurboVote are fully non-partisan, and the platform complies with all election laws. Here’s how it all works:

  • If you’re not yet registered to vote – Complete the forms online
  • If you’re already registered – Sign up for election reminders
  • If you want to vote from home – Request an absentee ballot.
  • If you register, re-register or request an absentee ballot, you will then receive a completed registration form along with a pre-addressed envelope with the correct postage. Then, just sign it and mail it.

It’s that simple! So, click here to sign up. And once you see how simple TurboVote is to use, please be sure to share this with your family and friends. Remember: Kids can’t vote, but we can.