blog

Helping Kids to Spring Forward—Our Afterschool Advantage!

nancyafterschoolblogSAY San Diego’s commitment to enriching the lives of children and youth, supporting their healthy development, and making life a bit easier for working families includes our major extended-learning programs before and after school. All facts point to the resulting afterschool advantage. Effective afterschool programs, like ours, boost academic performance, particularly in the key areas of reading and math. They also improve attendance, school engagement, personal aspirations, and positive health outcomes—including improved diet and exercise habits, healthy peer relationships, graduating high school, and attending post-secondary school—while reducing risk factors.[i]

Tenee Burton, who was a “SAY San Diego afterschool kid” and is currently a SAY afterschool program Site Supervisor, tells us, “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing children reach milestones. They learn that they can be something.” Her words underscore our unique afterschool advantage; SAY Site Supervisors “stick” with the same program for more than four years, on average, and really get to know our children and families. This means they contribute to and see many milestones achieved—academic and social—as children are with them from grade to grade. There’s no question that working families and businesses derive benefits when their children have a safe place to go while parents are at work. Without afterschool support, parents miss an average of eight days of work per year, a hardship for many families and for our economy.[ii]

SAY San Diego proudly serves more than 3,500 children every day, from Kindergarten through Grade 8, in 42 afterschool programs. We know that growing up and raising children can be complicated, even under ideal circumstances, which means that afterschool support is critically important for children with special needs, as well as those who may be facing hard times. We make every effort to respond to each and every child’s unique strengths and circumstances.  And SAY is not alone. We partner with many after-school allies.

Afterschool allies join with SAY San Diego to provide financial and programming support and include San Diego Unified School District, thousands of parents, and private donors. Afterschool allies also include the volunteers, interns, and community partners who enrich the lives of our afterschool kids and their families. We are most fortunate to have regular community partners such as the fire department, police department, Arts for Learning, San Diego County Office of Education, the SAY-STEM Community of Practice Team, The Century Club Champions for Youth, UBS Financial Services Inc., and many others who join with us to provide programming. It’s all for the kids!

 To learn about the critical difference afterschool programs can make in the middle school years, read our latest blog. For more information on SAY San Diego afterschool programs, visit our PrimeTime and Extended Day Program pages.

SAY’s afterschool programs are going through a leadership transition given the planned retirement of our long-time, dedicated Vice President of Child and Youth Development, Sandy Johnson. Sandy has left a wonderful program to build upon. See our job posting for a new VP.

If you are interested in becoming an Afterschool Ally by contributing financial support, please email our CEO, Nancy Gannon Hornberger, or call 858-565-4148, ext. 234.

[i] http://youth.gov/youth-topics/afterschool-programs/benefits-youth-families-and-communities.

[ii] Ibid.