NORTH CAROLINA - North Carolina’s governor committed $20 million in March 2020 relief funds for state-level grants to the Department of Education to support at risk students with additional supports such as afterschool programming.
NORTH DAKOTA - North Dakota’s Department of Public Instruction has developed “Accelerating Learning Recovery Proposals” with a number of ideas and strategies districts can use to support students. Page 14 of the document focuses on out-of-school time learning. In addition to the document requesting legislative actions appropriating funds for this purpose, the guide also mentions the use of ESSER funds for OST programs, including funding stipends and staff support, professional development, and curriculum. This section also notes these programs “would allow school districts to offer after school supports to students who need learning recovery in a fun and supportive environment.”
OREGON – In March 2021, Governor Kate Brown made a commitment to summer learning and child care in a restorative funding package worth about $325 million, including $75 million in federal funds. The package includes $90 million in Summer Enrichment and Academic Program Grants for K-8 students to include culturally relevant programming through school districts and partners with enrichments and attention to social, emotional and mental health supports, and $72 million in Summer Academic Support Grants for high school students. Moreover, $40 million in grants will be specifically reserved for community-based partners to provide enriching summer programming. An additional $30 million in School Child Care Grants will go to encourage partnerships between Title I schools and Tribes and community-based partners that can help provide important wrap around services.
VERMONT - Governor Phil Scott established a partnership with his Statewide Afterschool Network (Vermont Afterschool) and the Vermont Department of Mental Health to host a Virtual Youth Summit to help inform the state’s response and recovery efforts. Vermont’s work continues to build on a foundation established before the pandemic to develop afterschool for all in the state, and on commitments throughout 2020 to ensure programming remained available for school-age children in need of safe, connected spaces to learn during virtual school days. Vermont bill H 315 would follow these state commitments with a $4 million investment of ESSER funds for afterschool and summer learning programs.
CONNECTICUT - In Hartford, Superintendent Dr. Torres-Rodriguez is committed to working with community-based partners to provide enrichment, healthy peer relationships, positive youth development opportunities, and college and career readiness. She is establishing an “all-call” meeting for all community partners to discuss the districts vision for summer, including space, facilities, and ways they can work together to meet the needs of students. In an interview with Dean Thompson at the University of Hartford, Superintendent Torres-Rodriguez said, “I need help from our partners to help us help our students find joy and then begin to build their relationships again, not only with their peers, but with their community.”
OKLAHOMA - The school district in Tulsa pivoted early in the pandemic to working with community partners, including the Tulsa Opportunity Project and Tulsa United Way, to help support families with remote learning, meals, and access to resources. In summer 2021 and the following school year, the district is continuing to coordinate with partners and working to offer free summer and afterschool opportunities that combine learning and enrichment, as well as credit for older students, to all learners.
CALIFORNIA - In San Francisco, the mayor worked with the Department of Children, Youth and their Families, the Recreation and Parks Department, libraries and community-based agencies to establish the Community Hub Initiative to support students across the city during virtual and hybrid learning. The model leverages the connections community providers have with families to reach out to eligible participants, specifically prioritizing the most in-need demographic groups. This summer, the city is leveraging city funds with a philanthropic gift to continue to expand on the model through a Summer Together Initiative. The new initiative includes the city, school district and community organization to provide students impacted by learning loss with “meaningful, fun, and academic integrated programming and experiences.”
WISCONSIN - In Madison, the city was able to lean on a pre-existing collaborative organization between the city, county, metropolitan school district and more than 45 youth serving providers, known as Madison Out of School Time (MOST), to coordinate throughout the pandemic. MOST worked with participating programs to provide meals, snacks, nurses for COVID-19 screenings, and social workers, among other resources.
MARYLAND - In Gaithersburg, a youth program called Identity worked to identify students who seemed disconnected, emotionally withdrawn, and struggling to create a “study bubble” within its learning hub programming to ensure these students received additional attention to stay engaged and healthy. The program also runs a Safety Ambassadors program, during which students receive seven weeks of training to become peer educators on COVID and related resources, offering a good opportunity for English language learning students to practice their English skills and include as experience on their future resumes
MARYLAND - In Prince George’s County a non-profit arts provider, Joe’s Movement Emporium, stepped up during the pandemic to support the children of essential workers with programming during the virtual school day and over the summer. The program also integrated movement into school’s online learning programs and found increased levels of engagement as a result. As the school system reopens, the community-based organization is communicating with school-day teachers on how to continue to provide students with movement-based learning, aiming to establish a continued partnership between the school and partners that bring additional enrichment and engagement for students, as well as new types of professional development for school day staff.
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In Washington, D.C. the Fishing School, an afterschool program funded as a 21st Century Community Learning Center, recognized the need for supporting their program participants across the school day in addition to the traditional afterschool hours of 3 to 6 PM. Because the program was already working closely with the principals of the four Title I schools which it served, it was able to work with the schools to identify which students were struggling to connect with online learning and provide additional individual and small group tutoring combined with their regular engaging programming. Pandemic-related flexibility in the 21st CCLC law has allowed the program to expand outreach of comprehensive academic and enrichment services to more students at additional Title I schools in their district as well.