Is Your School an Afterschool Champion? 3 Steps

posted on Mon, Aug 14 2017 8:00 am by Daniel W. Hatcher, Director, Community Partnerships

The nation’s biggest rally for afterschool is coming up. If you are planning a Lights On Afterschool event, I know you’re looking for more champions to support your event. Linking up with your local school district builds momentum for afterschool and ensures your nutrition and physical activity best practices are reinforced throughout a child's day.

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is currently celebrating America’s Healthiest Schools – maybe your local school is even being recognized. Here are 3 steps to leverage your healthy afterschool efforts to strengthen school-community collaboration.

STEP 1: Help Your School Counterparts Stay Informed

Help keep your in-school colleagues “in the know” by inviting them to sign up for a National AfterSchool Association (NAA) membership. NAA is the voice of the afterschool profession and we regularly collaborate on resources and tools to ensure healthy afterschool is quality afterschool. Our most recent collaboration, "STEM and Wellness: A Powerful Equation for Equity" was just released. From their free Ambassador membership for entry level professionals to a $99 Executive membership designed for leaders, NAA is dedicated to building the afterschool profession.

STEP 2: Use ESSA to Make Your Voice Heard

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is a tremendous opportunity to advance student wellness in collaboration with your school district. Our Director of School Partnerships spells it out in How You Can Advance Student Wellness under ESSA. Implementing national standards for healthy afterschool is a challenge, use your lesson’s learned to inform policies like ESSA. Your voice is important and combined with your local school, it's much more powerful.

STEP 3:  Share Free Professional Development

Below are five recent blog articles on school-community collaboration. Use them to educate staff on the various ways to support school wellness goals while building support for afterschool. Consider sharing prior to your next staff meeting as pre-reading and discuss for 10-15 minutes or include in your staff newsletter or bulletin board.

Tips from 7 Experts on School-Community Collaboration

Be a School Health Hero for Teacher Appreciation Week: 4 Resources

#Partnerships with Purpose: PE Teachers & Twitter Chats

Apples and ACEs: Why Everyone Should Care About School Breakfast

School-Afterschool Collaboration: 4 Ideas to Try

BONUS: Attend a Free Virtual Training

To make it easier for schools and communities to access Healthier Generation tools and resources, we're offering a monthly webinar, Navigating the Healthy Out-of-School Time Initiative Website. Attendees will receive a complete introduction through a guided walkthrough and learn how to implement best practices for creating healthy out-of-school time environments.

Looking to inform your local school wellness policy? Consider these upcoming webinars:

Growing a Healthy Foundation for Learning: What's New in Local School Wellness Policies

Local Perspective on School Wellness Policy Implementation