By Richard Bammer
Tom Torlakson, the state’s superintendent of public instruction, Tuesday urged Congress to reject President Trump’s federal education budget proposal, which includes cuts that he described as “deep” to teacher training, after school programs, mental health services, advanced coursework, among others.
“I give this budget an ‘F’ grade for failing public school students in California and across the nation,” Torlakson, who leads the country’s largest public school system with more than 6.2 million students, said in a press release. “We need to invest more in our public schools, not slash away at programs that help students succeed.”
A former East Bay high school science teacher and athletics coach, he noted that the proposed federal education budget heads in a completely different direction than the California approach to education funding.
Source: State school leader gives fed ed budget proposal a failing grade
Girls on the Run, an after-school life-skills and running program in Benicia is looking for two to three positive, energetic women to volunteer at Matthew Turner Elementary School.The life-coach volunteers will use a pre-written curriculum to facilitate discussions, activities and running or walking to a small group of third-to-fifth-grade girls, to bring about a greater sense of self-confidence, health and joy. Topics include the true meaning of beauty from the inside, kindness, eating healthy and stopping gossip, celebrating your uniqueness and how to stand up to bullies.
The season culminates with a non-competitive 5k fun run & a community impact project.Girls on the Run will meet at Matthew Turner Elementary twice a week for 10 weeks after school from March through mid-May, and can only host the program if volunteers jump in to be trained and supported by our fun, healthy organization.
Source: Afterschool running program looking for volunteers
By Daily Republic Staff
Local high school students are invited to join the Solano County 4-H Science, Engineering and Technology program.
Teens will be trained to teach science in teams to elementary school children in after-school programs. Training sessions are from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Nov. 19 and 1 to 8 p.m. Nov. 20 at the 4-H office, 501 Texas St.. Teens must participate both days.
Source: 4-H program seeks Solano high school students for training
By Richard Bammer
Young Vallejo public school children who attend an after-school program will be the beneficiaries of reading clubs thanks to a grant from the Solano Community Foundation.
The Fairfield-based foundation on Thursday announced a first-of-its-kind grant, $6,404, to the Vallejo City Unified School District for its after-school program (ASES), to set up reading clubs for some 750 second-, third- and fourth-graders.
The money was made available through the foundation’s Education Plus! Grant Program and will pay for the purchase of e-book licenses for 11 elementary schools.
The e-books include many nonfiction titles to support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) learning in after-school reading. Students will read the e-books using the iPads the district bought last spring 2016, paid for by City of Vallejo Measure B funds.
Source: Solano Community Foundation awards grant to Vallejo after-school program
By Daily Republic Staff
The Frank H. and Eva B. Buck Foundation has given $325,000 to be used for education grants by the Solano Community Foundation.
The grants will be available to nonprofits that provide such services as after-school and summer learning programs, the Solano Community Foundation reported Thursday.
Money will be disbursed through the Education Plus! Grant Fund.
Source: Buck Foundation shifts $325,000 to Solano Community Foundation
By Jennifer Peck and David Plank
When we think of school we too often picture rows of students sitting quietly at their desks, listening to the teacher or reading a textbook. This familiar image of a quiet classroom and docile students is and should be increasingly outdated. The state’s new Common Core and Next Generation science standards require teachers to teach and students to learn in more dynamic ways. They raise the bar for subject-matter knowledge in English, math and science.
These standards also aim to ensure that students engage in deeper learning by focusing on what are sometimes called “the four C’s:” communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking. These are skills that are essential for success in today’s job market that cannot be nurtured if students are sitting quietly in rows in the classroom.
California’s new Common Core standards and a growing body of research are driving increased interest in social-emotional learning as an essential component of student success. Without skills like the ability to manage stress, to empathize with people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and to engage successfully in the small-group work required for deeper learning, students cannot be successful. And, unless educators work actively to help students develop these skills, schools will not be able to deliver on the broader set of Local Control Funding Formula priorities that the state has adopted, promoting positive and productive school climates.
Source: Summer and after-school programs can promote social and emotional learning | EdSource
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced the winners of a new award, the Distinguished After School Health (DASH) program certificate, which recognizes programs that excel in providing health education, nutrition, and physical activities for their students.
The California Department of Education (CDE) released a list of 187 schools statewide that received the certificate. The list is posted on the CDE Web site and will help parents and students locate and apply to DASH programs in their school districts.
“These terrific after school programs show students the many benefits of good nutrition and exercise and will help our students achieve success,” said Torlakson, who started his public service career as a science teacher and coach. “Students who eat right and stay fit will do better in class.”
In 2014, Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) authored SB 949, which required CDE to develop a process for determining DASH standards and recognition. CDE assembled a panel of volunteers to screen the applications for alignment with the goals outlined in Jackson’s legislation.
Source: New After School Program Award – Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)
By Susan Frey
A survey of after-school program providers found that 29 percent of respondents – including large programs such as LA’s BEST and THINK Together – say they are likely to close in the next two years without an increase in the daily reimbursement rate from the state.
More than 86 percent of providers said they were having trouble providing quality staff, and two-thirds said their programs had a waiting list, according to the survey by the Oakland-based advocacy group Partnership for Children & Youth.
Each year, more than 400,000 students in over 4,000 elementary and middle schools participate in these programs, which are located primarily in high-poverty neighborhoods. The programs offer tutoring, sports and enrichment activities such as arts and science projects. They also provide a safe place for elementary and middle school children while their parents are working.
Source: Some after-school program providers say flat funding may cause them to close | EdSource
By Glen Faison
An outdoors family style lobster feast returns to Fairfield later this month – and it’s not too late to get tickets to the event that supports an award-winning mobile after-school recreation and nutrition program.
The third annual Lobster Boil is a signature event for the Fairfield-Suisun Twilight Rotary Club. Proceeds benefit the city’s Fun on the Run program, which is funded through the Fairfield Community Services Foundation.
Fun on the Run delivers various recreational and healthy food offerings to children in low-income areas of the city.
via Some tickets available for lobster feast to benefit after-school program.
By Irma Widjojo
More girls in Vallejo and Benicia will have an opportunity to be a part of an after-school program that promotes health and life skills.
The Napa County-based Girls on The Run is expanding its reach to more Solano County schools for their third to eighth graders.
This school year the program will be offered at Steffan Manor and Grace Patterson elementary schools and Loma Vista Environmental Science Academy in Vallejo. Meanwhile in Benicia, it will be offered at Matthew Turner Elementary School.
Last year, the program was already offered at Steffan Manor and Grace Patterson.
“Two years ago we decided to expand to Solano County,” said April Massett, Solano County coordinator of the program. “We heard from parents and administrators who are familiar with our program that they want to bring it to Solano County.”
The 10-week program prepares the girls for a 5K running event while teaching them life skills by incorporating discussion sessions.
via New after-school program for girls introduced in Vallejo, Benicia.
By Susan Frey
Even as California is promoting higher quality standards for its after-school programs, state leaders have rejected a proposal to provide cost-of-living increases for the programs – despite a rising minimum wage, higher employee health care costs and newly mandated sick leave for staff that are putting the squeeze on providers.
Since 2006, when the After School Education and Safety Act was first implemented to provide guaranteed funding for after-school programs, California has invested $550 million each year in after-school programs, more than any other state. But the law limits funding to about $7.50 per pupil each day for a program that must stay open until 6 p.m. on school days and operate a minimum of 15 hours a week.
via Flat funding threatens push for quality after-school programs | EdSource.
By Susan Frey
Advocates for after-school programs will be holding a national summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday to build opposition to a plan to eliminate $1.15 billion in federal funding for after-school and summer programs.
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, has proposed ending 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants to states. He is the chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions. The committee is revising the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), often referred to as No Child Left Behind, which includes the community learning center funding.
The committee’s revision is expected to be presented to the Senate on April 13, said Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C., which is taking part in the summit.
via After-school, summer program funding threatened | EdSource#.VRGL3WctHGg#.VRGL3WctHGg.
By Susan Winlow
The nonprofit after-school program The Leaven welcomes three new directors effective this month.
The new appointees include Chick-fil-A operator Annette Forney; in-service operations director at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom David Zellner; and Mat Fratus, the city of Rialto’s fire chief. The Leaven, which is based in Fairfield, has an active program in Southern California and Fratus is the first board appointment from that area.
Peter Gaudet and Kris Williams will leave the board due to term expiration.
via The Leaven welcomes new board appointments Daily Republic.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced today that California leads the nation in after school programs, placing first among all states in a national survey released Thursday by the Afterschool Alliance [http://afterschoolalliance.org/index.cfm] .
“The good news is, because we have followed through on our long-term commitment to invest in our children, California has the largest network of after school programs in the country,” Torlakson said. “These programs are helping our children learn and stay safe after school, while helping working parents keep their jobs. The challenge is that many more children still need to be served.”
Torlakson celebrated California’s number one ranking with students, parents, community leaders, and advocates Thursday in a visit to the after school program at Roy Romer Middle School in North Hollywood.
The Alliance gave California its top ranking in the 2014 edition of its “America After 3PM [http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/AA3PM] ” survey, singling the state out for both strong participation among students and high satisfaction with after school programs among parents. It found that expanded learning participation in California had increased to 25 percent, compared to 19 percent in 2009, with more than 1.6 million students enrolled.
via California #1 in Preschool Programs – Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education).
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today praised Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. for signing Senate Bill 1221, sponsored by State Senator Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, which will improve the quality of after school and expanded learning programs and encourage more programs to operate year-round.
“Strengthening and increasing access to after school and expanded learning programs is a top priority,” Torlakson said. “High-quality programs help students succeed inside and outside the classroom by improving school attendance and academic success, while reducing high school dropout rates and juvenile crime.”
The legislation is just one part of Torlakson’s effort to upgrade expanded learning programs, which include before and after school, summer and intersession programs focused on developing the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of students.
via Bill to Improve After School and Expanded Learning – Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education).
SACRAMENTO—Far from being lost time, the hours after school and during summer can be opportunities for students to build on what they learn in the classroom, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said today as he released a new set of standards that define expectations for California’s high-quality expanded learning programs.
Expanded learning refers to summer, intersession, and before and after school programs. Research on expanded learning programs shows a positive effect on student attendance at school, reduced high school dropout rates, reduced juvenile crime, and increased academic success for students. Shortly after taking office in 2011, Torlakson created an After School Division at the California Department of Education charged with improving and expanding these learning opportunities for students.
via New After School Standards – Year 2014 (CA Dept of Education).
By Ryan Chalk
Two area nonprofit organizations are working together to make sure that young children in one of Vacaville’s underprivileged neighborhoods get much needed after school tutoring and mentoring.
Last week, The Leaven quietly opened its first after-school tutoring and mentoring center in Vacaville in a densely populated, but predominantly low income neighborhood on Bennett Hill Court. The new center, which adds to a network of similar programs installed in troubled neighborhoods in Fairfield, Suisun City, and Rialto in Southern California, has become part of a centerpiece of the Vacaville neighborhood, as it took up residence in the newly opened Opportunity House.
via The Leaven program expands to Vacaville – The Reporter.
The After School Education and Safety (ASES) Program is the result of the 2002 voter-approved initiative, Proposition 49. These programs are created through partnerships between schools and local community resources to provide literacy, academic enrichment and safe, constructive alternatives for students in kindergarten through ninth grade. Funding is designed to: (1) maintain existing before and after school program funding; and (2) provide eligibility to all elementary and middle schools that submit quality applications throughout California. The Renewal application is for existing grant recipients who wish to continue funding at existing levels. The Universal application is for new applicants and for existing grant recipients who wish to increase funding. Approximately $10 million in funding is available for ASES Universal grants. The remaining funds are obligated for on-going grants funded via the Renewal application.
via RFA: After School Education and Safety (CA Dept of Education).
By Susan Frey
A new report shares lessons from national experts on how to best expand access to high-quality after-school programs, and emphasizes the important role of cities in providing these programs, particularly in high-poverty neighborhoods.
Committed leadership, data-sharing and citywide collaboration between program providers are the keys to more and better programs for youth, according to Better Together: Building Local Systems to Improve Afterschool. The report, released on Tuesday and funded by The Wallace Foundation, is based on best practices shared at a conference that took place in Baltimore in February. Representatives from more than 50 communities, including Contra Costa County, Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco, participated in the conference.
via Collaboration is key for quality after-school programs, report says | EdSource Today.
FAIRFIELD — Fairview Elementary School fourth-grader T’kai Smith begged and pleaded with her after-school Kids Corner teachers to take a field trip to the Daily Republic.
Last year, she and her fellow Kids Corner students finally got to take that trip, visiting everything from the newsroom to the printing press.
Homework instructor Verdell Cray had each of her first- through fifth-graders write a letter to the editor in thanks. Smith wrote the following:
“Dear Editor: Thanks for the tour. It was awesome. I want to come there more than 50 times. Can we come again? If yes, thanks. From T’kai Smith.”
via Students write positive letters to the editor.