When President Trump unveiled his budget priorities for 2018, our organization knew it was time to kick it into high gear. The fear of the elimination of millions of dollars in federal funding for out-of-school time (OST) programming became a reality.
It is up to us, as out-of-school time representatives, to advocate on behalf of OST programming across the country. At
Michigan City Area Schools Safe Harbor,
we moved quickly to determine what advocacy should look like in our community. We revised our social media strategy to focus on spreading the word of the effectiveness of our program. We created updated advocacy literature and data. We created
to humanize this issue. The videos feature students, parents, law enforcement officials, and administrators providing testimonial as to why Afterschool works for them. We also put together an advocacy presentation to present around our community- at Rotary Club Meetings, MCAS School Board Meetings, and to Regional Coalition.
Then, I was presented with an opportunity to travel to Washington DC to join the Afterschool Alliance and Indiana Afterschool Network in the nationwide advocacy effort. I eagerly accepted the offer and traveled to DC to take part in the 2017 Afterschool for All Challenge. While in DC, I had the opportunity to present proof of afterschool efficacy to Senators and Congressmen on both sides of the aisle. The Afterschool Alliance and Indiana Afterschool Network made sure that I had all of the information and training that I needed in order to effectively communicate the many ways in which afterschool works. I left DC rejuvenated, inspired, and comforted in the realization that I am not alone in this effort. I am a part of a network of OST representatives fighting everyday to advocate on behalf of our students, our programs, and our future.
What will you do to advocate and create a voice for yourself and afterschool in your community?