Celebrate the #heartofafterschool!

The Indiana Afterschool Network is joining the National AfterSchool Association in celebrating the professionals that are at the heart of afterschool programs during the Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week.

An estimated 10.2 million children participate in afterschool programs each year. Today, afterschool programs are viewed as much more than just childcare. They are widely credited as the way to enhance education in STEM, literacy, the arts, social and emotional learning, health and wellness, and more. With that demand comes increased responsibility on the estimated 850,000 professionals who are making a difference in the lives of our children. 

We Believe Afterschool Professionals Make a Difference in the Life of a Child

Join us in thanking the afterschool professionals in your life! 
Some ideas on how you can show your appreciation:
  • An email to the staff member's manager or administrator
  • Awards for specific areas of strength of staff members (Best Communicator with Parents, STEM Star Award, Most Positive, etc.)
  • Hand-written cards from you and/or your child
  • Make treats for the staff at your afterschool program
  • Spread the message! Use the hashtag #HEARTOFAFTERSCHOOL to share your appreciation of the afterschool professionals in your life.

For more resources and information check out

Celebrating Indiana Afterschool Professionals
and Indiana Program Champions!

As a part of the 2017 Summit on Out-of-School Learning on April 10-11, six finalists were selected from 30+ programs nominated from across the state, and honored for making strides in the following areas:
  • Partnerships between afterschool professionals and teachers working together to advance youth learning.
  • Building trusting relationships among afterschool and school leaders.
  • Linking in and out of school procedures, policies and curriculum.
  • Leveraging school and afterschool resources to make a bigger impact.
Boom Squad, Inc. 
Winner of the 2017 Out-of-School Time Champion Award

Boom Squad, Inc. is a year round afterschool-out of school youth development organization that serves 215 students and represents 41 schools. This Evansville performing drum line focuses on delinquency prevention, academic achievement, and family development by providing an arts-based percussion program. The program provides percussion training, early intervention, community involvement, role modeling, social support, and educational experiences to combat juvenile delinquency and negative attention in the school system.

Concrete Program Results:
  • Documented decrease in delinquent behavior, improved attitudes toward school, and strengthened resistance to peer pressure
  • 98% high school graduation rate
  • 52% college entrance rate
Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis
Second Place 2017 Out-of-School Time Champion Award

On partnerships between afterschool professionals and teachers working together to advance youth learning: "By working together with schools to provide programs, we ensure we are being adaptive to each school's needs. We have developed strong relationships with our school partners such that we provide multiple programs for them each school year, and work with them year after year. Our programs easily fit within their daily time constraints. By working together with 96 partners, we are able to reach more girls in our community that need our services.

Concrete Program Results:
  • 68% of program partners recognized girls having more positive relationships with peers. 
  • 63% saw improved self-image/self-esteem/confidence in girls. 
  • 51% saw more positive relationships with adults. 

ArtMix's Urban Artisans program supports young adults, ages 16-22 in the transition from school to the workplace.  Students with and without disabilities learn transferable, pre-vocational skills through making, marketing, and selling artwork in a professional artist studio. In November of 2015 the Urban Artisans program was honored with the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award. This award recognizes the country's best out-of-school creative youth development programs for increasing academic achievement, high school graduation rates and college enrollment. ArtMix has responded to this success by leveraging the award to earn publicity for the program and its impact on youth with disabilities.

Boys & Girls Club of Huntington

"The Greatest" program helps in decreasing young, teen men from engaging in at risk behaviors. Every young man who was a participant in The Greatest had a father who had been incarcerated at some point was battled some form of substance abuse, putting this young men at an even greater likelihood of engaging in at-risk behaviors. In the Greatest the boys were provided an environment in which to safely explore their relationships with their fathers, and to consider what choices and experiences led their father's to their current predicaments.

Concrete Program Results:
  • 90 % Increased GPA during fall semester 
  • 90% Currently employed 
  • 100% Involved in one or more extra-curricular activities 
  • 100% Avoidance of incidents with law enforcement
Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Joseph County- Harrison

On building trusting relationships among afterschool and school leaders: "Positive working relationships are key to having a successful program. We cannot control what happens in school or at home.  But if we build solid relationships among school, home and the after school program then we can truly create a community that allows children to thrive not only academically, but socially and emotionally."

Robinson Community Learning Center at University of Notre Dame

An estimated 600 participants come through the doors of the Center each week for regular programming. The Center also partners with the community schools in the Michiana area, with program outreach that connects with nearly 8,000 additional youth per year. This level of outreach is only possible due to strong and intentional relationships with community partners and the shared resources of the University and community.

Indiana Afterschool Network 317-822-8211