Many years ago, I arrived at a middle school to evaluate an after school program. As with all site visits, I checked in to the school office and asked where the after school program was located. They were unsure of which “after school program” I was actually looking for.
This school, like most, had over a dozen programs happening simultaneously throughout their campus during after school hours. I found the state-funded after school program (that I was on campus to evaluate) and quickly learned that the school also had a tutoring club, dance program, Girl Scouts, and a plethora of other enrichment programs available to students during after school hours. Each was a separate program, without a cohesive or collaborative communication plan, or a strategy to work together to benefit the students effectively.
In another instance, I was having dinner with a colleague who bemoaned to me the struggle she was having with fulfilling the required objectives and expectations of a federal mentoring grant she was facilitating at a local middle school. She wasn’t even close to meeting her attendance requirements and didn’t have money within the grant to purchase food for the students. It seemed inevitable that she would have to return some of the grant funds since the daily attendance requirements weren’t being met.
I was familiar with this particular middle school because they also had an After School Education and Safety (ASES) grant from the state that was also struggling to meet their attendance requirements for their grant. This school had two grant-funded programs happening on the same campus at the same time, but staff overseeing the programs had never met or talked with each other. They didn’t even know the other program existed.
This is a common scenario at many schools. Multiple programs happen on the same campus, yet all of them work (and struggle, alone) in their silos of funding.
Despite our funding cycles, we as out-of-school time professionals all serve and support the same families, children, and youth within the same communities.
That’s why BOOST Collaborative is committed to supporting all of you in the out-of-school time hours with opportunities for networking and partnerships, quality professional development, and leadership training.
BOOST Collaborative has created a poster to identify all of the stakeholders with our shared message: TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Click here to fill out your email address, and download a TOGETHER WE MAKE A DIFFERENCE poster to hang in your classroom, program, or office space.
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