Our friends at Learning in Afterschool and Summer recently interviewed thought-leaders regarding how they viewed the opportunities and the challenges to afterschool moving forward.
Here's what they had to say!
COREY NEWHOUSE, PUBLIC PROFIT EMERGING TRENDS/ OPPORTUNITIES: There are more and more options for expanded learning programs to specialize in certain kinds of practices, whether STEM, arts, CTE, culturally sustaining practice, and so on. How they navigate among these choices is an open question for me, and possibly an opportunity for additional support and guidance. CHALLENGES: Challenges include a strong economy that creates more competition for talent, minimum wage laws in many cities and states, plus AB 5 in California. The cost pressures on programs continue to increase, and philanthropies are lessening their support for expanded learning rather than increasing it. Also, the distinction between social and emotional learning and positive youth development practices can use more clarification, especially from a practice perspective.
JEFF DAVIS, CALIFORNIA AFTERSCHOOL NETWORK EMERGING TRENDS/ OPPORTUNITIES: The vision described here is THE FUTURE. In 2020 and beyond, the Expanded Learning field will leverage the Science of Learning and Development to strengthen the case and strengthen our practice that we create the conditions necessary for youth to thrive. Expanded Learning programs are also serving communities that have a lot of needs. In 2020 and beyond Expanded Learning programs will partner better with health, mental health, and social service sectors to offer relevant interventions when kids and families are in need of support beyond what we can provide in our programs. CHALLENGES: The rates that support Expanded Learning programs are still woefully insufficient and decision-makers such as legislators are becoming fatigued with the message that Expanded Learning programs need more investment to meet baseline operational costs, let alone live up to their true potential. 2020 will be another critical year to rally our staff, families, and communities to communicate clearly and with large numbers that Expanded Learning programs are worthy of investment.
REBECCA FABIANO, FAB YOUTH PHILLY
I'm thinking about:
The Census and its impact on Youth Programs/OST; also thinking about voter registration (of staff and participants/families). Equity and professional development (PD)- who gets to go to conferences for example, where do we invest our PD dollars in our organizations and in the field? The role of extended learning programs in addressing poverty (e.g, living wages, skills for 21st century employment, entrepreneurship).
Read what others have to say here.