Coalition for Community Schools - Because Every Child Deserves Every Chance

Partner Spotlight: After-School All-Stars

 



February 22, 2016

 


This month, we talk to an essential community schools partner, After-School All-Stars, about plans regarding the new Every Student Succeeds Act, and the valuable partnerships formed between community schools and after-school programs. We also had the opportunity to hear more about their exciting Camp Hoop Heroes partnership with the Miami Heat, which will be taking place in South Florida this year. Read our conversation with Jason Spector, National Research & Evaluation Manager, to learn how after school programs providers play a crucial role in creating thriving community schools. 

1. Can you explain the overall mission of After-School All-Stars? 
 
The mission of After-School All-Stars is to provide free comprehensive after­school programs that keep children safe and help them succeed in school and in life. Our goals for our All­Stars are that they grow up safe and healthy, graduate high school and go on to college, find careers they love, and then give back to their communities.

2. What milestones has After-School All-Stars already reached or is currently moving towards?
 
After-School All-Stars is currently in the second year of an exciting growth phase, in which we are adding two new chapters each year for three years.  Over the past two years, we have opened chapters in Newark, Philadelphia, Cleveland, and Tampa Bay.  This year, we will be expanding to the Bay Area and Puget Sound region, bringing us to a total of 19 chapters. With this expansion, we have been fortunate to also be able to expand the capacity of our national office to support high program quality across our national network.  
 
3. How do After-School All-Stars principles tie into the Community School’s principles and philosophy? 
 
As a site-based afterschool provider, After-School All-Stars shares in Community School’s beliefs that schools should serve as hubs, with community providers partnering to comprehensively serve youth and families.  We share with Community School’s the principle that collaboration is essential for leveraging community assets and expertise.  To this end, we work with a number of community organizations to provide wrap-around services, range from a homeless youth-serving camp in Orlando to high school application workshops from DC to LA.  We are working to build our Community Schools strategy in New York City and hope to develop similar partnerships in additional communities that we serve.
 
4. What are some exciting things coming up for the After-School All-Stars (i.e., other events, publications)?
 
Over spring break, many ASAS youth will be partaking in our Camp Hoop Heroes basketball youth development camps across the national network.  I’m very much looking forward to attending our Camp Hoop Heroes in South Florida, which is a tremendous partnership with the Miami Heat!  Over the summer, we will be convening our National Youth Advisory Board in Washington, DC, which serves as a remarkable youth leadership opportunity for students in all of our chapters.  Also, this summer, we will be co-hosting a poker event with our founder, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to benefit All-Stars across the country.
 

ASAS has recently appeared in several notable publications, including
Huffington Post
Youth.Gov
Youth Today
Sacramento Bee
Miami Herald
Muscle and Fitness

 
5. What are After-School All-Star’s thoughts about the new ESSA and what are you most excited about? 
 
We are thrilled that the new ESSA recognizes the important role that afterschool and Community Schools play in supporting our students and communities.  Approximately 19.4 million children not currently in an afterschool program would be enrolled in a program if one were available to them.  We have a responsibility to meet this need, and the funding of 21st Century Community Learning Centers plays an important role in helping us continue to serve students and families through high quality afterschool program across the country.

6. Finally, what do you like most about your job? 
 
I love working at an entrepreneurial organization which encourages everyone to carve out their unique role and leverage their skills to best serve youth and families.  In leading our national evaluation department, I am fortunate to be able to interact with afterschool community and city leaders, and bring a data-driven approach to fostering high quality afterschool programs.
 

 

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