All children in California deserve to have a safe place to go after the school bell rings, until their parents get home from work. For over 900,000 children and youth across California, public afterschool programs provide this safe place, while also teaching new skills in science, art, music, sports, and more; providing healthy meals; and giving positive role models to youth.
The COVID-19 pandemic put a laser focus on the need to offer children, youth, and their
families opportunities for expanded learning and enrichment activities in safe, supportive
environments before and after school. Which is why state leaders stepped up for students
and families with a sense of urgency with the $4 billion investment in 2022-23 in the
Expanded Learning Opportunities Program (ELO-P).
On February 2, BACR leaders, Anita Grullon Smith, ASP Program Manager and Emily Gomez, recent high school graduate and now and afterschool instructor was invited by Partnership for Children and Youth, to participate in an expanded learning briefing at the California State Capital. They sat on a panel with other expanded learning professionals such as Mike Taylor, EXL program Coordinator of San Rafael City Schools and Heather Pilgrim, Superintendent of Oak Valley Union Elementary School District. Each participant brought the ELO-P to life by sharing impactful stories about how engaged students are with expanded learning programs.
They gave insight to the all the benefits of expanded learning such as; introducing new skills to the youth that they don't get in a traditional school setting, they shared stories of parents appreciation of afterschool, and participants learned first-hand from a student who has come full-circle through the afterschool system and is now teaching at an elementary afterschool program in her own community.
Special thanks to Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance (CA3) and the Partnership for Children and Youth (PCY) for sponsoring and to Assemblymember Kevin McCarty and Senator John Laird on your opening marks Thank you for your ongoing commitment to #afterschool & #summerlearning for kids and for your leadership.
Listen in on Emily's story and Anita's insights by watching the video's below.
Emily Emily Gomez, recent high school graduate and BACR afterschool instructor
Anita Grullon Smith, 9 year BACR leader, ASP Program Manager