It’s not a normal time. This is not business as usual. To accommodate COVID-19 constraints, we’re adapting our annual Afterschool & Summer Learning Day to a virtual model with a wide array for people to plug in!

This week offered a variety of different virtual opportunities to advance afterschool, summer learning, and third space policy in Vermont. All wereelcome to join including afterschool and third space program providers, partners, youth ambassadors, and parents/caregivers to inspire awareness and action.

1. Afterschool Advocacy Field Forum | Thursday, February 4th (1-2PM)

Vermont is actively engaged right now in thinking about how to provide universal access to afterschool programming across the state. How it should be run? Who should be able to apply for funding? What should programs look like? Now is a really important time to be part of the discussion to help shape the future of afterschool in our state. Please attend the forum on 2/4 to hear more and to add your voice to this important conversation. 

2. Virtual Public Hearings on the Budget | Monday, February 8th (1PM or 6PM)

This is a lobbying activity for an advocate who is ready to make public testimony. The House and Senate Appropriations Committees will hold a joint public hearing on the Vermont State budget for Fiscal Year 2022 on February 8th at 1pm or 6pm. You can help by signing up to read your written testimony (no more than 2 minutes) in support of funding for afterschool, summer learning, and third space programs. We will provide you with talking points and everything you need to give effective testimony.

3. Public Comment for the Universal Afterschool Task Force | Tuesday, February 9th (time TBD)

Provide public comment for the Universal Afterschool Task Force that is meeting currently with partners, legislators, and program representatives.

4. Youth Ambassadors and Youth Voice

Every year we invite middle and high school students to come to the State House as Afterschool Youth Ambassadors alongside the Afterschool & Summer Learning Day. This year will look a little different: Programs will be inviting legislators to connect with their youth ambassadors via virtual meetings. This is a great way to show your local legislators what your program is all about, utilize technology to give them an “insider’s view,” and provide youth with the opportunity to share in their own words.

For those who want to have youth ambassadors meet with legislators, we will be holding an Afterschool Youth Ambassador prep session on Tuesday, February 9th (4-5PM) that you can attend with your youth. This short prep session will feature Action Circles, a lobbying and grassroots organizing firm, who will provide tips on how to talk to legislators and empower youth to share their stories.

5. Sign the Youth Council Bill letter of support

This is an easy ask! You can simply sign the letter as an individual and/or organization here.

6. We <3 Afterschool | February 12, 2021

There are millions of reasons to love afterschool. Especially during a pandemic, afterschool programs are keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn, and helping working families. Use social media to tell the world why you, your students, and your community love your afterschool program! Visit the We <3 Afterschool page to find a printable activity sheet, graphics, and social media copy.