Message From Co-Chairs

Children and youth across the Commonwealth need our help and support to become caring and productive members of our society. As Co-Chairs of this Special Commission, we welcome your input as we work together with our 36 members to craft recommendations on how best to support the healthy development of children and youth when they are in and out of school. In addition to the Commission meetings about this critical issue, we intend to hold at least nine public hearings across the Commonwealth. We are aware that not everyone will be able to attend and and invite you to use this blog to communicate with us about your issues and concerns. We look forward to your comments.

Posting Rules and Etiquette

We welcome and value your feedback and ask that you do the following in order to post your comments to this blog. 1. To provide your first and last name and the town or city in which you live to help us track the feedback statewide. 2. To label your comments so we can direct your feedback to the right Commission Work Group. The Commission's three Work Groups are: 1) Information and Access; 2) Quality, Workforce and Professional Development and 3) Sustainability. If your comments cut across all three Work Groups, please label that as "Crosscutting Issue". 3. To add constructive and professional comments - rude or profane comments will be deleted. Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Co-Chairs Issue Statement in Support of National Lights On! Afterschool National Celebration - October 18, 2007

For Release October 18, 2007


“We salute the work of the Afterschool Alliance for their ongoing effort to promote quality afterschool programming for our nation’s youth. Today's national celebration will bring thousands of communities across the country together to highlight the need to provide meaningful opportunities for over 14 million children. As Co-Chairs of the Special Commission on Afterschool and Out of School Time, we’ve participated in hearings across the Commonwealth that focus on what’s working and what we need to improve upon here in Massachusetts. As the national Lights On! Afterschool Celebration points out, ‘Afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning. They provide opportunities to help young people develop into successful adults.’ We look forward to releasing an official report next month that will help to advance this important issue here in the Commonwealth.”

About The Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time
The Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time has been created 'to study and recommend how to' define and 'better coordinate, expand, finance and improve accessible, affordable, and quality out-of-school time programming for school age children in all settings in Massachusetts."

There are 1.1 million school aged children and youth ages 5-18 that live in Massachusetts. Of that group, 720,000 are children ages 5-13 and 380,000 are youth ages 14-19. Current state funding serves 205,500 children and youth leaving nearly 80% without access to quality and enriching afterschool and summer opportunities.

The Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time has been studying this issue more in-depth. In addition to holding ten public hearings, it has also convened three working groups that will 1) analyze information and access issues; 2) identify quality, workforce and professional development concerns, and 3) determine how the afterschool system in the Commonwealth can be sustained. The Special Commission expects to issue a report in the fall of 2007 that will have recommendations in these areas which will strengthen the Commonwealth's afterschool system.

The Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time
For More Information Contact:
Debra McLaughlin, Consultant to the Commission

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