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.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Special Commission Extends Deadline to Receive Public Testimony

Members of the public who have not yet had the chance to submit written testimony to the Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time will have until next Tuesday, October 30, to do so. Testimony can be submitted three different ways - through this blog, through the Special Commission's website or in writing.

Written testimony can be mailed to either of the Co-Chairs offices at:

Senator Thomas McGee
Room 112
The State House
Boston, MA 02133


Rep. Marie St. Fleur
Room 238
The State House
Boston, MA 02133

All previously submitted testimony, either written or presented verbally at any of the 10 public hearings, has been documented for the record and reviewed for the Special Commission's final report.

We look forward to hearing from you!


Anonymous said...

133 Portland Street, Boston, MA 02114  Tel: 617-523-2999  Fax: 617-248-0881
Email:  Website:

Testimony Submitted to the Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time

October 24, 2007
By Diane Jeffery, President

Thank you for the opportunity to submit testimony to the Massachusetts Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time.

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts applauds the Legislature for its concern for the young people of the Commonwealth in its decision to establish the Special Commission on After School and Out of School Time. The League wholeheartedly agrees with the vision of the Special Commission that children and youth are the cornerstone of a civil society. Working to encourage the civic engagement and leadership development of young people is vital to the future of our communities and our state and to the health of our democracy.

There are after school programs and activities in Massachusetts that offer young people avenues for participation in their community and for development of their leadership skills. In some of these programs, young people can work in groups with others, and in others young people can participate as individuals.

Often the issue is the lack of awareness and information about existing opportunities for after school programs and activities. How do people find out what is available for the young people they work with? How can leaders learn about programs they may be able to replicate in their community? How can young people get involved in a program if they are not part of an organized group?

The League of Women Voters of Massachusetts, a respected, non-partisan organization whose mission is to promote the informed and active participation of people in our democracy, has acted on this need to provide answers to these questions by creating the Directory of Civic Engagement & Leadership Development Programs for Massachusetts Youth. This Directory is a unique resource. Each listing describes a program for after school time in brief, as well as all the necessary contact information and other details about eligibility and fees, if applicable.

The Directory is updated annually so that all information is current and accurate. New programs are always added as they come to our attention and fit the criteria for inclusion in the Directory. Though each program is different, each in some way provides young people with the tools and motivation to participate in the democratic process. Many of the programs listed in this directory could be used as models for other communities or for youth groups that are looking for ways to involve young people in civic education and to encourage citizen participation in government.

The Directory is available in print and online at The League sends a copy of the Directory to every public and private school in Massachusetts, as well as to all the libraries.

The League of Women Voters understands that one of the goals of the Special Commission is to provide and disseminate information to people about the availability of after school programs. The League believes that its Directory can aid in fulfilling that goal.

Debra McLaughlin said...

Thank you for leaving your testimony on the blog. It was reviewed and considered prior to the publication of the Special Commission's report.

We appreciate your commitment to afterschool programs!