A new assessment of states’ progress toward offering after school programs to all children who need them finds that Ohio is making some progress, but has a great deal of work ahead to meet the need for after school programs. Ohio earned a 3 on a scale of 1 to 5 in the new report, and is one of 20 states to receive that score.
Desiree Bolden is manager of extended learning for Akron Public Schools and tells AkronNewsNow the Akron after school program, now 12 years old, and funded totally from grants, is one big reason Ohio is deemed to be making progress. " We're leading the state. We are recognized as a community that totally embraces after school programs, and we are actually the front runner."
Bolden says the Akron after school program is considered the best example as to the way after-schools programs should operate. " Akron after school is a state model, and we're also a federal model. We're on the U.S. Department Of Education Doing What Works web site," says Bolden.
Desiree Bolden says Akron's after-school operating grants could be threatened. " Right now there's some legislation going on with 21st century funding. They want to divert the funds, so that people can extend school days and take away from after-school programs."
She says Ohio can still do a lot more to include more children in after-school activities and education.
A partnership between the LeBron James Family Foundation, Akron Public Schools and State Farm was featured this morning. The Education Nation Summit was put together by NBC/MSNBC.
The foundation donated laptop computers, bicycles, bike helmets and a 2-week technology camp to 342 third graders in Akron. James says throwing money at problems shouldn't be the only approach.
"I think it's about the time and the support system," said James. "I would never be in the position that I am today if it the coaches, the teachers, the mentors," said James.
Much of the discussion focused on ways to create more partnerships.
In the city of Akron, for kids to have academic success, it leads to economic success," said Akron Public Schools After School Manager of Extended Learning Desiree Bolden. Bolden says it's hard enough to maintain current programs and it's going to get more difficult. She's calling on all school officials to make sure they don't lose grant funding and the business community to step forward along with other influential people.
Some of this week's Education Nation Summit is televised, other parts are available through live streaming at akronNewsNow.com
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