December 5, 2008
We are forwarding the following on behalf of the Afterschool Alliance:
Dear Afterschool Advocate,
Your action is needed NOW to make possible an increase in 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding for FY2009. Congressional leaders, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, are negotiating the final FY2009 spending bills now and over the next week - please send an email urging [her] to support the House of Representatives' proposed $50 million increase for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLCs) in the fiscal year 2009 Omnibus Spending Bill.
With the current economic downturn, children and families are relying on afterschool now more than ever to keep kids safe and inspired during the hours after school and as a critical support for working families. At the same time, afterschool programs are facing their own budget challenges. A $50 million increase in funding for 21st CCLC would help ensure programs stay open and give an additional 50,000 children access to high quality programs. Please take two minutes to cut and paste the message below into a new email and send it to Speaker Nancy Pelosi at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Congressional leaders plan to finalize the details of the FY2009 Omnibus Spending Bill by the end of next week. Please send this email now to remind them that afterschool is a critical support for children and families and urge them to increase funding for 21st CCLC for FY2009.
The Afterschool Alliance Team
Dear Speaker Pelosi:
As you work to finalize the FY2009 Omnibus Spending Bill, I urge you to include the House of Representatives' proposed $50 million increase for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLCs) in the final bill. Parents, children and business leaders across America are relying on Congress to make badly needed funds available for 21st CCLCs so that more children will have the option of high-quality, safe, afterschool learning opportunities critical to their success and to the success of our nation.
Afterschool programs help keep kids safe, improve academic performance and help working families across America. Numerous studies have shown that quality afterschool programs give students the academic, social and professional skills they need to succeed. Yet the demand for affordable, quality afterschool programs far exceeds the availability. In communities around our country, more than 14 million children take care of themselves after the school day ends, including more than 40,000 kindergartners and more than 1 million elementary school students.
I appreciate the difficult situation you face with the fiscal year 2009 budget, but the current economic climate only increases the necessity of investing in afterschool. Budget cuts at the state and local level are causing many afterschool providers to scale back their programs, and in some cases to close their doors completely. Furthermore, despite these difficult economic times, recent polling shows that support for federal funding for afterschool endures across party and ideological lines. There is widespread recognition that an investment in afterschool is an investment in the future. Young people who participate in quality programs are more likely to graduate high school and go on to become successful, employable adults, who will ultimately drive our country's economic engine.
Please increase 21st CCLC funding by $50 million. It is more important than ever. Thank you for your consideration of this critical matter.