How Summer Camp Made Me a Better Intern

Standing on a brightly-lit stage, quaking in one’s boots while making desperate appeals for an audience’s laughter is about as far removed from the daily office duties at most internships as you can get. Nevertheless, my experience at camp this summer has turned out to be far more relevant to my work than I could have predicted.

In the afterschool field, there are those who directly run programs that serve youth, and intermediaries--such as the Alaska Afterschool Network--who work to connect programs and advocate for them on the local, state, and national levels. As an employee of an organization that primarily focuses on advocacy, it is easy to feel disconnected from the day-to-day realities and joys of afterschool.

Summer Learning Week 2019: Learning Is More Fun in the Sun!

It's that warmest and sunniest time of the year again in Alaska, when the sun never sets, and the fun never stops; Summer Learning Week! National Summer Learning Week (July 8th-13th) is a national advocacy celebration aimed at elevating the importance of keeping kids learning and ensuring they return to school in the fall ready to succeed. These programs help maintain academic ability, get kids involved in their community, embark on outdoor adventures, or try something entirely new!

This Summer Learning Week the Alaska Afterschool Network wants to highlight four diverse programs that have been working to bring summer opportunities to children throughout the state. We hope these highlights will demonstrate the importance and success of summer programs across Alaska.

Up, Up, and Beyond the Call: 2019 Afterschool Superhero Award!

Once more, the clarion call for amazing afterschool professionals bellowed across the state, and these five exceptional individuals rose up to meet the challenge head-on with grace and tenacity.  The Alaska Afterschool Network is recognizing five outstanding afterschool professionals who act as everyday superheroes in our youth’s lives during Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, April 22-26, 2019.

These Afterschool Superheroes provide academic enrichment and keep youth safe, while making it possible for families to go to work with peace of mind. Out-of-school time staff step forward every day to help children in need, provide healthy snacks and meals, foster success in school, and serve as role models to the children and their community. Join us in celebrating their incredible commitment and passion for our youth!

Managing Chronic Health Conditions in Afterschool & Summer Programs Webinar

Managing Chronic Health Conditions in Afterschool & Summer Programs Webinar

Did you know approximately 25% of kids in Alaska have a chronic health condition, such as asthma or life threatening allergies? Youth need support managing these health conditions during out-of-school time to ensure they are able to fully participate in programming.

Join us on April 19, 12-1 pm for a FREE webinar on Managing Chronic Health Conditions in Afterschool and Summer Programs with State of Alaska School Health Nurse Consultant Barbara Pennington.

NASA Afterschool Astronomy Webinar

Free STEM Webinar With NASA
Afterschool Astronomy: Bring The Universe Down To Earth

January 25, 12 pm - 1 pm

Afterschool Universe (AU) is a curriculum for a hands-on astronomy program targeted at middle school-aged children (grades 5-8) in out-of-school-time settings. This flexibly-structured program explores basic astronomy concepts, focusing on what's in the universe and how we study it, and is designed to be run in a variety of settings. AU was created by the Astrophysics Education Team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in response to the needs of the afterschool community…

Summer Learning: Reclaiming Summer Break for Alaskan Children

This season across Alaska, children are participating in camps and activities that boost confidence and prevent summer learning loss. Without continued engagement, students may start the new school year at lower academic achievement levels. Enrichment programs fend off the summer slide by helping youth maintain academic abilities, get involved with their communities, embark on outdoor adventures, or try out new areas of inquiry, such as hands-on STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics). 

The gap in learning becomes pronounced for those from lower income families.

2018 Afterschool Superhero Awardees

Everyday afterschool professionals help keep kids safe, inspire learning, and support working Alaskan families. To celebrate this heroic effort the Alaska Afterschool Network is recognizing five outstanding afterschool professionals who act as everyday superheroes in our youth’s lives during Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, happening April 23-27.

These five Afterschool Superheroes have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure Alaska’s youth have a safe and enriching place to grow and learn during out-of-school time. Join us in celebrating their incredible commitment and passion for our youth.

Building STEM Identity in Rural Alaska

Revived two years ago as an afterschool club, the Cordova Tech Club—and now First Tech Challenge (FTC) Robotics and Space Quest—involve one out of every five school-age children in Cordova, Alaska. This science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) based afterschool program is building more than just robots and science experiments—it is creating life-long learners and sparking STEM career interest among youth in this remote, rural community.  


Having received a STEM Afterschool Innovation Mini-grant last year, the Cordova School District used funding to boost Tech Club programming. Committed adult mentorship has also had a clear impact on student participation....

STEM Afterschool Innovation Mini-Grant Winners Announced

The Alaska Afterschool Network, Juneau Economic Development Council, and BP are proud to announce the recipients of the 2017-2018 STEM Afterschool Innovation Grants. These mini grants are designed to help afterschool programs implement or expand high-quality STEM learning. Grants ranged from $500 to $2,000.


We were pleased with the diversity of grant applicants, including programs from nonprofits, public schools, and community centers spanning the state. From offering new curriculum to purchasing new technology to expanding programming in rural Alaska, these STEM – science, technology, engineering, and math – programs will help provide youth with valuable skills to prepare them for success in college, career, and life. Thank you to all the grant applicants for your commitment to positive youth development and informal STEM education! We received a total of 23 applications requesting more than $35,000. There is a clear need for the support and expansion of STEM learning in afterschool.

Welcome New STEM VISTA, Rebecca Andersen

Join us in welcoming Rebecca Andersen as our new STEM Expansion VISTA.  We are thrilled to have her on our team.  Here are her thoughts on why afterschool matters to her and her family.     

It is an honor to serve as a VISTA, and work to expand quality STEM afterschool opportunities across our state. I am inspired by the dedicated educators and advocates coalescing around a common goal...