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...

Preventing Youth Suicide in Light of ’13 Reasons Why’

The new Netflix series 13 Reasons Why has created a lot of buzz recently around the topic of teen suicide. The show graphically chronicles a fictional teen’s suicide and, in many ways, glamorizes it.

Suicide among youth is a serious concern for everyone who engages with young people – whether at home, in school, or during out-of-school time. According to the Kids Count Alaska 2013-14 data book, suicides were the second highest cause of deaths among youth ages 10-17. And in areas outside of Anchorage, the suicide rate among youth is four times higher.

How One Rural Town Is Investing in Alaska's Future Workforce

Nearly two-thirds of Alaska’s cities, towns, and villages are accessible only by plane or boat, which makes having a strong aviation workforce critical to having a strong state economy. Qualified and experienced employees in the aviation industry are in high demand throughout the state, especially in rural communities.

 

The 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) in Nenana is addressing this demand by preparing youth living in rural Alaska for this crucial industry.