This event was convened for funders, policy makers, and youth serving agency leaders to explore local and national efforts to improve youth access to quality afterschool programs and services.
Using the Wallace Foundation’s new report, Growing Together, Learning Together as the springboard, this event provided an opportunity to learn more about after school systems-building, to interact with national experts, and to generate ideas to inform local action. Discussions focused on topics such as collecting and understanding data, advancing afterschool program quality, improving coordination efforts, and harnessing the power of effective leadership. The event also featured discussion and interaction with national experts from: The Wallace Foundation, American Youth Policy Forum, Data Quality Campaign, and University of Chicago, Chapin Hall.
Jennifer Axelrod is a Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall, where she focuses on improving outcomes for the highest risk youth through effective implementation of evidence-based youth development programs. Her work on afterschool systems attempts to identify key data in order to better inform policies and practices related to afterschool programs. Dr. Axelrod was previously the Deputy Commissioner of Youth Services at the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) where she was responsible for facilitating and monitoring the implementation of City-funded afterschool programs, behavioral health services, and mentoring programs. Before joining the DFSS, Dr. Axelrod oversaw the implementation of centrally-funded afterschool programming at Chicago Public Schools.
Teal Chance has been with Prime Time Palm Beach County since 2005. Prior to joining Prime Time, Ms. Chance served as a case manager with the Division of Juvenile Justice at a girls’ residential facility in West Palm Beach, Florida before moving to an afterschool setting, where she worked for two years at the Pahokee Beacon Center as the afterschool coordinator. Before relocating to Florida, she served as a certified teacher in the New Jersey Public School system for eight years where she worked in special education, physical education, health and coaching. During her years at Prime Time, Ms. Chance has been a presenter at the Florida After School Alliance and the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) state and national conferences. Ms. Chance is also a certified Youth Worker Methods and Youth Work Management Trainer from the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.
Chris Kingsley leads the Data Quality Campaign’s state-local alignment efforts, helping state policymakers improve the availability and use of high-quality education data among local leaders working both inside and outside of schools to improve student success. Prior to joining DQC, Chris served as the principal associate for data initiatives with the National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, where he provided primary program leadership, research, and technical assistance to cities seeking to use data in new and more collaborative ways.
Charles Smith is the founder and Executive Director of the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, a division of the Forum for Youth Investment, and Senior Vice President at the Forum. The Weikart Center currently provides technical supports to a portfolio of over 85 quality improvement systems and quality intermediary organizations in 38 states, including several thousand direct service organizations. Dr. Smith leads the measures and analytics team at the Weikart Center. His current areas of focus include design and implementation of lower stakes performance accountability policies and integration of afterschool systems with schools.