As afterschool and summer learning leaders consider ways to support all youth on a path to college and career readiness, having sustainable funding for programs is crucial. Afterschool and summer learning programs generally rely on a various and diverse range of funds from federal, state, and local agencies as well as from philanthropic and private sources. These multiple funding streams can represent challenges for afterschool and summer learning stakeholders, who have to first find sufficient funding, ensure that funding can be used for the activities they wish to offer, that the populations they wish to serve are eligible, that the multiple sources can be aligned and coordinated, and that the reporting and administrative burdens of multiple sources are not overly burdensome.
Prior to the release of AYPF’s publication on this topic, we invited representatives from the afterschool community to participate in a discussion about afterschool and summer learning financing and efforts to coordinate it. Goals of this discussion group included:
- Understanding the challenges and opportunities associated with coordinating afterschool and summer learning financing.
- Providing feedback that will inform continued knowledge-sharing on this topic.
- Networking with others in the afterschool and summer learning field.
Jeff Cole is the Network Lead for Beyond School Bells, Nebraska’s Statewide Afterschool Network, a position he has held since 2006. Prior to this state level systems building position, Jeff worked in the afterschool field at both the site level, as the founding Executive Director and external program coordinator of NYC’s Friends of High School for Environmental Studies and at the city level, as part of the team that initiated the Lincoln CLC, a city-wide afterschool system in Lincoln, Nebraska. A lifelong learner who considers the world his expanded learning classroom, Jeff has a Master’s Degree in Economics from Baylor University, was a Fulbright Research Fellow in post-Communist Poland and is a Teach for America alum.
Joe Davis is the Chief Executive Officer for the Florida Afterschool Network (FAN) and also serves as a representative for the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project. As CEO of FAN, Mr. Davis oversees the mission of the Network, providing unified leadership in Florida and advocating for the development, enhancement and sustainability of innovative, high quality afterschool programs and policies. The Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project is a 50 state initiative helping schools and communities leverage the time beyond school to accelerate student achievement. As a spokesperson, Mr. Davis presents research, best practices and successful expanded learning approaches in various forums throughout the country.
Mr. Davis previously served as Chief of the Bureau of Family and Community Outreach at the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), after having begun his career as a middle school teacher. For a decade, he taught English, Exceptional Student Education, and American History at Augusta Raa Middle School in Tallahassee, Florida. Mr. Davis has also worked as an education consultant, primarily assisting school districts with school improvement initiatives. During his time at FDOE, Joe coordinated family literacy programs, conducted parent involvement trainings, and directed Florida’s successful 21st CCLC program. Mr. Davis’ commitment to Florida’s children and families has resulted in special recognition, including the “Award of Excellence” from the Florida AfterSchool Alliance, and an Honorary Life Membership in the Florida PTA. His experiences as an educator and administrator have led him to firmly believe that quality afterschool is often the ‘missing link’ to closing achievement gaps and accelerating student achievement.
Jessica Gunderson joined the Partnership for Children & Youth (PCY) in 2011 to help shape and manage the expanded learning and community school advocacy and policy efforts. This includes leading work to increase the resources for and awareness of expanded learning programs, as well as strategies to increase collaboration between the K-12 and expanded learning systems. She has released several publications including: Time Well Spent: School district strategies that help students get the most from expanded learning time, LCFF: Leveraging Summer for Student Success, Exploring the Role of Out-of-School Time Programs In the Implementation of the Common Core State Standards, Data-Sharing: Federal Rules and Best Practices to Improve Out-of-School-Time Programs and Student Outcomes. She currently serves as a Leadership Team member of the California After-school Network and a lead member of the California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance. Before joining PCY, Jessica worked as a senior planner at the Vera Institute of Justice in New York City. While at Vera, she led research and planning efforts to address educational neglect and chronic absenteeism among teenagers resulting in two publications, Getting Teenagers to School and Rethinking Educational Neglect. Jessica received her Master of Public Administration and Non-profit Management degree at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at NYU. While at Wagner, Jessica worked as a research intern at Casey Family Programs and a program coordinator at the NYU Wagner Research Center for Leadership in Action. Prior to graduate school, she worked for California State Assembly Majority Leader Karen Bass on child-welfare and social-service issues including staffing the California State Assembly Select Committee on Foster Care.
Laveta Wills-Hale is the current Network Coordinator of the Arkansas Out-of-School Network (AOSN), a statewide network of afterschool programs and stakeholders, whose mission is to create safe, healthy and enriching experiences for Arkansas youth during out-of- school time. In this role, Laveta coordinates all Network activities related to securing additional resources to support an expansion of afterschool and summer programs, program quality, and cross-sector coalition building. Laveta has twenty-five years of experience in the youth development field, with an emphasis on youth advocacy and program development. Laveta has been involved in the design and implementation of a number of key initiatives, including the Annie E. Casey Foundation funded New Futures for Youth and the Pulaski County Prevention Institute/Our Club Model. While at the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service- 4-H Youth Development, Laveta piloted the Arkansas 4-H Afterschool Training Model on a statewide basis.
Laveta began her work with AOSN in 2005 as the chair of the Quality Standards Committee and became the Network Coordinator in 2009. Laveta has served on a number of boards and commissions throughout her career including the City of Little Rock’s Youth Task Force, the Little Rock Racial and Cultural Diversity Commission, and as a member of the Board of Trustees for the Central Arkansas Library System. Laveta currently serves on the advisory committees of the Arkansas Campaign for Grade Level Reading Campaign and the Arkansas Opportunity to Learn Campaign. Laveta holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master of Arts Degree in Management & Leadership.