United Ways of Tennessee and other groups are raising awareness of the need for expanded afterschool programs this week, starting with a news conference yesterday at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.
The launch of the Tennessee Afterschool Network is an effort from United Ways of Tennessee, the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth and other partners, bringing policymakers, educators, parents and leaders in business together to advocate for afterschool programs.
Statewide, roughly 300,000 Tennessee K-12 students – almost enough to fill the University of Tennessee’s Neyland Stadium three times – are responsible for taking care of themselves after school. Yet only one of every eight Tennessee students participates in an afterschool program. Many more would if more programs were available
You can read more about the network and the news conference in Nashville yesterday in a story from our friends at The Memphis Daily News.
Locally, nonprofits and schools celebrated the launch of the effort with activities. Balmoral/Ridgeway Elementary (Shelby County Schools) held an open house for parents to promote and emphasize a “safe haven” and used the opportunity to showcase their computer lab and daily 30 minute reading activities. Children enjoyed face painting and a music DJ.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, Bernal E. Smith Sr. branch also held an open house for parents and enjoyed a talent show conducted by club members.
The YMCA in Millington conducted site tours of six afterschool locations and held an open house featuring greater parental awareness.
(Note: Photo and local information provided by Letitia Robertson from United Way of the Mid-South.)
You can read the official press release from United Ways of Tennessee here.