From our family to yours, Florida Afterschool Network wishes you a very happy, healthy and safe holiday! We thank you for continued support. Below are some fun facts about the holidays. Enjoy!
Christmas was declared a national holiday in 1870.
President Franklin Pierce was the first President to decorate the White House Christmas tree.
Each year, Florida Christmas tree growers produce over 120,000 freshly cut quality trees for the holiday season.
Hanukkah is celebrated every year between the end of November and the end of December. It begins on the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, which varies from year to year on the Western calendar. The eight day celebration commemorates the rededication of the Jerusalem temple, and the miracle of the sacred lamp that burned for eight days on a single day’s oil.
Kwanzaa is a seven day celebration of African culture begun by Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor at California State University. Celebrated from December 26th to January 1st, Kwanzaa (which means “first fruits of the harvest”) is meant to honor African heritage and present day life in America. The holiday ends with a large feast on the final evening called Karamu.
Monday, December 19, 2011
The Florida Afterschool Network is pleased to announce some exciting changes. Joe Davis has been appointed the Chief Operating Officer for the organization.
Davis previously was the Chairman of the FAN Board of Directors. In addition, he most recently served as Chief of the Bureau of Family and Community Outreach at the Florida Department of Education. Joe’s commitment to Florida’s children and families has resulted in several awards, including a statewide “Award of Excellence” from the Florida Afterschool Alliance, an Honorary Life Membership in the Florida PTA, and Fellow status with the Florida Supreme Court Justice Teaching Institute (JTI). Davis is a lifelong educator who is a great addition to the FAN staff.
“I am very excited about my new position,” said Davis. “The Florida Afterschool Program is a great organization that is truly making a difference in communities across the state. There is still much to do, and I am looking forward to taking on the challenge.”
Linda Lanier has been named the Chairman of the FAN Board of Directors. Lanier previously served as Vice Chairman and has been the Executive Director and CEO of the Jacksonville Children’s Commission since 2003. She is also the current chair of the Florida Children’s Services Council (FCSC). She previously served on the Commission on Homelessness, appointed in 2000 by Governor Jeb Bush.
Dr. Steve Wilkerson has been named the FAN Board of Directors Vice Chairman. Wilkerson has been President of the Florida Cable Telecommunication Association since 1987 where he is the CEO for the trade association representing four major cable companies in Florida who serve five million cable customers. His commitment education runs deep. He sits on the Board for the Florida Institute for School Innovation, Florida Network for Runaways and the United Way of Leon County (just to name a few).
Executive Director Larry Pintacuda has been unanimously promoted by the Board of Directors to the title of Chief Executive Director. Larry has worked tirelessly to build the Florida Afterschool Program in to the organization it is today.
“Joe. Linda and Steve have been an integral member of the FAN Board of Directors for many years,” said Executive Director Larry Pintacuda. “We have taken so many steps forward in the past year for afterschool programs, and I know we are only going to take more. I am honored the Board has valued my work and named me CEO, and I am thrilled for the future.”
Monday, December 12, 2011
Below is a press release announcing the 2011 State-by-State Afterschool Progress Reports and Consumer Guides. Developed by the Afterschool Alliance and sponsored by jcpenney, the report shows that states are showing improvement, but a lot still needs to be done. Florida, along with eight other states, received the highest ranking.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A new assessment of states’ progress toward offering afterschool programs to all children who need them finds that many states are making progress, but all have unfinished business to keep kids safe and learning after the school day ends. The new 2011 State-by-State Afterschool Progress Reports and Consumer Guides, which are being released in conjunction with Lights On Afterschool, the only national rally for afterschool, measured all 50 states on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the best rating. No states received a 5 and only nine states (California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey and New York) received a 4. Twenty states received a 3; 19 states a 2; and Delaware and Idaho received the lowest rating, a 1.
The Progress Reports were developed by the Afterschool Alliance and sponsored by jcpenney. They are being released today at the Jacksonville, Florida Lights On Afterschool event – one of 17 winners of the “Light Up a Landmark” contest sponsored by jcpenney and the Afterschool Alliance. For the fifth year, the Empire State Building also will be lit up for Lights On Afterschool today. The new Progress Reports examine how each state is helping keep the lights on for kids and families after school by considering: the availability of and participation in afterschool programs, based on data from the landmark 2009 America After 3PM household survey; recent state policy activity and funding for afterschool programs; and state-level leadership on afterschool from policy makers. They find:
· Twenty-one states are currently funding afterschool programs.
· Thirty-one states have an initiative in place that promotes quality in afterschool programming.
· Only 13 states have passed legislation that directly supports afterschool programs.
· Just 15 states have state-level councils, studies, pilots or ongoing legislative activity designed to advance afterschool.
· Only six states reduced the number of children in self-care in the afternoons from 2004 to 2009, the two years during which national household surveys were conducted.
The Progress Reports also include information for parents on how to find and support
afterschool programs in each state. Links to state and national resources for finding programs are available, and parents and non-parents alike are directed to specific action steps that they can take to support afterschool.
“Millions of children in this country are unsupervised and at risk after the school day ends,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “This report should serve as a wake-up call that we need to do much more to make quality afterschool programs available. Even in tough economic times like these, we must ensure that our children get the education and supports they need to succeed in school and in life. Afterschool programs are a great investment, providing opportunities for engaging, hands-on learning that often aren’t available during the school day.
Today all across the country, at 7,500 Lights On Afterschool events, a million people are urging state and federal lawmakers to remember that afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn, and help working families – and to make afterschool funding a priority.”
In conjunction with Lights On Afterschool events across the nation, jcpenney will invite its customers to support the afterschool cause through the “pennies from heaven” campaign Oct. 12- 25. During that period, customers can round up purchases to the nearest whole dollar and donate the difference to a local afterschool program that provides life-enriching opportunities for children in need.
“As a leading corporate advocate for the afterschool cause, jcpenney is committed to building the resources needed to offer quality afterschool services in every community,” said Jodi Gibson, divisional vice president for jcpenney and president of jcpenney afterschool. “By partnering with the Afterschool Alliance to determine the unique needs of every state, families, educators and policy makers can make informed decisions that will make afterschool programs available and accessible to those who need it most.”
A significant body of research demonstrates that students who attend afterschool programs regularly are more likely to improve their grades, tests scores and overall academic behavior. Nationwide, more than 15 million school-age children – more than one in four kids in the United States – are unsupervised after the school day ends. The parents of 18 million children say they would enroll their kids in afterschool programs – if programs were available.
Scores for the Progress Reports were devised using a range of factors falling under three major categories: growth in afterschool participation; developments in state afterschool policy and funding; and advancements in state afterschool leadership. Data from the America After 3PM survey were used to assess afterschool participation. A total of 29,754 parents/guardians were surveyed between March and May 2009 for America After 3PM. The progress reports also used up-to-date policy and leadership developments obtained from afterschool leaders in the states, most notably the 40 statewide afterschool networks. The 2011 State-by-State Progress Reports and Consumer Guides reflect the data and resources available at the time of their release in October 2011.
Monday, December 5, 2011
The Florida Afterschool Network is pleased to announce that Mr. Art O’Hara is the newest member of our Panel of Champions.
Art is the Executive Director of the R’Club in Pinellas County. R’Club serves children and their families at more than 40 before and after school programs, exceptional student centers, preschools and middle school youth development programs in Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties. In addition, the R'Club provides care for more than 600 children daily who have special needs and operates extended learning programs in both exceptional student education centers in Pinellas County.
The Florida Afterschool Network Panel of Champions consists of members of the community that are committed to children and afterschool programs. They are an elite group of leaders, educators and innovators with a diverse background. They are champions in their community.
FAN is excited that Art has agreed to become a member of the FAN panel of Champions.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
The Florida Afterschool Network is excited to announce that our organization will partner with the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association (FCTA) on a cable special highlighting children’s issues.
The special will be unique in that it will focus on how we can navigate kids issues through a legislative session that again is faced with large budget deficits. The cable special is the brainchild of FAN Board member Steve Wilkerson, President and CEO, FCTA, and will be directed by Janice Caluda, Executive Vice President, FCTA.
The format is a panel discussion moderated by Steve, and will feature panelists: Jennifer Carroll (Florida Lieutenant Governor), David Lawrence (FAN Panel of Champion member, retired publisher of the Miami Herald and President of the Children’s Movement), Michael Lannon (FAN Board member and Superintendent of Schools St. Lucie County) and Brittany Birken (CEO the Florida Children’s Council).
The special will be taped on Monday, December 12th and will be aired prior to and during the coming legislative session. FAN is very proud and excited to partner with Florida Cable on this important project. We at FAN offer our sincere thanks to Steve, Janice and the entire FCTA team and to the wonderful panel members.