400+ leaders convene at National Summit in support of after-school
Hundreds of political, community, nonprofit, and corporate leaders representing 47 states met on the USC campus on March 24th for a National After-School Summit cohosted by After-School All-Stars, USC Schwarzenegger Institute and The Afterschool Alliance. The issue that brought over 400 leaders together is one we care about passionately: the irreplaceable role of after-school programming in developing tomorrow’s leaders & innovators, and the great need for increased private and public funding for after-school programs across the United States. Protecting federal after-school funds was top of mind for everyone, including Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige, mayors of five U.S. cities, Evernote CEO Phil Libin, and bestselling author Tim Ferriss. The crowd sent nearly 1,000 tweets calling for congressional support – a powerful message as legislators consider $1 billion in cuts to after-school funding.
“We are here today to tell Washington as one voice, Don’t terminate after-school programs. After-school programs protect our single greatest resource, our kids. We know students in these program are statistically more likely to graduate from college and less likely to get arrested for crimes they may commit if they drift around on the streets.” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
“That’s why, when we ask a student “What do you want to be when you grow up? They should ask us back “what are my options?” and in turn, we need to be able to provide them with ideas, and experiences that open their eyes to what’s possible.”
During the summit leaders from Google and Evernote discussed the important role of after-school programs play in shaping future technology leaders and entrepreneurs.
“Everyone is entitled to a baseline level of education and after-school programs are a cost effective way of getting kids to that baseline, Phil Libin, CEO of Evernote. It’s about giving kids that have a spark something to be motivated by….and nurturing kids that are self-starters or have an entrepreneurial interest, giving them every opportunity to be great.”
To continue to amplify this message, www.tweet4afterschool.com will provide targeted tweets every Wednesday to specific bi-partisan Congressional representatives.
Special thanks to the C.S. Mott Foundation, Afterschool Alliance and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for making the summit a tremendous success!