Tweet to help 10,000 families find safe afterschool programs.

 

#GivingTuesday has arrived with exciting news:

 

Today ASAP will be honored by GlaxoSmithKline as part of the 2014 GSK IMPACT Awards for exceptional achievements in contributing to a healthier Philadelphia. As part of the GSK IMPACT Award, ASAP has been invited to participate in a $10K Challenge grant. Throughout the day ASAP and other participating organizations are proposing via Twitter how we would use $10,000 to foster a healthier community.

 

If awarded ASAP will connect 10,000 families in Philadelphia to ASAP’s citywide directory of after school programs with more than 900 site listings and information on thousands of safe and enriching activities to promote the physical, mental and emotional health of youth throughout the city.

 

Far too often, communities with the greatest needs have the fewest resources to address those needs in a comprehensive, systemic effort. And while it is true that families in the region are facing unprecedented challenges – particularly in the realm of public education -- ASAP has learned through the years that Philadelphia is a city rich with meaningful, life-changing opportunities for young people. ASAP’s Directory of after school programs is testimony to that fact. The challenge, then, becomes how to seize this moment to make Philadelphia a smarter, safer, healthier city one after school program at a time. With the help of our partners and supporters, this is a challenge that ASAP eagerly accepts. 

 

How to Help:

Engage us on Twitter! Part of the challenge is which organization has the most meaningful comments and questions in their Twitter conversations between 9am and 3pm today.

 

We would greatly appreciate it if you would visit us on Twitter @PhillyASAP and tweet about your experience with the Directory, why you think the Directory is important, questions about the Directory, or anything in between to help ASAP in the challenge.

 

Be sure to connect by using #GSKimpact and @GSKUS!  

 

To donate to ASAP visit: http://www.phillyasap.org/index.php/more/donate

What is #GivingTuesday?

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 Thanksgiving day is for being thankful. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are for shopping. But most importantly for ASAP is 

#GivingTuesday -- a global day dedicated to giving back.
On Tuesday, December 2, 2014 people around the world will come together for a common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.
Starting the morning of Tuesday, December 2nd ASAP will reach out to its supporters via email, Facebook and Twitter to make a #GivingTuesday donation to support after school clubs for kids in Philadelphia. Shout outs and thank yous will be made throughout the following week so that supporters can share the #GivingTuesday spirit with their own network of friends and followers.
It’s a simple idea. Just give what you can. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

 
As after school activities in Philadelphia schools face budget cuts, donations to ASAP will support:

  • Weekly debates with more than 100 high school students engaging in topics such as genetically modified foods and United States' involvement in the Middle East.
  • Student performers overcoming their stage fright and showing off their acting chops at the annual ASAP Drama Showcase
  • Young English Language Learners building literacy skills and learning a love of reading through fun Scrabble clubs
  • Monthly all girls chess workshops to engage female chess players and encourage pride amongst chess-playing girls 

This #GivingTuesday help ASAP make a stronger, safer and smarter Philadelphia.

 

Like ASAP on Facebook or Follow ASAP on Twitter for more information! 

In Case You Missed It: ASAP's 2014 Directory has been Released!

While the classrooms fill with students and backpacks fill with books, the start of the school year means that parents also look to fill the after school time with fun and engaging activities to keep their kids safe and learning. On Wednesday, September 10th ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships released its annual Directory of After School Programs as a supplement to the Philadelphia Daily News with the important role of presenting thousands of alternative opportunities for after school programs affected by reduced school budgets. 

The Directory, reaching an estimated 330,000 readers, includes information on thousands of high-quality programs available to keep young people safe and stimulated in the dangerous after school hours at sites across the city. As the School District’s financial issues have diminished the number of traditional school-based programs, students may find that their favorite after school activity will not be offered. ASAP’s Directory is a unique and valuable tool for families seeking substitute options in their communities.ASAP thanks the Directory’s sponsors Independence Blue Cross, the United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and Great Philly Schools for supporting this resource. 

ASAP’s directory is also available as a searchable resource with on ASAP’s website, with advanced features and filter options. Thanks to a partnership with Code for Philly and the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Civic Technology, ASAP’s Directory has been introduced as a feature on the Philly311 Mobile App. The Philly311 Mobile App is available to download free on any iPhone, Android or Blackberry device. 

 

Empowerment through Drama

 

Courtney Knowlton, an English Language Learners (ELL) teacher at ASPIRA John B. Stetson Charter School, has developed a Readers Theater to help promote literacy among native Spanish speaking students in her school. To cap off the year, seven brave students from her class, all of whom have been in the country for two years or less, performed "Green Eggs and Ham" at ASAP’s drama showcase on May 17th at the Lantern Theater. In a recent interview, Ms. Knowlton explained the power of drama in her ELL class:

“The technical components of the benefits of Readers Theater make sense to me as a teacher. I was also in musicals in high school and really enjoyed the sense of community it created. I thought doing drama would really help my students feel more at home and connected to the school."

"I noticed that the kids were more motivated when we were doing Readers Theater. It allowed them to have a conversation with someone rather than doing drills. It also allowed them to be in a role that they aren't usually in and so they got to have more expression. Expressing the emotions of the roles made it easier for them to understand and find meaning in the words. It also was more fun and engaging for the other students to watch. I think it was helpful because they had to think past the words and think of the character traits.

For example, we practiced using the Green Eggs and Ham story. This story has two characters – one is very weary of trying new things and the other is excited. The kids had a lot of fun expressing the anger and excitement. This story also brought up ideas like persistence, because the excited character is very persistent in getting the other one to try the food.  Drama really allowed them to have a better understanding of themes like persistence as well as trying new things because you don’t know if you like them or not.

Sometimes the students are very self-conscious when they come into the English Language Learners class. But since they practice this material over and over they start to feel more confident. I would say it really empowers them.”

The ASPIRA Stetson club is one of 15 drama clubs supported by ASAP throughout the city. 

Story of the Season: Chess, a Sign of Hope at Stanton Elementary

Henry, chess playing second grader of Stanton Elementary

 

Following the District's decision to close 24 schools, ASAP launched a campaign to connect transitioning students from closing schools with like-minded peers by expanding after school activities in their new schools - known as "receiving schools". Over the past six months  ASAP has coordinated 68 after school clubs - chess, drama, debate, and Scrabble - in receiving schools, convening more than 900 transitioning and returning youth in skill-building activities that promote positive peer relationships and academic achievement.
 
The impact of ASAP's receiving school initiative was immediate and profound. The following testimonial was submitted by a parent of a child in an ASAP chess club at E.M. Stanton – a school that received nearly 100 additional students in September 2014 after the closing of nearby Smith Elementary School:

 

"It’s no secret that times are tough for Philadelphia’s public schools. Essential services are being scraped left and right, and extracurricular, enriching activities, the ones that often keep students engaged in school, are struggling to exist. As the parent of a public school student, I felt like I was taking a leap of faith when I sent my kid to school this past September. He goes to E.M. Stanton Elementary School, a small school in Southwest Center City. While the school is strong and nurturing academically, I wondered how the severe budget cuts coupled with an influx of new students due to the closure of a nearby school would impact the well-being of my son, Henry. To put it bluntly, I was worried and anticipating a difficult year for my second grader.

Shortly before the school year began, I found out that the new middle school math teacher, Ms. Carrie Angstadt, was going to run a chess program through the After School Activities Partnership. This was exciting news to me as Henry had started showing an interest in chess and was learning the basics from his grandfather. I was so grateful that Ms. Angstadt was bringing chess to Stanton. The first time I mentioned joining the chess club/team to Henry, he lit up. He was game.

I am not exaggerating when I say that much of my anxiety about the upcoming school year subsided when I heard this opportunity was available for students. It was a sign of hope.

Henry attends practices every week and comes home enthusiastically describing chess moves and strategies. Due to donations of chess sets from members or our community, he was able to bring one home with him. When not playing at school, he plays with his father and friends, and helps me learn how to play (or at least he tried to). He asked for books on chess strategies for Christmas and requested I track down a game called Stealth Chess on Ebay. We watched and later purchased “Brooklyn Castle” and were enthralled by it. He learns a great deal about sportsmanship, maturity and grace at the chess tournaments he attends every few weeks with his team. Win or lose, he always reports that he has a great time. He was so proud of his team when they made it to the semi-finals and his father and I were so proud of him when we learned that he was the highest scorer on his team, though we are thrilled simply by the fact that he has found an activity he enjoys so much and has committed himself to.

Chess has been a source of optimism for my family during what are very troubling times for those of us who care deeply about the state of public education in this city and providing our youngest residents with every opportunity they deserve. I cannot thank Ms. Angstadt and the After School Activities Partnership enough for their commitment and dedication to our kids."

 

 

 

 

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1:00 pm - 5:30 pm

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3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

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After School Activities Partnerships
1520 Locust Street, Suite 1104
Philadelphia, PA 19102
P: 215.545.2727 | F: 215. 545.3054
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