By Sam Piha
Afterschool programs are now a part of the community landscape, with over 10.2 million young participants. Few are even aware that afterschool has been around for over a hundred years, making important contributions to families and the larger society.
Afterschool professionals, numbering over 850,000, are often not acknowledged. But we can change that! Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is April 22-26.
According to the National AfterSchool Association (NAA), “this is a joint effort of community partners, afterschool programs, youth and child development workers and individuals who have committed to declaring the last full week of April each year as a time to recognize and appreciate those who work with youth during out-of-school hours.”
There are a number of ways organizations, schools, parents and program leaders can recognize and appreciate afterschool workers:
Join in the celebrations and display your appreciation of afterschool professionals who make a difference in the lives of young people. NAA has developed a toolkit and a number of ideas for AfterSchool Professionals Appreciation Week.
Sam Piha is the founder and principal of Temescal Associates, a consulting group dedicated to building the capacity of leaders and organizations in education and youth development.