The Fort Worth Parks Department will soon begin offering anti-graffiti lessons to third, fourth and fifth graders in afterschool programs at 52 schools and 19 community centers, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The schools and community centers are located in “high graffiti” areas. Program organizers are also considering launching a viral video campaign and providing support for pubic murals.

This story originally appeared in the Afterschool Advocate (Vol. 10, Issue 2).

Afterschool and the Environment

The Afterschool Alliance has published a new Issue Brief, “Afterschool and the Environment: A Natural Fit.” Created in partnership with T-Mobile USA, the Brief examines the intersection between environmental issues, science and afterschool enrichment and offers case studies and examples of successful programs across the country that are taking fresh approaches to incorporating environmental education via afterschool programs. The report concludes that “Afterschool programs are at the forefront of the environmental education movement. They provide innovative environmental programming that bolsters academic achievement and boosts the physical and emotional health of children. In part, this is because afterschool programs partner with community based organizations, corporations and other groups to benefit children and, communities.”

In Their Own Words…
“One of the first areas where we can foster innovation is the amount of time our students spend learning. Other top-performing countries do not take two months off in the summer. They do not dismiss students at two in the afternoon. Instead, they spend 30 or 40 more days per year in school and offer safe, constructive activities that keep kids learning. We must expand quality afterschool programs and rethink the school day to incorporate more time, whether that’s by extending hours or offering more summer school.” — U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, addressing the National Science Teachers Association Conference, March 20, 2009.