"We are investing in afterschool programs because we know that when middle school students have engaging experiences, they are much more likely to stay interested in school and graduate from high school — which is not only good for them, but good for our entire city."
Karl Dean, Mayor, Nashville, TN
"These programs provide rich opportunities for growth, learning and fun. And we know that when a city coordinates its after-school programs, the result is that more children benefit."
Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor, Baltimore, MD
"It's important that we raise awareness about what afterschool programs do. We're not babysitters; we're actually changing kids' lives."
Mark Teixeira, First Baseman, New York Yankees and Supporter of the Harlem RBI
"To compete in the future, New Hampshire will need more workers with backgrounds in science and engineering, technology and math. That's why so many businesses have joined with programs like FIRST Robotics to inspire students to pursue careers in these fields."
John Lynch, Governor, New Hampshire
"It's simply too important for us to let go and not keep trying as a community, to form those partnerships and leverage our resources so that we can take care of our kids. And collectively, we all have a responsibility to help raise those kids."
Mary Verner, Former Mayor, Spokane, WA
"After school extended learning opportunities strengthen our students' chance of success. We know that increased parental involvement is a key variable in raising student achievement."
Susan Gourley, Former Lincoln Public Schools Superintendent,
"We have after-school programming in every one of our city schools as a result of our City/Schools partnership. This program has been effective in securing our children's safety and learning."
George Heartwell, Mayor, Grand Rapids, MI
"It's so important that our nation's youth gain a solid understanding of and interest in science, technology, engineering and math if we are going to raise a generation that can compete in the global marketplace and become engaged citizens."
Connie Chow, Executive Director, The Science Club for Girls
"The lessons young people learn in middle school stay with them for a lifetime. It is important to take advantage of this unique time in young people's development to provide them with the tools they will need to be successful in high school, college and life."
Dennis White, President and CEO, MetLife Foundation
"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."
Jodi Grant, Executive Director, Afterschool Alliance
"Kids will not only get physical activity, but they'll learn about healthy eating and other areas of living a healthy lifestyle."
Rose Reinert, Executive Director, Elgin Boys & Girls Club, Elgin, IL
"...With Coming Up Taller programs, more young people are staying after school instead of dropping out of school. More are participating in plays and tuning into music. Rather than giving up, they are giving in to the joy of expressing themselves on stage. ...Mentors also provide career counseling and more than 90 percent of the students in the program go on to college...The study of the arts and humanities gives children the chance to be extraordinary - the power to be themselves."
Laura Bush, Former First Lady
"Every year, programs reaching children in the afterschool hours continue to innovate. In 2009-2010, The Afterschool Corporation (TASC) took to heart President Obama's proclamation to the nation's students: 'We're going to show you how cool science can be.' TASC developed a science curriculum in New York City where third-graders build a telescope, seventh-graders have fun learning about states of matter by making Oobleck, and all of them change their images of who does science."
Milton Chen, Author, Education Nation: Six Leading Edges of Innovation in Our Schools
"Afterschool programs are important not only to young people and their families, but also to communities. ...We know that these programs not only help children succeed academically, they also help children learn new skills, develop an understanding of the importance of getting involved in their communities and become good citizens."
Joe Schoenstein, President, Bright House Networks Bakersfield Division
*All quotes were gathered from public sources.