Afterschool Ambassador Program: Legacy of Leadership
News Release Contact: Magen Eissenstat
October 1, 2019 202/371-1999
Palm Beach County’s Harvey Chosen to Be One of Just 15 ‘Afterschool Ambassadors’ in the Country This Year
Washington, D.C. – The Afterschool Alliance today announced that Suzette L. Harvey, President/CEO of Prime Time Palm Beach County, has been selected to serve as an Afterschool Ambassador for the Afterschool Alliance in 2019-2020. Harvey is one of just 15 leaders in the United States chosen for the honor this year. Ambassadors will continue their work supporting local afterschool programs while serving the one-year Afterschool Ambassador term, organizing public events, communicating with policy makers and community leaders, and in other ways increasing awareness and support for afterschool and summer learning programs.
“We are delighted that Suzette L. Harvey will serve as an Afterschool Ambassador this year,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “With federal funding for quality afterschool and summer learning programs at risk, we need strong advocates like Suzette. Her work will mobilize parents, educators and business, community and faith leaders, among others, to send the message that afterschool programs are vital to the future of our children, families, and communities. Afterschool programs keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help give working families peace of mind. They offer hands-on learning opportunities, opportunities to think critically and collaborate, homework help, mentors, science and technology, healthy snacks and meals, sports and fitness, arts programming, college and job prep, and much more.”
“I am eager to join the Afterschool Alliance in building support for afterschool programs,” said Harvey. “In my 13 years working in the field, I’ve seen time and again the extraordinary difference that afterschool makes in the lives of young people in Florida. These programs help young people explore their interests, discover their passions, and learn to communicate with peers and adults while giving parents the security that comes from knowing their children are safe and supervised, with opportunities to learn and grow after the school day ends. I look forward to building support for the out-of-school-time opportunities all students need.”
Prime Time serves more than 25,000 children and youth, and nearly 200 out-of-school time programs each year. Prime Time partners with local organizations to offer engaging hands-on activities and experiences to children and youth attending eligible OST programs in a variety of content areas including: supporting school-day learning, caring for the whole child, discovering arts and culture, exploring technology, leadership and career pathways. Through the Palm Beach County Quality Improvement System (QIS), Prime Time offers services and supports to increase OST program quality. Using the Palm Beach County Quality Standards for Afterschool as the foundation for the work, Prime Time quality advisors guide participating programs through a self‐assessment process and development of an improvement plan. With community partners, Prime Time has created a comprehensive professional development system that supports OST professionals in Palm Beach County along a targeted pathway of professional development and training.
Each Ambassador will organize a major event for Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance’s annual rally for afterschool, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary this year. Most Lights On Afterschool events will be on or around Thursday, October 24. Last year, 1 million people participated in some 8,000 events across the United States and at U.S. military bases worldwide.
The 2019-2020 Afterschool Ambassadors are:
• Alaska: Courtney Havrilek, Lead Coordinator, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, Fairbanks NSB School District, Fairbanks;
• California: Leslie Einhorn, Founder & Executive Director, CASA (Children’s After School Arts), San Francisco;
• Colorado: Sarah Johnson, Senior Vice President of Education & Arts YouthPower365, Avon;
• Florida: Suzette L. Harvey, President/CEO, Prime Time Palm Beach County, Boynton Beach;
• Iowa: Robert C. Reid, Executive Director, Camp Fire Heart of Iowa, Des Moines;
• Michigan: Willie Buford, Site Manager, Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce – YouthQuest, Flint;
• Michigan: Trevor Davies, Sr. Manager, Forum for Youth Investment, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, Wyoming;
• Minnesota: Nicole Hernandez, Youth Development Director, Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota, St. Paul;
• New Mexico: Melinda Franco, Director, Lovington Youth Center, Lovington;
• North Carolina, Abigail Swanger, Family and Community Coordinator, Community Kids Afterschool Program, Boone;
• Ohio: Lori Garrison, Program Manager, 21st CCLC, Graham Local Schools, St. Paris;
• Tennessee: Rico X, Vice President of School Age Services, YMCA of Middle Tennessee, Nashville;
• Utah: Kaylee Milliner, Center Coordinator, Promise South Salt Lake, Salt Lake City;
• Virginia: Daryle Rodgers, Out-of-School Time Coordinator, Hampton City Schools, Hampton; and
• Wisconsin: Jennifer Smith, Afterschool Program Manager, Marshfield Clinic Health System, Marshfield.
The America After 3PM household survey of more than 30,000 families, commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, found that participation in afterschool programs has increased to 10.2 million students nationwide, up from 6.5 million in 2004. But the unmet demand for afterschool programs has increased as well. Today, for every child in an afterschool program, there are two more whose parents say they would participate, if a program were available. Unmet demand is especially high in rural communities and communities of concentrated poverty. One in five students in the United States today is unsupervised after the school day ends.
A large and growing body of evidence demonstrates improvements in attendance, behavior, academic achievement and more among children in afterschool programs. Researchers have also found that afterschool programs encourage increased parental involvement – an important building block for student success.
The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.
Prime Time Palm Beach County is a nonprofit organization that provides resources and supports for out-of-school time professionals to develop programs that inspire children to be their best and allow them to thrive socially and academically. Prime Time’s integrated model of services is one of the strongest, most comprehensive and well-respected systems for measuring and improving out-of-school time program quality in the nation.