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By Jessica Woltjen, Outreach Manager

Earlier this month, President Trump released his budget priorities which included the elimination of funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program, the only dedicated federal funding for afterschool, before school, and summer learning. It’s now up to Congress to counter the cut—or eliminate 21st CCLC thereby getting rid of programs relied on by families across the nation to keep kids safe and engaged. If enacted, 243 out-of-school time programs across Georgia would likely have to close their doors and over 27,000 children would lose access to the high quality afterschool, before school, and summer learning programs they need.

The president’s blueprint of the budget and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney justified the elimination by claiming that the program lacks strong evidence of meeting its objectives despite decades of research showing otherwise. The 21st CCLC Program has been shown to improve classroom behavior, increase homework completion, decrease grade retention, and improve academic performance.

Fortunately, the president’s proposal faces hurdles in Congress, but we need your help! Here are some ways for you to get involved:

  1. Get Social! Use our social media toolkit to share with your friends, network, and lawmakers why you support 21st CCLC.
  2. Share Your Story! Reach out to your Congressmen’s offices and let them know how afterschool has helped you, your child, or your community using our sample letter.
  3. Share Research on Why #Afterschoolworks! Check out our fact sheet on Georgia’s 21st CCLC Program or the Afterschool Alliance’s new Afterschool Impacts Database. After you have your data, print it, email it, tweet it, present it, or share it in whatever way you can!

To find more Georgia-specific resources, check out GSAN’s page dedicated to 21st CCLC here. Stay tuned for more ways to get involved!