The Utah Afterschool Network has been selected by the National League of Cities as one of five networks nationwide to host a statewide Mayoral Summit on Afterschool and Expanded Learning in 2014. Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker will co-host with UAN, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and other partners to bring together city leaders, state agency officials and school and community partners to focus on expanding afterschool opportunities for children and youth in the state.
 
“Education is the foundation of a sustainable community and paramount to the social and economic viability for all cities in our nation,” said Mayor Becker. “It is essential that children have an equitable opportunity for extended learning and enrichment through constructive afterschool programming.  
 
“Municipal leadership is the key to successful support of afterschool programming. I am pleased to co-host UAN’s effort in convening a statewide summit to discuss how young people have access to quality afterschool opportunities.”
 
The 2014 summit series will convene a number of local elected officials statewide and is focused specifically on the issue of afterschool. The network will receive $9,000 in grant funding and strategic planning assistance from NLC. Additionally, UAN will partner with the Utah League of Cities and Towns and mayoral champions to host the summits with the funding support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation.  
 
Summit objectives will include raising awareness of the critical roles mayors can play to support afterschool; connecting mayors with peers from across their states; highlighting successful approaches to building citywide systems of afterschool programming; engaging mayors in shaping state afterschool policies; and developing strategic partnerships among city leaders, UAN, and state agencies to advance local afterschool initiatives.  
 
“The newly announced afterschool series of summits will provide unique opportunities for stakeholders across the state to engage in a critical dialogue on out-of-school time programming. Approximately 28% of Utah’s children are unsupervised during the afterschool hours. We know that effective afterschool programs improve education, safety, and health outcomes, equip youth with skills for a successful future, and help us build stronger, healthier communities,” said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor of Avondale, AZ. “These summits will help city and state leaders work together more effectively to ensure that all children have access to high-quality afterschool opportunities. The adage ‘it takes a village’ means all of the village must engage.”
 
The Utah League of Cities and Towns is partnering with UAN and will be distributing a survey to assess municipal financial support for afterschool programming. Findings will be shared during the events.
 
More information will be available through the presentation, “Municipal Leadership for Afterschool Learning” on Thurs., Sept. 12 at 3 p.m. at the Annual ULCT Convention at the Sheraton Hotel, 150 W. 500 South in Salt Lake City. 
 
To learn more about the statewide afterschool networks, visit http://www.statewideafterschoolnetworks.net/