• The Widening Gap: Why America’s Working Families Are in Jeopardy – And What Can Be Done About It, by Jody Heymann, Basic Books, 2001. Makes a compelling argument for why America needs to update its social policies to better support working families (including providing comprehensive after-school programs) and explains how inadequate measures put kids at risk.
• Afterschool Alliance – 202-296-9378,www.afterschoolalliance.org – This coalition of organizations promotes an agenda of after-school care. Enter your ZIP code and learn who your elected officials in Congress are, then e-mail them directly.
• Charles Stewart Mott Foundation – 810-238-5651,www.mott.org – Provides grants and training to help develop and enhance community-school partnerships.
• Fight Crime, Invest in Kids – 202-776-0027 (national office), www.fightcrime.org – This anti-crime organization works to keep kids from becoming criminals. A chief mission is to fight for after-school programming. You can contact your state and national elected officials directly from the group’s Web site.
• National Governor’s Alliance – 202-624-5387, www.nga.org/elodata – The Alliance’s Extra Learning Opportunities Database of state-level after-school programs documents programs and best practices throughout the nation.
• The National Institute for Out-of-School Time at Wellesley College – 781-283-2547, www.noist.org – Seeks to improve the quantity and quality of school-age care programs nationally through research, education and training, consultation, program and community development, and public awareness.
• 21st Century Learning Centers – www.ed.gov/21stcclc/index.html – Visit this site for more information about the federally funded grant program that targets schools with low-income and low-performing students.
• U.S. Department of Education – www.ed.gov/pubs/SafeandSmart – Offers Safe and Smart: Making the After-School Hours Work for Kids, a publication that provides parents with an overview of the research and findings that support after-school programs. A list of exemplary programs is included.