It’s hard to believe that we are wrapping up another fiscal year. FY20 certainly presented its challenges, but the field adjusted quickly to the unprecedented COVID crisis. Here at Vermont Afterschool, we continued to serve the field while adapting our outreach and professional development to be exclusively virtual (hello, Zoom). We were able to continue to Strengthen Programs and Empower Youth, thanks to YOUR flexibility and willingness to engage through technology.
Each year, we provide opportunities for program leaders to participate in professional development and communities of practice; serve on committees and coalitions; enroll in courses and receive technical assistance; and participate in statewide advocacy efforts. We have opportunities for youth to grow in skills and empowerment, through initiatives like VerMoney and Youth4Youth grants. In addition, we have engaged whole communities in improving youth outcomes through our Vermont Youth Project. Our initiatives are ever-growing and expanding. This is in no way a comprehensive list.
Through our initiatives in 2019-20, we had 794 program leaders (directors, site coordinators, staff, etc.) participate in our initiatives. In total, they represented 192 afterschool and youth-serving organizations comprising 318 individual program sites. These efforts ultimately impacted youth in 151 towns in Vermont. This is 56% of all towns in the state and 89% of towns that have afterschool programs and youth-serving organizations.
The heatmap below presents a visual representation of our site-level impact. The heaviest impact is logically in more populated areas where there are more programs such as Chittenden, Washington, and Rutland counties. But our impact extends to all 14 counties in the state.
We can break down these initiatives into three categories: main initiatives, committees, and advocacy efforts. The vast majority of our impact on programs is through our main initiatives — professional development, our conferences, communities of practice, technical assistance, courses, field roundtables, L.E.A.D., and other such projects. Through these types of initiatives, we had participation from 782 individuals representing 189 organizations that comprised 318 individual program sites. This impact extended to the aforementioned 151 towns statewide.
Program leaders throughout the state have opportunities for involvement through participation on various committees and coalitions: the 9to26 Coalition, Advocacy Committee, Afterschool Advisory Group, Conference Committee, and the Board of Directors. In total in 2019-20, 27 individuals served in these groups.They represented 22 organizations comprising 26 individual program sites.
Program leaders also participated in advocacy efforts. They attended Afterschool & Summer Learning Day and sent youth as ambassadors for the day, testified before the legislature, and participated in other calls for action. In 2019-20, 52 individuals participated in such efforts. They represented 33 organizations comprising 86 individual program sites.
As we bravely enter into summer and then a new different kind of school year, you can count on Vermont Afterschool to adapt as necessary to support the statewide amazing programs and empower our fearless youth!