JCF steps up for Juneau After School Coalition programs

In photo, left to right: Amy Skilbred, JCF executive director; Kevin Ritchie, After School Coalition volunteer; Laury Scandling, Juneau School District assistant superintendent; Reed Stoops, JCF Board member; Rosemary Hagevig, Catholic Community Service executive director; Edward Thomas, CCTHITA president; and Lance Stevens, United Way chair.

The Juneau Community Foundation (JCF) is pleased to facilitate a $25,000 contribution to the Juneau After School Coalition to help support its after-school program in Juneau’s middle schools. The program is planned to start as soon as activity programs are in place, anticipated to be early in the coming school year.

A survey of Juneau middle school students indicates that six out of 10 students currently “hang out at home or with friends” from the time school is out until parents arrive home from work.

Responding to the community need for an after-school program created by public funding cuts in 2009 and 2010 and the closing of the Boys and Girls Club, a coalition of 18 Juneau nonprofit, governmental and community service organizations developed an integrated plan to create an effective and sustainable community based afterschool program in Juneau’s middle schools. The program hopes to foster academic and learning skills; reduce drug, alcohol, and tobacco use; stem behavioral risks; and provide a safe, after school alternative for middle school students until 6 p.m.

The Juneau After School Coalition has now raised sufficient funds to hire a coordinator for the program for the first year, but is continuing to seek funding and community organization involvement for its longer-term operation. According to the Coalition, the key to making the after school program a success will be linking existing community organizations that are able to provide after school activities of interest to middle school age students.

A memorandum of agreement has been signed among the cooperating parties and an advisory board established to guide the program and to seek future funding to try to insure its long-term success.

The Juneau Community Foundation, through one of its dedicated donor-advised funds, is putting in the critical piece to launch the program this fall.

JCF is especially pleased to join an impressive and diverse group of Juneau programs who have pledged to make this goal a reality, and wishes to thank all of them for their efforts to tackle a critical need for Juneau youth at a vulnerable stage in their lives.

For more information, contact Amy Skilbred of the Juneau Community Foundation at 523-5450, or online, at www.juneaucf.org.

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