A very big thank you to the Juneau Community Foundation for its recent grant from the Blackwell Fund to the Juneau Afterschool Coalition (JASC). The grant will help support a second school year of B.A.M. (Body and Mind, Before/After Middle School), a program of community-based before and after school activities for Floyd Dryden and Dzantik’i Heeni students.
The Juneau Community Foundation’s Blackwell Fund was one of the original supporters of the launch of the Juneau Afterschool Coalition in late 2011 and we very much appreciate their continued faith in our goals and our program.
National research and a recent study by the University of Alaska have found what students do from the end of the school day until adults get home makes a difference in academic performance and youth health and safety. According to the UA study, “Being involved in organized after school activities two or more days per week” is the most effective way to “increase the likelihood of getting As and Bs in school,” and is highly effective in decreasing the odds of youth engaging in risky behaviors.
During the 2012-13 school year, its first full year of implementation, B.A.M. attracted nearly one in three Juneau middle school students to 21 activity classes (146 sessions) after school. Activities included cooking, art, outdoor skills, archery, babysitter training, preparing for a driver’s permit, junior police academy, photography and others, nearly all led by volunteers or staff from our partner organizations. All activities are free and healthy snacks are provided.
Thanks to JCF’s Blackwell Fund and others we hope to offer more diverse activities that attract even more students in the coming school year.