WHY AFTER-SCHOOL ALL-STARS SOUTH FLORIDA
Each day, After-School All-Stars South Florida provides free, high quality after-school programs for approximately 6,000 low-income students at 32 schools. We believe the After-School All-Stars program model is distinct in significant ways, making it an ideal partner for local schools and communities.
ASAS programs are completely free for all students.
Our students do not have to pay to be members of ASAS nor are they charged any annual dues or fees to receive our programs and services.
ASAS programs are school based.
Our programs only take place at Title I schools where more than 50% of students qualify for the Federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program, a proxy for poverty. We operate on over 400 school sites across the U.S.
By running programs at school sites, ASAS does not have to spend money on the construction, maintenance or security of its own buildings.
ASAS does not incur costs for daily transportation to and from our facilities or put students in position where they have to travel to programs alone.
ASAS is not a “drop in” program.
Students who sign up must attend a certain amount of days each week to be able to participate and to enjoy the benefits of many fieldtrips and group events. Students must attend at least 30 days a year to be counted as a participant in our program. We do not officially count the tens of thousands of students who attend our programs for a few days or event as ASAS participants.
Students must participate in all components of our comprehensive program model and cannot simply choose just to do sports or enrichment or academic element without the others.
ASAS is Solutions Oriented
ASAS has moved from being a “National Program Provider” to being a “National Solution Provider” to severe crises facing America’s youth.
In a time of shrinking financial resources but greater challenges facing kids, we recognize we are one of few organizations in position to respond on a national scale.
In response to America’s youth obesity crisis, we created our “Sports as a Hook” program. In response to America’s high school drop crisis we have launched “We Are Ready” and “CampUs.” In response to America’s Civic Engagement Crisis, we have launched “Life. Service Action.” In response to America’s economic crisis, we have recently created “CEO: Career Exploration Opportunities” program.
ASAS’s sole mission and focus is to provide free school based after-school programs for youth
The core and primary work of all 12 ASAS cities is to run free after-school programs each day.
All of our organizational energy, expertise and resources are focused on after-school programs.
ASAS Partners with Schools and Becomes an Extension of the School Day
Our lead staff work at partner schools during the school day and after school hours.
We work closely with principals and administrators to design and tailor our program to what the school most needs and wants.
We hire many certified teachers who teach in our schools during the day and know our students, to lead the academic portion of after-school programs.
If a student asserts, “I don’t have any homework.” We can respond “We checked with your teacher and here is your assignment.” If they claim, “I don’t have my books.” We can respond “We have them here.”
ASAS is the largest national organization specifically focused on serving middle school age students
Not all periods of life are equal in terms of a person’s development. The change and growth in a person between the ages of 11-14 is critical and lasting. As result, ASAS does not focus on serving all students 0-18. Rather we hone in on serving middle school students when their identity is up for grabs and they are deciding “who they want to be” and “how they want to live”
Middle school is an age group historically under served by after-school program providers. There are many programs for elementary school students in the form of structured day care. High schools offer numerous clubs, teams and extra-curricular activities. However, middle school students are often left with few safe and structured opportunities between 3 and 6 pm.
Often middle school students are big enough to travel home alone after school and many parents become less concerned with where their children are and what they are doing after school. Sadly, studies show that 3-6 pm is the prime time when unsupervised students are most likely to become involved with gangs, crime, drugs and unsafe sex.
ASAS is a “National yet Nimble” organization
We are a national organization with a lean, efficient administration and small bureaucracy. Everyone at our national and local chapter leadership levels personally know one another, work together and are willing to help each other out whenever possible
If someone has a good idea or program at any level, whether a student, parent, staff, volunteer or funder, we are able to quickly share the idea, pilot, evaluate and replicate it across the country. Many programs grow this with “CampUs” high school transition programs, a most recent example. It first ran in New York, then LA and is now offered in 9 cities.
ASAS is highly collaborative with other non-profit organizations
We do not want to reinvent the wheel and will work with any proven and reputable partner with more expertise or a specific ability to provide a unique program experience for the benefit our students. We have numerous national and local partnerships which enhance the quality of our programs.
ASAS maintains a collaborative national network of chapters
Senior staff from all chapters personally know one another and communicate regularly. We are not so large of an organization where people can get lost in the shuffle or feel without power to communicate or be heard.
The ASAS National network of chapters is tight knit and supportive. Chapter staff at all levels regularly convene, share and learn from another to discuss best practices and mistakes to avoid.