An updated and expanded AZ Afterschool Directory, a free online directory with more than 1450 out-of-school time programs, launches the week of April 30. The state’s only directory searchable in both English and Spanish offers information about location, services, ages of youth served and other criteria through a map-based interface.
“New technology makes the updated directory even easier to search and we have expanded content to make it more comprehensive,” said Melanie McClintock, executive director, Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence. “With summer vacation approaching, parents have access to a huge range of information to help with their decision-making.”
McClintock said that the launch of the expanded directory will be promoted through promotional materials in library branches statewide and radio ads.
Research has clearly shown that keeping children and youth engaged during the summer has significant impact on their ability to retain what they learned during the school year. Arizona was recently ranked a Top 10 State for Afterschool by the Afterschool Alliance based on the largest national household survey ever conducted to gauge parent satisfaction and support for out-of-school time programs.
“The summer months are critically important for parents who want to ensure their children are safe and are involved in quality programs offering activities that are engaging, enriching and that build skills for success in school and in life,” McClintock said. “Through our “Make it Count! Pledge and the tools we provide for quality assessments and standards for out-of-school time programs statewide, the AZ Afterschool Directory is really the go-to resource to provide parents with peace of mind about the programs their children are participating in.”
The Afterschool Alliance’s America After 3PM survey revealed that 178,554 children in Arizona, or 16 percent of all K-12 youth statewide, participate in an afterschool program, but that 318,223 would be enrolled if a program was available to them.
“What sets Arizona apart is the very high level of parent satisfaction in afterschool programs and their understanding of the value of these programs for their kids,” McClintock said.
For more information, visit www.azafterschool.org.