‘We The People’ means our youngest Americans, too

We’re grateful for recent media attention about the importance of after-school enrichment in recent days:
›› First, big thanks to the Nebraska Examiner, whose recent article brought attention to a new report from the national Afterschool Alliance showing that unmet demand for after-school programs in Nebraska has reached an all-time high.
Afterschool Alliance estimated that more than 60,000 kids in the state were left unsupervised after school. The figure is from survey responses of more than 31,000 parents of school-age children across the nation, including 395 households in our state.
According to the report: “Nebraska’s unmet demand for after-school programs has grown in the last decade. For every child in an after-school program, four more children reportedly are waiting to get in. Sixty-three percent of Nebraska parents surveyed reported that out-of-school programming helped their child learn responsible decision-making and that 91 percent believed that the activities their children engaged in helped build positive relationships with adults and mentors.”
›› Second, big thanks to KLKN-TV in Lincoln. Reporter and weekend anchor Alexa Skonieki recently visited Civic Nebraska’s Community Learning Center at Campbell Elementary to learn about what happens at CLC, and to chat with Civic Nebraska’s Erin Outson, the school community coordinator at Campbell:
Sometimes, we get asked what after-school programs have to do with democracy. Our answer? Everything. “We, the people” includes our youngest Americans, too. Civic Nebraska is the lead agency at six before- and after-school programs and even more outside-of-school service-learning clubs in Lincoln, Omaha, and Greater Nebraska. We introduce students to civic engagement early on, which helps them better develop critical thinking, civic leadership, and civil discourse skills. 
Those are the basic building blocks of democratic citizenship. Engaged, informed citizens must be able to evaluate situations and act for positive change. Students who can think critically about, and make meaning of, societal issues are better able to navigate their individual environments – and succeed in them.
Learn more about our Youth Civic Leadership programs here.