Policy Review: Documenting Legislative Successes of Statewide Afterschool Networks
Each year, teams from each of the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks (SAN) are invited to join together to share ideas, resources and strategies for achieving the collective goals of the networks on governance, funding and quality of afterschool programs. The national network meeting fosters cross-network learning with a range of opportunities for small group discussions on targeted topics.
The Mott Foundation-funded networks focus on collaborative learning and knowledge sharing. A need was recognized around helping state networks become leaders in impacting policy development, and becoming a go-to resource for policymakers. Learning to navigate the legislative landscape is challenging and often times, daunting. The meeting provides an opportune time for reflections on the legislative successes and challenges of the statewide afterschool networks.
As part of Collaborative's longstanding role in supporting Mott's work with building SAN's knowledge base, in 2004 we began creating policy reviews that share knowledge and best practices. These reports debut each year at the national network meeting.
In 2008, Collaborative saw a need to go deeper into some of the success stories. With an advisory committee comprised of members of Afterschool Technical Assisstance Collaborative, we:
- Managed the identification of the seven networks that we would interview and profile
- Sought out the network leads to capture their stories and share lessons for other networks
- Surveyed the remaining 31 networks on their legislative accomplishments from 2007-2008, and drafted statements for Developed and wrote a policy review that included the seven case studies and the other legislative successes
- Engaged in feedback sessions with the Advisory Committee
- Designed an accessible, easy-to-read policy review for widespread use and disseminated it at the January 2009 national network meeting in Tampa, FL.
The National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks continue to grow and expand their technical expertise and ability to become advocates for afterschool in the policy arena. This resource supports the networks in becoming effective leaders who policymakers will look to when making education and out-of-school time policy. This policy review is one way for networks to continue to stay informed on best practices of fellow states.
Find more information on the National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks.
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