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Mar 06, 2010  Lena Townsend

In a 2002 Afterschool Alliance nationwide poll, 90% of the registered voters polled supported afterschool programs. These voters want children to be involved in the safe and enriching activities that quality afterschool programs provide. However, afterschool programs are currently at a pivotal point in their history. Now, more than ever, it is agreed that afterschool programs are necessary for positive youth development. And, increasingly, programs are being held more accountable. However, most programs have not been provided with the resources−time, staff or funding−to demonstrate their effectiveness and value. Furthermore, as a result of our economic climate, the sources of public and private funding that can provide even basic support these programs are tenuous.

Through its direct service grants, technical assistance, and research and dissemination activities, The Robert Bowne Foundation is supporting the field of afterschool education in documenting and disseminating their practices in order to provide critical information to a wider audience-programs, funders, and policymakers. Our ultimate goal is to increase access to youth-centered, quality out-of-school programs for all young people.

I hope you will explore our website to learn more about the Robert Bowne Foundation and the afterschool programs we support. And, on behalf of the Foundation's board and staff, I invite you to join us in our mission to increase access to quality out-of-school programs for all young people.

Lena O. Townsend
Executive Director
The Robert Bowne Foundation