COLUMBIA’S BRODERICK SELECTED AS ONE OF JUST 12 ‘AFTERSCHOOL AMBASSADORS’ FROM ACROSS NATION

Wendy Broderick Will Work in South Carolina and Nationally to Expand Afterschool

Washington, DC – The Afterschool Alliance today announced that Wendy Broderick, Chief Development Officer, YMCA of Columbia, S.C., has been selected to serve as a 2014 Afterschool Ambassador.  She is one of just 12 local leaders from across the country to be chosen for the honor this year.  Each Afterschool Ambassador will continue directing or supporting a local afterschool program while also serving the one-year Afterschool Ambassador term organizing public events, communicating with policy makers, and building support for afterschool programs. Wendy is one of three Active Hours Afterschool Ambassadors whose work is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to the Afterschool Alliance.

“In the Midlands and all across the country, quality afterschool programs are doing a terrific job meeting the needs of students, families and communities,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “Afterschool programs keep kids safe during the out of school time hours, help working families, and inspire students to learn by offering enriching activities like Tae Kwon Do, robotics and cooking clubs, as well as homework help, physical fitness, connections to mentors, and much more. As an Afterschool Ambassador, Wendy will bring great energy to the work to build even stronger support for afterschool programs among parents, business and community leaders, lawmakers and others.  I look forward to working with her this year.”

Afterschool programs are under intense pressure.  The Afterschool Alliance’s 2012 Uncertain Times survey found that more than three in five (62 percent) afterschool programs reported that their funding is down “a little or a lot” from three years earlier.  Even in communities where local economies and program funding are faring better, program leaders express significant concern about their financial outlook and their inability to reach all children who need afterschool programs.

“I am delighted to have this chance to help increase support for afterschool programs, which give students important opportunities to be physically active and to explore their interests while giving parents the security that comes with knowing that their children are safe and actively engaged after the school day ends,” said Broderick. “Afterschool programs are critical to students’ success in school and in life, to working families, and to the nation’s workforce and its economy.  We need to increase resources to afterschool programs and work toward the day when there is a program for every child who needs one.”

Combining active play with academics, the Y’s afterschool program provides learning enrichment through physical education, sports, nutrition, arts, and music. It also provides children with an extra support system to help them achieve and reach their full potential. The Y is a leading nonprofit committed to youth development and a pioneer in afterschool programs. The Y believes guidance, encouragement and support through positive role models along the learning continuum – from early learning and preschool to high school graduation and college – provide the best chance for youth to succeed in school and life.

Each Afterschool Ambassador will organize a major event for Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance’s 15th annual national rally for afterschool, to be held on October 23, 2014.  Last year, one million people participated in some 7,500 Lights On Afterschool events across the United States and at U.S. military bases worldwide.

The 2014 Afterschool Ambassadors are:

  • Alabama, Birmingham:  Erika Eatmon, Education Coordinator, Birmingham Regional Empowerment and Development (BREAD) Center;
  • Alaska, Juneau:  Terri Campbell;
  • Arkansas, Jonesboro: Rennell Woods, Executive Director, At-Risk American Male Education Network (AAMEN);
  • Colorado, Fort Collins: María Ortiz, 21st CCLC Grant Director, Poudre School District;
  • Kansas, Overland Park: Pamela Watkins, Vice President Youth Development Services, YMCA of Greater Kansas City;
  • Louisiana, New Orleans: Cyndi Nguyen, Director, Vietnamese Initiatives in Economic Training (VIET);
  • Maryland, Rockville: Elizabeth McGlynn, Executive Director, Girls on the Run of Montgomery County;
  • Nebraska, Omaha: Gwynette Williams, Program Director, Collective for Youth;
  • New York, Brooklyn: Omari McCleary, Program Director, Good Shepherd Services,
  • South Carolina, Columbia: Wendy Broderick, Chief Development Officer, YMCA of Columbia
  • Texas, Fort Worth: Miguel Garcia, Director, Fort Worth After School; and
  • Washington, Cheney: Tammie Shaw.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which has committed to reversing the national childhood obesity epidemic by 2015, provided a grant to the Afterschool Alliance to support the work of three Active Hours Afterschool Ambassadors. The abTThe Ambassadors will help bring attention to efforts to expand the quantity and quality of physical activity during the out of school hours. Pamela Watkins, Vice President Youth Development Services at the YMCA of Greater Kansas City, and Elizabeth McGlynn, Executive Director at Girls on the Run of Montgomery County, are also Active Hours Afterschool Ambassadors.

Many more students across the country need access to afterschool programs.  More than 15 million school-age children – more than one in four kids in the United States – are unsupervised after the school day ends.  The parents of 18 million children say they would enroll their kids in afterschool programs – if programs were available.

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The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs.  More information is available atwww.afterschoolalliance.org.