December 04, 2019

We Need You as an Afterschool Advocate

By Kelly Riding | 

How is it already nearly 2020? I don’t know a better way to start out a new decade than to advocate for what’s most important to us-- our kids. It’s time to start preparing for the 2020 Utah Legislative Session, and as afterschool providers and professionals, we have the opportunity to educate our policymakers about the impact of afterschool programs. They look to us as the experts, and it’s our civic responsibility to inform them about our great work. 

Demand for afterschool programs across the state continues to far outpace the supply of programs. To help children and families get the afterschool programs they need and deserve, we need policymakers, business, and education leaders at all levels to work together to increase financial support. We owe it to the kids!

Shameless plug - check out the article we published in the Tribune in October about how we can work together to advocate the need for programs. 

One way to be engaged this legislative session is to show your love for afterschool by participating in our 3rd Annual Afterschool Day on the Hill on February 13, 2020. 

Advocacy Tips

In preparation for the 2020 Utah Legislative Session and Day on the Hill, we want to make sure you’re well equipped with information. Below are some tips and tricks to get you started. 

  • Send an introductory email to your legislators. Don’t know who they are? Look them up on our advocacy landing page
  • The Utah Legislative session is only 45 days (it’s one of the shortest sessions in the country!) and our policymakers not only work hard for us during those 45 days but all year long.
  • Messaging matters.
  • Create three bullet points and be prepared to give your elevator speech in 30 seconds or less.
  • Share program funding gaps and information about waiting lists.
  • Always be positive even if you don’t agree with your policymaker.
  • Be ready to share data and stories.
  • Build relationships outside of the session.
  • Invite your policymaker to visit your program any time (except during the session). Use our Policymaker Site Visit Toolkit to ensure a successful visit. 
  • If you don’t know an answer to a policymaker’s question, don’t make it up. Tell them you’re not sure and you’ll get back to them with the answer. And make sure you follow up!

Afterschool Day on the HillScreen Shot 2019 12 04 at 6.29.17 PM

On February 13, 2020 we plan to share our love of afterschool by filling the Capitol Rotunda with afterschool programs, students, staff, and parents who are excited to share the benefits of afterschool programs. Join us!

We are accepting registration for organizations to host exhibit tables. We have limited space, so sign up soon! Registration closes February 7, 2020. 

Be sure to review the advocacy page on our website for the State of Afterschool Report, one-pagers, local research, talking points, and other resources to help you be the best possible afterschool advocate.

Utah Afterschool Day on the Hill details:

February 13, 2020
1:00 - 4:00 PM
Utah State Capitol Rotunda

We hope to see you there!

RSVP Today