April 17, 2020

Join The Movement | Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week

By Chaz Pounder |  

It’s time to recognize the extraordinary individuals who work with students during out-of-school hours, including community partners, afterschool program staff, and youth and child care workers. Utah Afterschool Network (UAN) is delighted to celebrate Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week and to offer a special “thank you” to all of the incredible individuals who make a difference in the lives of young people throughout Utah’s communities. We are grateful for your commitment to enhancing your knowledge of OST best practices, exposing youth to new experiences, and supporting families. 

The Value of our Afterschool Professionals 

Afterschool professionals throughout the nation support 10.2 million children in activities that help them enhance skills in STEM, literacy, social and emotional learning, health and wellness, and much more. These unsung heroes are the heart and soul of OST programming and are a decisive element in young people’s access to high-quality relationships and expanded opportunities beyond school and home. We are grateful for our providers and recognize how difficult, yet rewarding, their work can be. We encourage everyone to join us this week in taking the time to thank afterschool professionals for the impact they make.

How can you show your appreciation? 

The National Afterschool Association has a variety of ideas for families, administrators, and community groups to show their appreciation for the afterschool professionals in their lives. Here are a few ideas for you to get started. 

Screen_Shot_2020-04-10_at_7.36.58_AM.pngFor Families 

  • Handwritten cards from you and/or your child
  • An email to the staff member’s manager or administrator 
  • Heartfelt video message
  • Gift cards for a specialty coffee, teacher supply store or bookstore

For Administrators/Managers 

  • Sharing with parents and kids about Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week via email or social media
  • Creating awards for specific strengths of staff members (Best Family Communicators, STEM Star, MOST Positive, etc.) 
  • Sending a press release to your local media 

For Communities & Affiliate Groups 

  • Sharing about Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week in your online communications (website, eNewsletters, social media) 
  • Hosting virtual events honoring the success of your local afterschool programs 
  • Sending a press release to your local media
  • Asking local officials to proclaim the event 

NAA Toolbox 

The National Afterschool Association also provides a toolbox of resources for you to use to help spread the word and to show your appreciation for afterschool professionals. Here’s what they have:

  • Graphics and Logos: These graphics and logos can be used to share on social media, add to posters/signs, added to press releases for local media, etc.
  • Sample Social Media Posts: They provide sample posts for programs and program partners and also for individuals. You can use these posts or use them as inspiration to develop your own!
  • Video: This video shares some statistics about afterschool and afterschool professionals. It also provides some examples of how those who watch it can show their appreciation for the wonderful afterschool professionals in their community. Share this video on social media or share it with administration and community partners.
  • Announcements: These announcements can be sent out in emails, shared in newsletters to families, staff, stakeholders, etc.
  • Press Release: Use this press release to send to local media or as a template to develop your own with more local information.
  • Flyers: They have two types of flyers. “Recognition” flyers to use in your program or around your community and a “Ways to Celebrate” flyer. The “Ways to Celebrate” flyer is a great way to spread the word about celebrating Afterschool Professionals Appreciation week!
  • Talking Points: These talking points can be used with families, community partners, local media, and local government officials.
  • Proclamation: This proclamation is for local and state offices to recognize Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week and the importance these adults play in the lives of youth.

Screen_Shot_2020-04-16_at_2.51.54_PM.pngBecause of the important role afterschool professionals play in the lives of youth, they deserve recognition and support! We challenge you to do something to show your appreciation for the afterschool professionals in your community during the week of April 20-24, 2020.