Afterschool Ambassador Program: Legacy of Leadership

September 29, 2016

After-School All-Stars






Afterschool Ambassador Program: Legacy of Leadership


The District’s Grigioni Selected as One of Just 15 ‘Afterschool Ambassadors’ in United States This Year


Daniela Grigioni Will Work in Washington D.C., Nationally to Increase Students’ Access to Afterschool


Washington, D.C. – The Afterschool Alliance announced today that Daniela Grigioni, Executive Director at After-School All-Stars DC, has been selected to serve as a 2016-2017 Afterschool Ambassador. She is one of just 15 leaders from across the nation chosen for the honor this year. Each Afterschool Ambassador will continue directing or supporting a local afterschool program while also serving a one-year Afterschool Ambassador term, organizing public events, communicating with elected officials and policy makers, and in other ways growing support for afterschool programs.


“We are thrilled that Daniela will serve as an Afterschool Ambassador this year,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “She is a dedicated champion for quality afterschool and summer learning programs. I know she will mobilize business, community and faith leaders, lawmakers, educators, parents and others to increase resources for afterschool programs, which keep students safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. These programs offer hands-on learning opportunities, homework help, mentors, science and technology, access to healthy snacks and meals, sports and fitness, arts programming, civic engagement, and much more. I’m eager to work with Daniela to bring us closer to the day when no children or youth are unsupervised and at risk after the school day ends.”


“I am delighted to support the Afterschool Alliance’s work to increase resources for afterschool programs, here and around the country,” said Ms. Grigioni. “In my almost nine years working in this field, I’ve witnessed firsthand the many ways that afterschool programs give students opportunities to explore their interests and discover their passions, while giving parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are safe and supervised, with engaging, educational activities, during the afternoons. I look forward to raising awareness and support for the out-of-school-time opportunities all students need.”


During the 2016-2017 school year, After-School All-Stars DC will serve about 500 middle school students at Stuart Hobson MS, Hart MS, Leckie ES, Cesar Chavez Middle Public Charter School, and Two Rivers Public Charter School. After-School All-Stars programming is especially designed for middle school students, and is based on student choice and voice: Students choose what will best serve them and the school community. After-School All-Stars supports the academic needs of students in partnership with the schools. The program offers several components including “We Are Ready,” which helps 8th graders develop skills to navigate high school and prepare them for subsequent education or job training; “Career Exploration Opportunities” (CEO), a financial literacy, career development, and entrepreneurial program; “Sports as a Hook,” a sports-based youth-development program; and “Life Service Action,” which teaches students to design and lead their own service-learning projects.


Each Ambassador will organize a major event for Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance’s annual rally for afterschool, to be held on October 20 this year. Last year, 1 million people participated in some 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events across the United States and at U.S. military bases worldwide.


The 2016-2017 Afterschool Ambassadors are:


• Arizona: Jeremy King, Community Services Supervisor, Kid Zone Enrichment Program in Tempe;
• Delaware: Beth Ohline, Senior Child Development Director, Bear-Glasgow YMCA in Newark;
• District of Columbia: Daniela Grigioni, Executive Director, After-School All-Stars DC in Washington, D.C.;
• Idaho: Lissa Hall, School Age Coordinator, Mountain Home Air Force Base Youth Programs in Mountain Home;
• Illinois: Tammera Holmes, President & CEO, AeroStar Avion Institute in Country Club Hills;
• Iowa: Nate Clark, Vice President, John Deere Foundation and Manager of Enterprise Citizenship, Deere & Company;
• Maine: Amy Pichette, Director of Afterschool Programming, LearningWorks in Portland;
• Michigan: Maria Mitter, Assistant Director, Eastern Michigan University Bright Futures 21st CCLC in Ypsilanti;
• New Jersey: Sarah Cruz, Special Assistant, Newark Public Schools Office of Expanded Learning Time in Newark;
• North Carolina: Bill McClain, Executive Director, Guiding Institute for Developmental Education (GIDE) in Winston-Salem;
• North Carolina: Betsey McFarland, Executive Director, Wade Edwards Foundation in Raleigh;
• Oregon: Debra Jones, Program Coordinator, Oceanspray Family Centers and Housing Authority of Lincoln County in Newport;
• Rhode Island: Ayana Crichton, Expanded Learning Program Director, Cranston Public Schools in Cranston;
• Wisconsin: Eric Vanden Heuvel, Chief Academic Officer, The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay in Green Bay; and
• Wyoming: Tamra Petersen, Grant Coordinator, 21st CCLC Uinta B.O.C.E.S. #1 Education Center in Evanston.


The America After 3PM household survey of more than 30,000 families, commissioned by the Afterschool Alliance, found that participation in afterschool programs has increased to 10.2 million students nationwide, up from 6.5 million in 2004. But the unmet demand for afterschool programs has increased as well. Today, for every child in an afterschool program, there are two more whose parents say they would participate, if a program were available. Unmet demand is especially high in rural communities and communities of concentrated poverty. One in five students in the United States today is unsupervised after the school day ends.


A large and growing body of evidence demonstrates improvements in attendance, behavior, academic achievement and more among children in afterschool programs. Researchers have also found that afterschool programs encourage increased parental involvement – an important building block for student success.


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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 at

Founded in 1992 by Arnold Schwarzenegger, After-School All-Stars (ASAS) is a leading national provider of year-round, school-based, comprehensive after-school programs. Every school day, students in low-income communities have access to free programs that offer academic support, enrichment opportunities, and health and fitness activities. More than 70,000 children from 17 U.S. regions benefit: Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Newark, New York, North Texas, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Antonio, South Florida, Tampa, Toledo and Washington, D.C., and, beginning in 2016, San Francisco Bay Area and Puget Sound. For more information, visit Corporate sponsors such as Deloitte, Insight Property Group, Mondelez, Best Buy, McDermott Will and Emery, Proskauer, Metro PCS, NewsCorp, the Internet Association, Fannie Mae, Community Wealth Partners, and the Afterschool Alliance, to name some, provide guidance on After-School All-Stars advisory Board as well as fundraising and marketing opportunities to foster the organization’s growth in DC.