Sophieby Sophie Siebach-Glover
Community School Director

James E Moss Elementary is a diverse elementary school in the South Salt Lake area. This year we were able to partner with Promise SouthSalt Lake to provide afterschool programming to our students. In just one year we have had over 100 students enroll in the program with a long wait list. But, afterschool isn’t just a nice supplement to the school day, it is a crucial part of ensuring that students reach their educational potential.

Students who are a part of the afterschool program are exposed to enrichment programs such as coding, Lego League, science club, service club, cooking classes,recreation, and the list goes on. They are served a dinner which helps their mind and body grow, and they are able to work with teachers on their developing their educational skills through homework help and small group work.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, outcomes forstudents who attended regularly (30 days or more) during the 2014-2015 school year include:

  • 71.9 percent improved their math grades
  • 76.6 percent improved their English/language arts grades

In addition to these staggering statistics, there are also the intangible benefits of afterschool. Benefits such as parents knowing their children are in a safe place afterschool, students being served a nutritious dinner, and students building respectful and health relationships with their peers and adults. In just one year Moss Elementary has seen the potential positive impact that afterschool can have on not just our students but our community.

Unfortunately, the current funding mechanism for afterschool programming has come under attack. President Trump’s recently released budget proposes to eliminate 21st Century Community Learning Center funding. If this proposed budget cut occurs, not only will students and families at Moss Elementary suffer, but students around the state will suffer.

In Utah, there are 9,870 students from 150 high-poverty communities who benefit from 21st CCLC programs who could be left without a reliable afterschool choice.

This budget cut will disproportionately affect students and families living in poverty. Families atMoss Elementary and in our community count on afterschool to keep children safe and provide them with opportunities and experiences outside of the regular school day.

If we as a community are serious about changing the odds and making sure that all of the children in our community have the tools to succeed we must fight for afterschool programming.

Please call, write, or email your congressperson and let them know that 21st Century Community Learning Center funding is important to you and our community.