Legislative Day at the Capitol 2019 Demonstrates ‘Power of Afterschool’

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Capitol Day Brings youth and Adult Champions Before State Lawmakers

LANSING, MI - Capitol Day 2019, sponsored by the Michigan After-School Partnership (MASP) and policy partner Michigan's Children, drew over 150 afterschool providers and students to Lansing on May 1, 2019 to demonstrate the "Power of Afterschool."

Students, providers and parents met lawmakers in their offices and hallways, talked to legislative staffers, sat in on state House and Senate sessions, accepted welcomes and a tribute, and made their presence and support for afterschool programs in Michigan known loud and clear.

"It was very interesting to see how sessions of the House of Representatives and Senate run," said Laurie Stadther, Youth Program Site Manager, Bunche Academy, Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency. "I was happy to get to talk to representatives and senators face-to-face, and to answer their questions; for example, we clarified the difference between 21st Century programs and Latchkey for one group!"

In one overhead conversation, an Ypsilanti middle school-student confidently addressed state Rep. Jeff Irwin with a thought that was weighing on his mind. Launching into a question within a commentary on the retention provision of the 4th grade reading bill, the youth asked why lawmakers voted to retain students who didn't learn at the same pace as their peers. "It's stupid" to punish students by holding them back a grade, the boy remarked. "It was a profound moment," said EMU Bright Futures' Director Lynn Kleiman Malinoff.

This year Sen. Stephanie Chang, D-Detroit, and Rep. Jason Wentworth, R-Clare, prepared a special tribute to MASP and its champions.

Afterschool programs were represented from across the state, including the Genesee County's YouthQuest and Bridges to Success programs, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Muskegon, the Clare-Gladwin RESD SPARKS, Eastern Michigan University's Bright Futures, Community Unlimited of Union City, the Boys & Girls Club of Muskegon, Wayne Metro Community Action Agency, Waverly Community Schools, the Kid Network of Detroit, among other individual afterschool advocates.

Because of construction inside the Capitol Building this year, the afterschool event held its staging area at the Michigan State Library, a few blocks west the Capitol.

MASP Executive Director Mary Sutton said she appreciated the great effort of programs and students to travel to Lansing this year and ensure that their voices were heard by decision-makers at the Capitol.

"It truly makes such great difference for laying the groundwork for future requests," she said. "There is nothing more powerful than for lawmakers to hear from their own constituents about the programs and services that matter most to them, their families and to their communities. We're so proud of our Michigan afterschool champions."

To continue your advocacy for ‘‘The Power of Afterschool” in Michigan, download these Fact Sheets on Afterschool in Michigan:

MASP’s ‘This is Afterschool in Michigan”

MASP’s One-Pager on Talent and Workforce

MASP’s One-Pager on Literacy

To join MASP for Capitol Day 2020 and be updated on emerging plans, contact Teri Banas at teri@michiganschildren.org