Back to School

By Guest Bloggers the Florida Afterschool Network.  Once again, the summer has flown by too fast and it’s time to think – Back to School!  As we gear up for another school year, take a moment to reflect on summer learning opportunities that were either gained or missed for your child.

Summer learning loss continues to be an important topic and this year FAN had an extraordinary opportunity to help curb this trend by coordinating Florida’s Zero Robotics competition.  Middle school students participated in a five week program, designed by aerospace engineers at MIT, to create experiments to be conducted in weightlessness conditions on the International Space Station.  This unique program and others like it are terrific examples of how students can stay engaged over the summer by participating in fun, hands-on extended learning opportunities.  For more information on the importance of summer learning, go to

As students return to classrooms, remember to explore quality afterschool program opportunities for your child.  School-based and community-based organizations offer programs with additional learning environments, in friendly settings that provide youth with meaningful activities that can build on the teachings of the regular school day. The evidence is overwhelming that students, who participate in quality afterschool programs, go to school more often, behave better, and perform better in the classroom.  For more information on the supporting data and research on afterschool, visit

Finally, Light’s on Afterschool, a nationally recognized day of celebration of the successes of afterschool programs and extended learning opportunities, will take place on October 17, 2013.  These events typically take place on the 3rd Thursday of each year, but this year, FAN, Bright House, and Radio Disney are partnering to also have a special Saturday event at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. For more information, go to

For more information on quality afterschool programs and extended learning opportunities that are providing students with academic enrichment, physical activities, and social/emotional growth, visit the Florida Afterschool Network’s website, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter. For many students, afterschool is the best part of their day!