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Policy Projects 2012-13

Policy Projects 2012-13

During their time in the Fellowship, participants in the ten-month-long White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship are required to design and implement a policy action project focused on afterschool and expanded learning in their state. These projects align with their State Afterschool Network’s policy goals and help to build the capacity of the Networks. Projects focus on a range of topics including coalition building, afterschool quality standards, statewide line items for afterschool, summer learning pilot programs, STEM afterschool programming, career and technical education partnerships, middle school afterschool, among many other things.

To read about all of the Fellows’ policy projects and watch their associated videos, please visit the policy projects link that appears within each class year.

Click here to meet the 2012-13 inaugural class participants!

Paula Adams, Hawaii

Paula’s policy project has been helping to establish a Hawaii Statewide Afterschool Network. She has been working with Hawaii Superintendent’s office, with the Lt. Governor’s office, with afterschool providers and with other organizations interested in supporting the afterschool world. Hawaii is planning on submitting a grant to the Mott foundation as soon as all the needed pieces are in place. Upon the creation of the network, Paula hopes that new and exiting ideas will fill Hawaii afterschool scene.

Ken Anthony, Connecticut

Ken is working with the Connecticut State Department of Education to develop a system that will contribute to longitudinal outcomes for state funded afterschool grants' recipients. One component of this system is to create benchmarks based on data that programs are expected to collect, as well as the development of a quality improvement report used as part of the coaching process all grantees take part in. The current funding cycle is two years, allowing programs the time to develop a program and begin to build local capacity. However, as a result of this biennial funding cycle, programs that meet benchmarks have to recompete against unproven, untested programs and often lose funding as a result. The system Ken is creating as part of the White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellowship will allow current grantees to gain additional points for performance over the life of the current funding cycle and continue to build local capacity and longitudinal outcomes in successful programs. This project is also on of the seven reccomendations made to the State Legislature as part of the Supporting Student Success (S3) initiative Ken credits the policy knowledge and process directly to the Fellowship experience. 

To view a video about Ken's project, click here.

Monica Armendariz, Texas

Monica Armendariz has been working with Texas Partnership for Out of School Time to navigate the state's unique expansive OST landscape and to invigorate communication, advocacy, and collaboration among all of the regions of Texas. She has aided in the coordination of resources and recruitment for Texas's first ever Out of School Time Day at the Capitol, and created strategies and next steps for strengthening current and potential regional networks, network leaders, and regional champions. Through regional surveys, she is using data to build public profiles of regional work, resources for leaders on creating and strengthening regional advocacy work, and identifying major gaps and barriers where TXPOST can provide support and mentorship. TXPOST's Executive Director and Monica have had such a positive experience through the WRP program, that Monica was asked to build recommendations and ideas around a Texas Policy Fellowship as a potential strategic intiative for the state network.

To view a video about Monica's project, click here.

Eric Billiet, Minnesota

Eric's efforts have been focused on building relationships to ensure alignment between Statewide education initiatives and the out-of-school time field in Minnesota, as well as the use of the afterschool in achieving larger educational goals.  For example, he is working to connect the Minnesota Global Learning Advisory Board with the Afterschool Global Learning Initiative so afterschool will be a strong component of the Minnesota Global Learning Strategic Plan.  He also wrote and was awarded a Noyce Foundation STEM Afterschool Planning Grant for the Minnesota Afterschool Network to build collaboration between the Afterschool Network with the Minnesota STEM Network on parallel informal STEM initiatives, including a mapping project, needs analysis, and measurement tools. Eric has also worked with a member of the Afterschool Network and MDE to create a Student Advisory Committee where students can have a voice in educational policy.  Eric credits the White-Riley-Peterson Fellowship for developing his skills in networking and community building around policy efforts.

Erin Bofenkamp, South Dakota

In South Dakota, the Network's overarching goal is to increase funding for out-of-school time programs. As a White-Riley-Peterson Fellow, Erin has used this opportunity to conduct statewide research that measures the impact of out-of-school time programs on South Dakota. This data will form the basis of a report to guide data-driven conversations with elected officials and business leaders to help increase funding for such programs.

To view a video about Erin's project, click here.

Blaire Denson, Virginia

Blaire is creating the opportunity to open doors, build relationships, and identify champions which will increase the level of knowledge of Out of School Time (OST) and its importance in Virginia. With increased awareness, she is working to increase access to OST from 16% to 20% by 2015. Blaire created a survey to determine the complexion of OST at the local level by congressional districts. A powerful visual aid of her fiscal and geographic mapping project that resulted from the survey is the creation of a picture of OST in Virginia that highlights existing disparities. Her newly identified champions are working to help alleviate those disparities which will increase access to quality OST programs in Virginia.

To view a video about Blaire's project, click here.

Rebecca Kelley, Ohio

Rebecca is working to showcase early successes in connecting out-of-school time providers through regional and state forums in order to show others it is possible to scale new systems of learner-centered public education that will prepare every child for lifelong learning, meaningful work and informed citizenship. By deepening the linkage between Kentucky Out-of-School Alliance’s participation in the National Governor’s Association (NGA) Policy Academy and the Council of Chief State School Officers Innovation Lab Network, this policy initiative has the potential to transform how and where students earn competency-based credits that include anytime, anywhere learning opportunities.

To view a video about Rebecca's project, click here.

Katie Kross, Georgia

Katie's work thus far has been focused on building relationships with Governor Deal's reading by third grade and the Georgia Campaign for Grade-Level Reading initiatives. She is working to ensure alignment between these initiatives and the out-of-school time field in Georgia and the use of the afterschool in achieving the larger goals of reading by third grade.

Cherry Penn, Alabama

Cherry's Policy Project focused on getting the Alabama Afterschool Community Network started. She worked with the Steering Committee to hire a Network Coordinator, establish policy that supports Afterschool through contacts with State Representatives and State Senators, and begin a mapping project of all afterschool programs for a map on the Network's website.

To view a video about Cherry's project, click here

Michelle Rich, Iowa

Michelle Rich is the Senior Program Manager for SPPG State Public Policy Group in Des Moines, IA, which provides support to the Iowa Afterschool Alliance. The Iowa Afterschool Alliance has sought to establish itself as an influential group as education and afterschool policy has changed in the state. Michelle’s focus was on taking advantage of all of the current work in education reform and using this information to achieve developments in afterschool policy in Iowa. She sees the Iowa Afterschool Alliance playing key roles in reform and policy-making, including working with the Department of Education to inform the public and afterschool providers of any future changes in policy, serving as a resource in the newly-formed area of extended learning in Iowa, and advocating afterschool as an integral part of education reform.

To view a video about Michelle's project, click here

Nyeema Watson, New Jersey

Nyeema C. Watson is working in partnership with the Executive Director of the Joint Committee on Public Schools in New Jersey to create an out of school time coordinating council which will study and recommend how to better coordinate, expand, finance and  improve accessible, affordable, and quality out-of-school time programming for school age children in all school districts in New Jersey.

To view a video about Nyeema's project, click here

Julie Wild-Curry, Alaska

Julie's policy project has been helping to establish an Alaska Statewide Afterschool Network.  Working with the Alaska Children's Trust and interested partners across the state, Julie has started a steering committee and is working on strengthening existing partnerships and developing new ones.  It is Alaska's intent to collaborate on preparing a Mott grant for submission this spring to further strengthen the Alaska Statewide Network.

To view a video about Julie's project, click here; to view a video about summer programs in Fairbanks, click here.

Nicole Wilkins, Massachusetts

Nicole has been working with the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP) and our statewide and regional networks to demonstrate the need for state prioritization of afterschool, summer and out-of-school time (OST) programs through budgetary increases to state line items. As only 18% of Massachusetts’ approximately 1.3 million school-age children (K-12) have access to high-quality afterschool and OST programs, increasing access is a key priority area for the Massachusetts Network. To support this work, Nicole has also created a survey to conduct statewide research around program information, statistics and challenges, which will be used to help inform the newly created Afterschool and Out of School Time Coordinating Council.

To view a video about Nicole's project, click here

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