On the fourth Thursday of most months, Ignite Afterschool hosts, “Minnesota Afterschool Connect”, A 60min virtual call to keep afterschool and summer program providers up to speed on all the latest state and federal guidance, funding sources, trainings and policy happenings during the Covid-19 global pandemic. This blog post is a summary of all the updates shared during the virtual call. If you would like to be added to the MN Afterschool Connect invitation list, sign up by filling out this form.
Here’s what you need to know:
Stay on top of the latest safety guidance
Minnesota’s Covid-19 safety guidance for youth programs can be found here and were updated on June 3rd, 2021. This document details state and federal requirements (you must do them) and safety recommendations (not required but strongly recommended to ensure safety for all).
Your “To Do” list – important actions to take.
Your voice matters: Help raise awareness of afterschool and summer programs’ role during the pandemic by taking Afterschool Alliance’s short survey. When you participate, you help document the ways in which the pandemic continues to impact your program, the supports your program is providing to the children and families in your community, and lift up the short- and long-term effects of COVID-19 on the afterschool field as a whole.
All those who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win one of 50 gift cards in the amount of $50! Five winners will be selected at random each week the survey is open.
This is the fifth wave of the Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 tracking survey, with findings from previous waves shared with federal policy makers and featured in publications such as Education Week and Youth Today.
The survey should take no more than 10 minutes of your time and your responses will be anonymous. The survey will close 11:59 p.m. PDT, Sunday, June 27.
If you need assistance completing the survey, please contact Lydia Redway at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like more information about the research, please contact Nikki Yamashiro at email@example.com.
Ensure families you work with are signed up to receive the Child Tax Credit! The CTC Provides Major Tax Relief for Nearly All Working Families and yet some families who do not make enough money to file taxes may not be signed up to receive this benefit. Supporting more families to sign up could cut child poverty in half!
If a couple makes less than $24,800, a head of household makes less than $18,650, or a single filer makes less than $12,400, and they have not filed their taxes, The Internal Revenue Service has launched a simplified online tool that will allow families not automatically enrolled in the program to receive the CTC. For more information, visit ChildTaxCredit.gov.
Here is what the CTC provides:
- All working families will get the full credit if they make up to $150,000 for a couple or $112,500 for a family with a single parent (also called head of household).
- The CTC has been expanded to $3,000 per child ages 6–17 years and $3,600 per child younger than age 6.
- Roughly 39 million households—covering 65 million children (nearly 90 percent of children in the United States)—will automatically receive the new CTC
- Starting on July 15th and continuing through the rest of the calendar year, payments of $250 per child between ages 6–17 or $300 per child younger than age 6 will be made monthly (via direct deposit for 80 percent of families and through the mail for the others).
Helpful resources for afterschool programs
Check out this School Partnerships Guide to reach out to your school district and explore partnerships to provide afterschool and summer programming with American Rescue Plan funds.
Join Ignite Afterschool's Board of Directors! Ignite seeks board members with a variety of professional and life experiences who can bring new insight and ideas to our work advancing high-quality afterschool programs in Minnesota. We encourage individuals of all professional backgrounds to apply, especially those with experience in public policy, youth development, policy advocacy, communications, law, or finance. Young people and parents are encouraged to apply!
Ignite Afterschool is committed to being an anti-racist organization and strives to be a more deeply intentional antiracist afterschool intermediary through our work in policy, education, and partnerships. Individuals interested in applying to a board position should also share these ideals. A Volunteer Board Member Description and other valuable information can be found here.
Please consider this opportunity for yourself and share it broadly with your network.
To Apply: Complete the online application by noon on August 6th, 2021. For questions, contact Kari Denissen Cunnien: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Helpful resources to share with families
The State of Minnesota’s Wrap Around MN Text Messaging Campaign was created to provide
streamlined information and coordination for identified academic, food, health, and housing resources available across the state. To opt-in to receive text messages, Text Stu211 to 898-211.
There is also a corresponding Parent and Family resource guide (Hmong, Somali and Spanish) with a comprehensive list of resources aimed at helping families find supports related to COVID-19, including economic, child care, mental health, and other supports.
This project was a partnership between the Greater Twin Cities United Way and the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet.