Idaho's New Afterschool Network

We are excited to announce the establishment of the Idaho Afterschool Network (IAN), a statewide network of out-of-school and summer program providers. After eight years, thanks to the vision and
perseverance from a key group of dedicated Idahoans, the IAN, with leadership from the Mountain States Group, received a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and officially launched a few months ago. The Idaho Commission for Libraries is excited to support the IAN, and we have been invited to serve on the Network’s Steering Committee.

Public libraries have a proud tradition of providing out-of-school (OOS) programs and services for youth, and being able to participate in a formal, organized, sustainable effort to add the public library OOS activities to the IAN’s efforts will benefit youth and parents alike, especially those challenged by poverty. This partnership is a means of letting more Idahoans know about the rich public library programming offered in their communities.

The IAN Steering Committee will guide the Network’s actions and provide leadership on expanding quality extended learning programs. The Mountain States Group, the State Department of Education, and the University of Idaho’s 4-H Youth Development are lead members of the Network, and other members currently include the Idaho Commission for Libraries, Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force, Boise City Parks and Recreation, Blue Cross Foundation for Health, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, several Idaho 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), and the CS Mott Foundation. The IAN plans to secure business, policy maker, and other state agency representation as well.

This private-public financial partnership was instrumental in securing a three-year operating grant for the network. In this time, the IAN will create and promote an interactive statewide map of OOS programs, build awareness of the benefit of these programs for Idaho's youth and communities, and provide resources and professional development for existing and new programs. Libraries will be able to submit program information for the GIS map, and parents looking for afterschool programs in their community will see what their local libraries have to offer.

“As a new statewide afterschool network, IAN will begin with a focus on three areas: assessing Idaho’s current afterschool landscape, educating key groups on the importance and impact of extended learning, and productively engaging new partners to identify afterschool funding sources as well as policy change and quality improvement steps,” said IAN Director Marie Hattaway.

Project Coordinator Erica Compton will represent ICfL and the Idaho Library Community on the IAN Steering Committee, with support from Project Coordinators Staci Shaw and Stephanie Bailey-White. Staci recently accompanied Marie Hattaway and other steering committee members to the 2015 National Network of Statewide Afterschool Networks Meeting in Dallas. “Many sessions focused on STEM/Makerspaces and Summer Learning programs,” said Staci. “It was affirming to see how far the Idaho library community is along those continuums already, and folks were impressed to hear about what is happening here in Idaho. I was honored to be a library ambassador and part of the IAN Team.”

To learn more about the Idaho Afterschool Alliance, see or “Like” them on Facebook: /idahoafterschoolnetwork

According to the national Afterschool Alliance, in 2014, 8% of Idaho children and youth participated in afterschool programs and 19% took care of themselves after school. If given the chance, 42% of kids would participate in an afterschool program if it was available. The Afterschool Alliance’s state-by-state 2011 Afterschool Progress Report and Consumer Guide rated Idaho’s overall progress as “much more work to be done.” The new Idaho Afterschool Alliance is ready to take on that task, and Idaho libraries are in a great position to provide support.

To find out more about Idaho’s afterschool landscape see “Know the Numbers,” The Scoop, v. 10, issue 11, November 6, 2014.