Research shows that students enrolled in high-quality afterschool programs attend school more often, perform better in academics and stay on track to graduate. They also report increased confidence, a strong connection to their school and trusted relationships with supportive adults.
The Denver Afterschool Alliance helps youth succeed by increasing access to high quality afterschool and summer programs that bolster learning and creative processes. Our work leads to substantial academic and personal growth for students, supports working families, and provides professional development for adults in the field.
On October 18, nearly 150 Denver leaders and policymakers in education, government, human services and philanthropy gathered for Policy & Practice: Promoting Developmental Relationship Equity, designed to influence organizational culture and systems change. Keynote speaker Kent Pekel, Ed.D. led attendees through two sessions—one focused on the foundational premises and research supporting investment in development relationships, while the second session engaged participants in an organizational assessment that identified areas of strength and growth. The stage was shared with DAA Co-Chairs Erin Brown and Lauren Dunn, City Council President Jolon Clark, DPS Deputy Superintendent Susana Cordova, Scholars Unlimited CEO and OST leader Diana Romero Campbell, and outstanding local youth speakers, Sindimwo Thierry and Marcus Phinpraphat, who spoke to the power of development relationships.
Participants left with tools and inspiration to bring back to their organizations that will help enable strong, consistent practice for positive relationship development—for all youth—for a more equitable Denver. See below for resources from the event!
Relationships First: Creating Connections that Help Young People Thrive (link to full report)
For more on the topic of developmental relationships, please email DenverAfterschoolAlliance@denvergov.org.
Keep kids safe.
From 3-6 p.m., 11.3 million kids are alone and unsupervised.
Meet the needs of the Whole Child.
We work to create social, emotional and academic learning opportunities for students.
Afterschool experiences increase academic outcomes and attendance.
We’re focused on infusing Social, Emotional and Academic Learning into the daily lives of Denver’s youth, both in and out of school.
Launched in 2012, thanks to a grant from The Wallace Foundation and other local foundations, the Denver Afterschool Alliance is a diverse collaborative of stakeholders including the City and County of Denver, Denver Public Schools and many of Denver's community-based and funding organizations. We work in deep partnership with many generous supporters and funders and arm-in-arm alongside quality afterschool program providers.
All Denver youth will achieve success now and in the future through active participation in diverse, quality afterschool programs.
To develop a sustainable, citywide afterschool system to increase access to and participation in quality afterschool programs to keep Denver's youth safe, inspire them to learn and prepare them for the future.
• Erin Brown - Executive Director, Office of Children's Affairs (Co-Chair)
• Lauren Dunn - Chief of Staff, Denver Public Schools (Co-Chair)
• Jennifer Bacon - Denver Public Schools Board of Education
• Jolon Clark - Council Representative District 7, City and County of Denver
• Genia Herndon - Assistant Vice Chancellor, University of Colorado Denver
• Michelle Jeske - City Librarian, Denver Public Library
• John Martinez - Deputy Executive Director, Denver Parks and Recreation
• Tina Martinez - Director of Partnerships and Programs, Denver Museum of Nature and Science
• Collinus Newsome - Director of Education, Denver Foundation
• Khanh Nguyen - Portfolio Director, Healthy Living, Colorado Health Foundation
• Justin Oliver - Executive Director of Accountability, Research, and Evaluation, Denver Public Schools
• Samantha Olson - Vice President, Colorado Education Initiative
• Diana Romero Campbell - President, Scholars Unlimited
• Dr. Ryan Ross - President and CEO, Urban Leadership Foundation of Colorado
• Lisa Roy - Executive Director, Denver Public Schools Early Education Management
• Kim Schulz - Associate Vice President, YMCA of Metropolitan Denver
• Maxine Quintana - Director, Out-of-School-Time Initiatives, City and County of Denver (Co-founder)
• Regan Suhay - Afterschool Provider Liaison, City and County of Denver (Co-founder)
• Kristen Pozzoboni, Ph.D. - Senior Manager, DPS Extended Learning and Community Schools
Social, Emotional and Academic Learning Staff
• Miranda Cook - SEAL Initiative Manager, City and County of Denver
• Meredith Bixler - SEAL Coach, City and County of Denver
• Andrew Kramer - SEAL Coach, City and County of Denver
• Bonnie Moya - SEAL Coach, City and County of Denver
Additional Team Members
• Melanie Kartzmer - Program Manager of Universal Supports, DPS Extended Learning and Community Schools
• John Lewis - Network Lead, DPS Extended Learning and Community Schools
• Amelia McClain - Marketing and Communications Specialist, City and County of Denver
• Jami Powell - DAA Network Coach
• Daniel Read, Ph.D. - Senior Research Analyst, DPS Extended Learning and Community Schools
• Carol Schneider - Community Partnerships Program Manager, DPS Extended Learning and Community Schools
• Chanin Strassburger - DAA Network Coach
By the numbers:
More than 15,000 youth are impacted by our work each year
98 afterschool and summer sites work with our quality programs
1,600 sites run by 400 organizations citywide are mapped via the Program Locator tool
A National Leader in the Field
Denver stands out as a national model for multisector partnerships, proponents of quality in action, robust evaluation efforts of targeted programs and cutting-edge work in both practice and policy.
In addition to our team members facilitating seminars on a national level, our work has gained recognition from well-known and respected organizations such as:
In 2017, Denver was one of six cities in the United States chosen by the Wallace Foundation to align and improve Social, Emotional and Academic Learning (SEAL) practices for in- and out-of-school time. The Denver Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with Denver Public Schools, is in the first phase of a pilot program ultimately designed to enrich the lives of students and improve their academic outcomes.
Social and emotional learning includes three core competencies that, when engaged, lead to better opportunities for success in school, career and life—they are self-awareness and self-management, social awareness and relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.
The Wallace initiative aims to bring direct benefits to Denver, as well as develop credible lessons for the field that can improve practice nationally. Anticipated local benefits include increased opportunities for social and emotional learning, improvements in adult practices, SEAL-rich learning environments and instruction, and stronger partnerships between in- and out-of-school time staff that engage all adults.
Youth spend significantly more time out of school than they do in classrooms. It’s more important than ever that our afterschool programs build off the work happening during the school day. That’s why the Denver Afterschool Alliance developed a tool to show how afterschool programs support each of the five goals of the Denver Plan 2020—Denver Public Schools’ strategic plan.