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Denver Hosts National Institute for Afterschool Systems-Building

DENVER – On November 7-8, more than 200 government and community leaders from across the nation convened at the only peer-to-peer institute for expanded learning in the United States. The Denver Afterschool Alliance (DAA) was chosen this year to host Move Mountains: National Institute for Building Expanded Learning Systems by Every Hour Counts, a coalition of citywide organizations that increases access to quality learning opportunities.

The institute brought together community teams representing nearly 40 cities to tap the expertise of Every Hour Counts organizations and build on ideas for developing and strengthening afterschool and summer programs at the systems level. Among those who attended included city and school district leaders, nonprofit directors and funders.

As this year’s host partner, the Denver Afterschool Alliance and its work was featured. “We’re excited that we were able to showcase how Denver’s work around afterschool has really evolved to be something that is essential to increasing equity across the city,” said Dionne Williams, Executive Director of the Office of Children’s Affairs. “We can clearly see the impact it has on families and youth outcomes.”

Participants got an inside look at how DAA has built a collaborative network of youth providers, leveraged marijuana tax revenue to support youth programming, developed pathways to program quality, and supported the development of social-emotional learning.

“The Greater New Bedford Youth Alliance is a relatively new organization, and we’re trying to figure out our next steps,” said Caroline Conzatti, Assistant Director of the Community Boating Center in New Bedford, Massachusetts. “It was incredibly helpful to hear about DAA’s journey and how they’ve course-corrected along the way. It gives me hope that we’ll get to where we need to go, even if that means some bumps along the way.”

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The Denver Afterschool Alliance (DAA) was built from two decades of partnership among the City and County of Denver, community-based providers, and Denver Public Schools. DAA helps more than 20,000 youth succeed each year by increasing access to high quality afterschool and summer programs. For more information, visit denvergov.org/afterschoolalliance.