Is Your Kid Bored? vs. Chipmunks in Winter

“Is Your Kid Bored” is a little bit of bait and switch. I apologize. As a parent who deals with my own kids’ “boredom” crankily, I am so sorry to hear you have this problem too. But somehow, despite my best intentions, I have poked at the problem sideways, by cooking up some after-school clubs for other people’s children (not mine, alas), some of which have flown and others of which didn’t even hatch.

As a latecomer to the world of out-of-school time (OST), I’m amazed at the array of acronyms, the replication of school after school,  and the byzantine territorialism in this field, but also at the nuggets of good works going on, some in the strangest places. I admit my eyes have glazed over more than once at the administrative and legislative truck that comes with the OST field.

Lately I’ve been following (including on Twitter, too, where you can also follow me, @inthebigmuddy)  a national organization called The Coalition for Science After School as well as the Afterschool Alliance. To quote the Afterschool Alliance’s recent advocacy content,

“Even if you are thousands of miles away from Washington DC, you can still add your voice and advocate for after school!”

It seems everything must end with an exclamation point. I don’t particularly feel energized by punctuation, in fact, it can have the opposite effect. But they ARE barking up the right tree, so I repeat some of the Afterschool Alliance’s menu of things you can do below. Bark with us up this tree (sign the petition), and maybe the exclamation points will be made obsolete.

– Sign the Afterschool Alliance’s online petition

– Send a personal leter to Congress to support Federal 21st CCLC Funding for Afterschool & Summer programs

I leave you with an image from my outdoor, after-school club which gives kids two full hours a week in an urban habitat—punctuation of a different sort.

Checking for holes that could be entrances to chipmunk dens.
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