WASHINGTON, D.C. – Matt Sampson, director of operations for Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada in Carson City, was one of 15 Afterschool Ambassadors appointed by The Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit public awareness and advocacy organization dedicated to increasing the availability of afterschool programs.
Sampson, who has been involved with the Boys & Girls Clubs for more than 15 years, will serve a one-year term, organizing local public events, communicating with policy makers to increase support for afterschool and learning programs.
“I am thrilled to join in the Afterschool Alliance’s work to build support for afterschool programs,” Sampson said. “In my 16 years working in the field, I’ve seen up close the many ways afterschool programs help students to explore their interests and discover their passions with opportunities to learn and grow after the school day ends, while giving parents the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are safe and supervised. I look forward to raising awareness and support for the out-of-school-time opportunities all students need.”
In a prepared statement, Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant said Sampson is “exactly the kind of powerful champion we need at this time when federal funding for quality afterschool and summer learning programs is at risk.”
Grant said Sampson will mobilize business, community and faith leaders, parents, educators and others to convince lawmakers to secure resources for the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families.
“These programs offer hands-on learning opportunities, homework help, mentors, science and technology, healthy snacks and meals, sports and fitness, arts programming, college and job prep, and much more,” she said. “We’re facing very real challenges this year, and more than a million students across the country could lose their afterschool programs. We will work together to stave off that threat.”
This year, Sampson will organize a major event for Lights On Afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance’s annual rally for afterschool, to be held on Oct. 26 this year. Last year, 1 million people participated in some 7,500 Lights On Afterschool events across the United States and at U.S. military bases worldwide.
“For every one child in an afterschool program, there are two more whose parents say they would participate if such a program existed,” Grant said. “Unmet demand in the rural is especially high. One in five students in the United States today is unsupervised afterschool.”
The Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada currently serves more than 2,500 youth each year in Carson City and the Carson Valley. The club offers youth programming in core areas including Character/Leadership, Sports/Healthy Lifestyles, The Arts, S.T.E.M. and Education, offering free tutoring for students after school.
Bus transportation is available from Carson City and some Carson Valley schools to club locations. For more information, contact the Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Nevada at 775-882-8820 or at www.bgcwn.org.