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What's Lucy Reading?

Lucy Friedman

Lucy Friedman is president of ExpandED Schools.

The Afterschool Alliance recently released a special report titled Afterschool in Communities of Concentrated Poverty. The themes it addressed are familiar ones to us: in areas of high poverty, there is greater demand for and participation in after-school programs than the national average, but accessibility to and affordability of these programs remain an issue. The parent survey reflected what research has shown us to be true: parents reported that their child’s participation in afterschool led to improved social skills, better grades and attendance, and a renewed engagement with learning. One of the key takeaways from the report is one of our organizational goals: make investment in afterschool (and we’d like to add expanded learning time!) a priority.

 While I’m still working my way through Nicholas Baker’s latest book Substitute: Going to School With a Thousand Kids (a mere 736 pages!), it is an eye-opening chronicle of 28 days in the life of public school students. Baker worked as a K-12 substitute teacher in Maine, and the book recounts his conversations with students and the experiences they shared in the classroom. It is not meant to be, nor should it, a depiction of the teaching profession, but it definitely sheds light on what it’s like to be a child inside the classroom.


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