Gov. Ted Kulongoski
An after-school network between leaders of schools, communities, businesses and families is being developed to enhance activities for children.
Called "Oregon After School for Kids" — or "OregonASK" — the statewide network will help provide after-school opportunities for thousands of kids.
An Oregon juvenile crime prevention grant financed the planning of OregonASK, while actual funding to operate the network will come from the Mott Foundation and res-ources supplied by the Oregon State Child Care Division.
Upgrading after-school time and out-of-school time is a high priority for the state, said Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
"The best way I know to achieve this goal is to link our schools with families and businesses," the governor said.
The overall goal is to enhance academic performance; close the achievement gap; reduce high-risk behavior among kids; and engage students, families and communities as contributors to the academic and social well-being of Oregon's youth, he said.
The governor praised efforts under way in communities throughout Oregon to improve education through "community schools," a term that includes after-school programs and out-of-school programs with cooperation from local governments, businesses, state agencies and individuals. Among these are Portland's Schools Uniting Neighborhoods — or "SUN" schools.
"I'm proud to say the state of Oregon has been a partner in many of the existing programs. But we can do more. That's why I've made expanding the community school model a key strategy toward helping families and students succeed," Kulongoski said.