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Afterschool professionals to be celebrated this week

ADDISON COUNTY — Mary Johnson Children’s Center’s School Age Programs are joining with the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) to celebrate the professionals that are at the heart of afterschool programs. Together they are recognizing “Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week” on April 24-28.
“We believe afterschool professionals make a difference in the life of a child,” said Anne Gleason, school age programs coordinator at Mary Johnson. “We encourage everyone to join us this week in thanking the afterschool professionals in their lives.”
An afterschool professional is someone who works with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours. Currently, there is an estimated 850,000 afterschool professionals in the U.S., including hundreds in Addison County.
An estimated 10.2 million children in the United States participate in afterschool programs each year. Today, afterschool programs may provide quality childcare, and are value-added — they enhance social and emotional learning, health and wellness, education in science/technology/engineering/math, literacy, the arts and more. With these increased offerings comes increased responsibility on the estimated 850,000 of professionals who are making a difference in the lives of our children.
Gleason encourages those who have the opportunity, or the inclination, to give a hand-written card from themselves and/or their child to the afterschool professional in their life, or send an email to an afterschool professional’s supervisor describing why that person is appreciated. It will be a well-deserved acknowledgement.

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