The ACC Community Bridges Award, sponsored by WE tv’s WE Volunteer campaign, recognizes outstanding, non-cable industry partner organizations and individuals taking part in cable communications and public affairs initiatives. The cable industry is committed to improving the communities in which it serves, and partner organizations are often instrumental to the success of cable’s efforts. The Afterschool Alliance is the 2009 winner of the ACC Community Bridges Award.
Every school day afternoon, more than 15 million children across the U.S. are alone and unsupervised. The Afterschool Alliance is working to change that, to ensure that all children have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs to keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. Afterschool programs’ hands-on activities spark kids’ interest in learning — and as a result they attend school more often, get better grades and are more likely to graduate from high school. The Afterschool Alliance works with the Administration, Congress, governors, mayors, business leaders and communities nationwide to expand quality afterschool programming. Its partners include more than 26,000 afterschool programs, and its nationwide grassroots rally, Lights On Afterschool, attracts more than one million Americans annually. The Alliance has helped increase federal grants for afterschool programs to more than $1 billion supporting afterschool programs that serve 1.3 million youth.
Since its inception in 2000, the Afterschool Alliance has partnered with the cable industry to help tell the afterschool story, and expand afterschool programs for children. Cable has been a key supporter of the Alliance’s PSA campaigns. The centerpiece of this partnership has been working with Bright House Networks and the Florida Cable Telecommunications Association to produce two cable specials on afterschool. Cable companies across the country donated time and resources to tape interviews. Fox’s Florida Sun Sports network also provided talent for the second show and developed a multifaceted promotions campaign around it.
Cable in the Classroom, Bright House Networks and HBO have all worked with the Afterschool Alliance to help bring local afterschool voices to Washington, D.C., for its annual conference and awards gala with Members of Congress. Bright House has also sponsored scholarships for the Afterschool Ambassador program, through which local afterschool program directors are trained to be advocates. Jodi Grant, Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, serves on Time Warner Cable’s philanthropy Advisory Board. In that capacity she provides advice and counsel in the development of the company’s previously announced commitment to address America’s decline in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math. Together, the Afterschool Alliance and the cable industry help make afterschool programs a greater priority in our nation, and ensure that more children are safe and engaged in the afterschool hours.