Exeter school district recognized by state

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

District's Aftershool Program earns statewide distinction

The Exeter school district recently received state recognition when it was chosen as the first Afterschool Program of the month this year.

In its February Afterschool Pipeline issue, the Missouri AfterSchool Network (MASN), a statewide organization with the mission of ensuring high quality and expanded afterschool learning opportunities for Missouri youth, announced Exeter as January Program Site and Staffer of the Month winner.

"Our network brings together leaders in afterschool and summer learning and partner organizations from around the state throughout the year to meet and collaborate in raising access to the availability and quality of programs, and providing professional development and support for youth professionals," said Casey Hanson, policy and communications coordinator for MASN. "Our public policy and advocacy committee decided to develop a recognition program to reward programs and professionals throughout the state demonstrating excellence in the field."

The school's program was nominated by a panel for excellence, commitment and quality, and as part of winning, the district will also receive one two-hour training for program staff or two-hour educational program for their youth, provided by MASN, along with an entry into a drawing to receive free registration for staff to attend a professional development or other annual conference.

"To receive an award from the state was pretty flattering," said Tim Jordan, Exeter Elementary principal. "As the principal, I was proud of our program director and workers for all the hard work put in to provide a safe and fun afterschool program for our community. We have good people, and they care about the community. And the amount of participation we have is great. Parents enjoy it because it's a needed resource while they're working, and I'm so proud of our team to create that environment."

"We launched the Program Site and Staffer of the Month awards in 2016, with nominations starting last December," Hanson said.

Nominations were accepted for the first quarter through the third week of January. All nominations received a rank score from committee members, and the winners were selected based on having the highest average rank.

As part of winning the award, the school was recognized in the Missouri Afterschool Network Pipeline issue, on social media, on MASN's website, and will also be recognized at the organization's March 3 meeting of the first annual Celebration of Afterschool Luncheon for outstanding programs and professionals.

"As the statewide afterschool network, our goal is to reward and recognize exemplary programs that provide opportunities that benefit the youth they serve and their communities," Hanson said. "It was clear from Exeter's nomination that the program is providing an impact that is beneficial not only to the youth and their continued growth and development, but also to their families and the Exeter community at large.

"We want to highlight high-quality programs like the Exeter Afterschool Program to demonstrate the value and importance of afterschool and expanded learning programs in keeping youth safe and engaged, helping working families, and inspiring learning and enrichment beyond the school day."

"We're so proud to be part of such a positive, influential program," said Mandy Mattingly, Afterschool program director for the district.

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