As the Executive Director of Alternatives, Inc., Johnson has been a strong advocate for afterschool programs. She has organized numerous afterschool programs and recently organized a Grad Nation Summit (part of the America’s Promise Alliance’s effort to reduce the high school dropout rate), to address the academic achievement gap and highlight quality afterschool programs as an important part of the strategy to address this critical issue. In addition to her leadership role at Alternatives, Johnson is the Chair of VPOST Quality Committee, and conducts local, state, national, and international training session on the principles of youth development and at-risk behavior prevention, and has helped develop nationally recognized at-risk behavior prevention curricula.

“Where would we be without the focus and dedication of Kathy Johnson?” said Blaire Denson, Director of the Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time. “Not only has her work directly benefitted children across the state, but she has also helped the Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time be a stronger voice in shaping policy decisions.”    

The “Breakfast of Champions” is part of the 12th annual Afterschool for All Challenge, sponsored by the Afterschool Alliance, which brings together hundreds of educators, parents, afterschool leaders and advocates from around the country for a series of events and meetings with Members of Congress. Following the Breakfast, participants fanned out across Capitol Hill to talk to their senators and representatives about the importance of afterschool programs to children, families and communities.  This year, the Alliance is also encouraging advocates for afterschool to participate in the Challenge at home by calling or visiting Congressional district offices to urge their representatives in Congress to increase funding for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers and the Child Care Development Fund.

“There’s no question that afterschool programs are a lifeline for working parents, give our children and youth a safe place to be and inspire academic and social/emotional learning,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “But they also do much more. They expose kids to possible careers in the sciences or the arts, teach them the value of community service, and provide them with mentors, meals, physical activity and so much more. The people we honor as champions today are helping to educate, support and guide the young people who will be our future leaders.” 

 

The full list of State Champions being honored at the Afterschool for All Challenge is:

  • Arkansas: Tammie Cloyes, 21st CCLC Program Coordinator, Department of Education
  • California: Michael Funk, Director of the After School Division,  Department of Education
  • Florida: Modesto Abety-Gutierrez, President and CEO, The Children’s Trust
  • Georgia: N. Jean Walker Ph.D., Vice President of Education, United Way of Greater Atlanta
  • Iowa: Dave Welter, Principal, Holmes Junior High School
  • Indiana: Willis Bright, Former Director of Youth Programs, Lilly Endowment
  • Kansas: Laura Kaiser, Family Engagement Chair, Kansas Parent Teacher Association
  • Massachusetts: The Honorable Thomas McGee, Massachusetts State Senate 
  • North Carolina: Carr Thompson, Senior Program Officer, Burroughs Wellcome Fund 
  • Nebraska: Kristin Williams, Director of Community Initiatives, The Sherwood Foundation 
  • New Jersey: The Honorable Connie Wagner, New Jersey General Assembly
  • New Mexico: Laurie Mueller, Former 21st CCLC State Coordinator, Department of Education
  • Oklahoma: General Ben Robinson USAF (Ret.), President, Sentry One LLC
  • Pennsylvania: Leslie Roesler, Associate Director, Pennsylvania Key – Berks County Intermediate Unit
  • Rhode Island: The Honorable Frank Ferri, Rhode Island House of Representatives
  • Texas: Jennifer Esterline, Independent Nonprofit Consultant 
  • Virginia: Kathryn Johnson, Executive Director, Alternatives, Inc. 
  • West Virginia: Gayle Manchin, Vice President, State Board of Education.      

state champs 2013 resized

 

In addition to the 18 State Champions, the Afterschool Alliance honored John Galvin, Assistant Principal of New York’s I.S. 318 in Brooklyn, as a national Afterschool Champion at the Breakfast. A veteran educator who has devoted 17 years to the students of I.S. 318, Galvin is also a coach for the school’s afterschool chess program. The school’s chess team has won more national championships than any other junior high chess team in the nation and is the subject of the recent, critically acclaimed documentary “Brooklyn Castle.”

The 2013 Afterschool for All Challenge is generously sponsored by: United States Tennis Association, United States Chess Federation, the NAMM Foundation, Cable in the Classroom and the National AfterSchool Association.  Additional generous support is provided by Torani Syrups, the Noyce Foundation and the C.S. Mott Foundation.

 The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs.  More information is available at www.afterschoolalliance.org.