DE Afterschool Network

July 2019
DE Afterschool Network

The hours after school can be full of risk. These are the hours when juvenile crime, victimization and drug use peak - and many caregivers are still at work. Support for afterschool is overwhelming and demand is growing. Nationwide, 9 in 10 adults say afterschool programs are important to their community - and more than 19 million kids are waiting to get in. Every day in
Delaware, nearly 30,000 school-age children and youth return from school to an empty home.

Research has consistently shown that the presence of developmental supports and opportunities (protective factors) provide a better indicator of whether youth will grow up to become successful, well-adjusted adults than with the presence of risk factors. By providing youth with caring relationships, high expectations, and opportunities for meaningful participation, we meet the fundamental developmental needs that must be fulfilled if children and youth are to become happy and successful. Additional research prove afterschool helps kids attend school more often, get better grades, and build foundational skills, like
communication, teamwork, and problem solving.

Delaware Afterschool Network (DEAN) is a Network of afterschool, out of school, and summer learning champions advocating for high quality afterschool programs and programming for all Delaware’s children. DEAN is actively championing the expansion of high-quality afterschool programs so children have more options for safe, supervised activities.

Afterschool programs are solutions that:

  • Increase Student Achievement
  • Supports Working Families
  • Encourages Future Careers

DEAN is collaborating with community-based organizations like Sussex County Health Coalition Youth Engagement and  Serving Organization (YESO) to develop best practices and policies aimed at ensuring afterschool programming includes these kinds of activities.

United Way of Delaware partners with DEAN to ensure families from high-need communities are aware of afterschool options. As part of this work, DEAN, with support from several partners, is developing an interactive map that will highlight locations, daily operation, and the types of programs offered by afterschool programs in communities throughout the state, providing
professional development and networking opportunities, and addressing policies that impact the afterschool community.

“Quality afterschool programs can inspire children to learn and connect with each other, while providing working parents the peace of mind that comes from knowing their children are safe and supervised. These programs often provide students many of the skills they need to land their first job with businesses in their community. We want the best for our families and we know that afterschool programs work. In October, we are preparing to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Lights On Afterschool!

"Since 2000, Lights On Afterschool has been celebrated nationwide to call attention to the importance of afterschool programs for America’s children, families and communities and we are looking forward to the celebration," says long-time champion Regina Sidney-Brown, Director, Delaware Afterschool Network.

Are you interested in keeping afterschool programming in Delaware thriving? If so, please contact Regina Sidney-Brown at



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