The Afterschool Alliance today honored Thomas McGee, Massachusetts State Senator, for his support for afterschool programs. McGee was named a State Afterschool Champion at the “Breakfast of Champions,” a gala event in Washington, D.C. featuring Members of Congress and national afterschool champions. McGee has been a leader in ensuring access to afterschool programs for low-income children. He was one of 18 state champions from around the country honored at the Breakfast for supporting and working on behalf of afterschool programs and the children and families who benefit from quality programs. The Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership nominated him for the honor.
As Chair of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Afterschool and Out of School Time (2003-7) and the original sponsor of the After School and Out of School Time Coordinating Council legislation, McGee has been a strong proponent of afterschool programs and expanded learning opportunities for youth. McGee has also sponsored and supported legislation to improve the education for children and youth across Massachusetts. As Chair of the After School and Out of School Time Coordinating Council, he is charged with making recommendations to improve and increase access to out-of-school time programs.
“Senator McGee's leadership in supporting the children and youth of Massachusetts is unparalleled," said Katie Magrane, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Afterschool Partnership (MAP). “Not only has he championed the work of programs that support the social, emotional, physical and academic development of the Commonwealth’s children and youth, but he has also helped MAP and their network partners in shaping afterschool and out-of-school time policy.”
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.
The fuIn 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.”