In November, we marked the 20th anniversary of California’s Proposition 49, which is the largest and most robust expanded learning infrastructure in U.S. history. Championed by ASAS founder Arnold Schwarzenegger and passed in 2002, Prop 49 has dedicated an estimated $6.77 billion to support school-based expanded learning programs across the state of California.
“It’s a milestone not only for After-School All-Stars, but for the entire after-school movement,” says ASAS President Andrea Bazán.
To celebrate the anniversary, ASAS Los Angeles hosted an event at Bell Gardens Intermediate School that was attended by U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and many other prominent members of the All-Stars community. Guests included members of the ASAS National Board (including Daniel Hernandez, Priscilla Hernandez, Paul Wachter, and Conyers Davis), actor and ASAS supporter Gabriel Luna, and representatives from the USC Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy.
The celebration kicked off with an energetic and captivating dance performance by the student dance team as Secretary Cardona and Governor Schwarzenegger watched from the front row.
After some opening remarks, the attendees toured the school, visiting a robotics demonstration and a music class where Secretary Cardona’s background in music shined through. Neither he nor Schwarzenegger missed a beat when asked to play the bongos with the students!
“This is what happens in great after-school programs,” says Secretary Cardona. “When the bell rings you know you’re not alone. You have fun, you get to learn, you need to grow. You find out who you are and what you can achieve through these programs. What happens before and after the bell rings makes a huge difference.”
The event highlighted the progress made possible by Proposition 49 and paid tribute to the people who are dedicating their careers to the protection and advancement of expanded learning opportunities.
Mr. Mendoza, director of the dance team at Bell Gardens Intermediate School, summed up his perspective of out-of-school-time programs: “All-Stars provides [the students] a place to call home, for them to express themselves, for them to stay out of trouble, for them to feel motivated, for them to feel love. When they are loved, they motivate themselves to achieve greater things in life. All-Stars and our school district made that happen.”
As we mark Prop 49’s 20th anniversary and After-School All-Stars’ 30th anniversary, it’s important to continue to work hard to ensure the future of after-school programs. With everyone’s support, we will be able to help even more young people succeed in school and life.
To get a sense of the energy and fun during Secretary Cardona’s visit, check out this short recap of the event!
If you’d like to help us provide more students across the U.S. with free, comprehensive out-of-school-time programs, please donate here.