Letter to Representative

The following letter has been submitted by AAFCS President Carol Anderson for incorporation into the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families hearings record for February 10, 2000.

February 22, 2000

The Honorable Michael Castle, Chairman
House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families
United States House of Representatives
1227 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Representative Castle:

On behalf of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (AAFCS), I would like to submit this testimony to the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Youth and Families as it considers the future of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC). We request that this letter be incorporated into the record for the hearings held February 10, 2000.

Your commitment and that of subcommittee members to the well-being of our nation's children, families, and communities was evident during your recent 21st CCLC hearing. The membership of AAFCS has a long and rich history of working to empower individuals, support families, and enable communities to improve the human condition. A well designed and funded 21st CCLC program will significantly enhance the well-being of individuals and families across this nation.

Several elements of the reauthorization are critical to providing a program that will empower individuals and families in their communities and neighborhoods to improve quality of life.

  • Expand the eligibility of grant recipients to include community-based organizations that are critical to the growth and development of our children and youth.
  • Empower community partnerships to agree upon outcomes and then develop and implement creative and innovative school-based educational programs that take into consideration the unique needs of that community.
  • Build community collaborations that engage volunteers in ways they can share their expertise and interests.
  • Provide high quality research-based, age appropriate, experiential curricula.
  • Include professional development as a key component to build capacity and incorporate research.
  • Use technology, including web-based information sites to inform the planning process, engage youth and adults, and assess program outcomes.
  • Expand the program to include more junior and high school aged youth and adults.
  • Evaluate outcomes of programs for management purposes as well as identifying "best practices" that can be shared.

These points were emphasized during your February 10, 2000 hearing. Members of AAFCS encourage your subcommittee to adopt these important elements in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

AAFCS professionals have a documented record of successful, community-based, education, which is founded on research. Education is delivered through university/college and public/private school-based programs as well as through the national educational network of the Cooperative Extension System. Creative, experience based, educational opportunities listed below as well as numerous development opportunities to prepare and update child care providers are a few examples of the types of programs developed and delivered by professionals in our membership.

  • Connecticut Youth Entrepreneur Program
  • Jump Start
  • Character Counts Volunteer Training
  • Master Food Safety Advisors
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk
  • National Youth At Risk Program

FCS professionals who are providing leadership for outstanding educational programs can and will collaborate with community partners to plan, develop, and assess 21st Century Community Learning Centers. These centers will make a positive difference in communities through out our country.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center program has made significant positive impacts on the well-being of children, youth and adults in communities through out the United States. Expanded funding with emphasis on community-based partnerships that provide high quality educational programs for youth and adults will have a positive influence on the quality of family and community life throughout our nation. The members of the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences encourage your continued dedication to designing and funding this important program.


Carol L. Anderson, Ph.D., CFCS

Cc:The Honorable Dale Kildee (9th-D-MI)
The Honorable William Goodling (19th-R-PA)
The Honorable William Clay (1st-D-Mo)