by Ashlee Liska, Program Director at STRIPES 360 – Republic School District
STRIPES 360 was established to provide quality and affordable programming for students during non-school hours for children and youth in Republic School District. Their summer is jam-packed with fun, hands-on activities wrapped up in three thematic units: Strange But True, Construction Zone, and Totally Gross. Students are traveling down the tracks of science, technology, engineering, art, and math as they discover, explore, and create in ways they never thought possible!
How does your organization work to improve child well-being in your community or in the state of MO?
What policy change would you most like to see to support child well-being in our state? Explain!
State policy efforts are essential in the fight for equal access to quality early childhood and afterschool programs. Publicly funded preschool and child care options for all families are a significant investment that can have the potential to reduce inequality and give all children the opportunity to start school on equal footing and continue throughout their childhood with the robust support systems that afterschool programs play both academically and socially and emotionally.
Why do you think it’s important for our state to invest in children?
A return on investment. A child’s formative years are a time of remarkable intellectual, social, and emotional growth. During this time, their experiences have the power to shape their health and well-being, both positively and negatively, for years to come. Programs and policies reaching young children benefit them, their families, and in the long run, their communities as well.
What do you like most about being a member of or working with Kids Win Missouri?
Serving on the Child Care Advisory Group with Kids Win Missouri has allowed me the opportunity to advocate for afterschool programs across the state and lend my expertise and share my experiences with others in the field. Working alongside a group of professionals with the same passion and purpose is both refreshing and invigorating as we all strive to meet the needs of our children, families, and employees.