About ACT Now
The ACT Now Coalition is a diverse network of afterschool providers, families, business leaders, community advocates, youth organizations, and policymakers from across the state.
We strive to ensure that young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable afterschool and youth development programs. Our work includes advocating for funding and grant management necessary for program success and providing quality and professional development support.
How We Work
Increase and improve afterschool opportunities
Connect stakeholders and build effective partnerships
Pursue sustainable systemwide funding and share new funding opportunities
Increase overall visibility of and support for afterschool programs
Advocate for afterschool programs with federal, state and local policymakers
Provide advocacy training
Offer support to programs just getting started
Connect stakeholders to professional development
Share developments, research and best practices
Together, we can help young people grow into productive, healthy adults. Youth who participate in high quality afterschool and development programs demonstrate improved levels of academic achievement and significant reductions in problem behaviors.
Susan StantonNetwork Lead
Emma SpencerPolicy and Communications Manager
Emma VibberQuality and Professional Development Manager
Lesley RiversProgram Coordinator
Nikki GillaniAfterschool Resources and Support Specialist (School Partnerships)
Chelsea CorbettAfterschool Resources and Support Specialist (Teen REACH)
Tyrone TaliaferroAfterschool Resources and Support Specialist (Reimagine Public Safety Act)
Jackie TichlerAfterschool Resources and Support Specialist (Quality Initiatives)
Kim TurnbullAfterschool STEM Specialist
Tiffany EllisonPolicy, Communication and Operations Associate
Andrew HitzhusenAfterschool Resources and Support Specialist (Reimagine Public Safety Act)
Kasey BrownAfterschool Resources and Support Specialist
Each of our five standing committees consists of at least one representative from the leadership team and interested members from the Coalition. Interested in joining a committee? Contact our Network Lead, Susan Stanton.
Policy and Advocacy Committee
Pursues a shared policy agenda to increase the quality and availability of afterschool programs. Assesses local, state, and federal legislative and other policy opportunities. Develops strategies and materials to raise public awareness. Provides outreach to all relevant policymakers.
Facilitates information sharing and resource coordination to identify and meet the needs of the afterschool field for professional development across the entire workforce continuum.
Quality Assurance, Outcomes & Evaluation
Promotes the adoption of a common system of quality standards statewide and the development of capacity-building, assessment, and evaluation tools linked to standards. Addresses a wide variety of data collection and usage issues and promotes the use of best practices statewide.
STEM Guiding Team
Facilitates information sharing and resource coordination to identify and meet the needs of the afterschool field for STEM professional development in Illinois. Helps to develop resources and materials related to high-quality STEM programming and collect data on STEM programs in the state.
Community Schools Guiding Team
Aims to support the holistic Community Schools framework and expand the strategy across the state of Illinois through the development of policy agendas and advocacy. Helps to organize the regional networking and professional development trainings for providers in the state.
Our coalition members also participate in our supporting committees, focusing on advocacy initiatives and expanding youth voice in ACT Now’s work. Interested in joining a cohort? Contact Emma Spencer, Policy and Communications Manager.
Work in or with afterschool programs so know firsthand the benefits of afterschool and the barriers that their community faces in making afterschool available to all children. Help formulate ACT Now’s policy initiatives and do greater outreach in the community.
Find Employment Opportunities
Looking for meaningful work supporting Illinois youth? Explore open positions at ACT Now partner organizations and opportunities at ACT Now including internships.
Join ACT Now for Free
Get access to email newsletters, events, resources and tools. Access grant, networking, advocacy, and professional development opportunities.