Our Partners

ACT Now’s 2,300 members are leading the charge to ensure all young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. Our Coalition members are made up of afterschool and youth development providers, advocates of youth and families, educators, and other stakeholders.

These members are located throughout Illinois and reflect the afterschool and youth development needs of their communities, families, and youth.

Our Committees

We have six committees working to strengthen afterschool for Illinois youth. Each committee consists of at least one representative from the leadership team and interested members from the Coalition. The committees are as follows:

Policy and Advocacy

Chair, Jill Edelblute, YMCA of Metro Chicago

The Policy and Advocacy Committee provides a forum for ACT Now to develop and pursue a shared policy agenda to increase the quality and availability of afterschool programs. Its work includes assessing local, state, and federal legislative and other policy opportunities. This committee is also responsible for developing strategies and materials to raise public awareness about the benefits of and needs for afterschool programming, and provides grasstops and grassroots outreach to all relevant policymakers.

Professional Development

The Professional Development Committee 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

Teresa Dothard-Campbell, East Moline School District 37

The Quality Assurance, Outcomes & Evaluation Committee promotes the adoption of a common system of quality standards statewide and the development of capacity-building, assessment, and evaluation tools linked to standards.  It addresses a wide variety of data collection and usage issues and promotes the use of best practices statewide.

STEM Guiding Team

Sarah Tinsman, University of Chicago

The 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. The Committee also 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

Rebecca Kinsey, The Baby Fold and Rebecca Kinsey, The Baby Fold

The 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. The Committee also helps to organize the regional networking and professional development trainings for providers in the state.

Afterschool Advocates

Our Afterschool Advocates are a group of afterschool champions that take action in support of afterschool programs in Illinois.  The key characteristics of Advocates are a love of afterschool and a willingness to talk to others about afterschool. Advocates – through their work in or with afterschool programs – know firsthand the benefits of afterschool and the barriers that their community faces in making afterschool available to all children. This group helps to formulate ACT Now’s policy initiatives and do greater outreach in the community.

Interested in joining a committee?

Contact our Network Lead, Susan Stanton

To access the contact information of our Committee Chairs, click here.