About Us

The ACT Now Coalition works towards ensuring that young people in Illinois have access to quality, affordable afterschool and youth development programs.

ACT Now is a diverse statewide coalition supported by Illinois families, educators, business leaders, afterschool providers, community advocates, youth organizations, and policymakers from across the state. We believe that an increased commitment to young people beyond the traditional school day is a crucial part of their growth into productive, healthy adults.

How we work:

  • Connect stakeholders and build effective partnerships
  • Increase overall visibility of and support for afterschool programs
  • Share developments, research and best practices with the field
  • Advocate for afterschool programs with federal, state and local policymakers
  • Provide advocacy training
  • Connect stakeholders to professional development
  • Offer support to afterschool programs just getting started
  • Pursue sustainable systemwide funding and share new funding opportunities

ACT Now Coalition Committees

The ACT Now Coalition has three 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, Advocacy & Outreach
Chair, Melissa Mitchell, Federation for Community Schools
The Policy, Advocacy & Outreach 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
Chair, Amanda McMillen, Illinois Collaboration on Youth
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
Chair, Alisha Flores, Family Focus
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 promote the use of best practices statewide.

Interested in joining a committee? Contact Susan Stanton

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