Lindsy Weaver honored nationally for contributions to Fairbanks afterschool programs

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 11:35 AM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Lindsy Weaver, the 21st Century Community Learning Center Afterschool Program Director for the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, has been honored by the National AfterSchool Association for her work in Interior Alaska.

Weaver has worked with the school district in Fairbanks for the last seven years. “Being a product of our school district, and then coming back to work in this capacity has been incredibly rewarding,” she said.

In the last year and a half, she has taken on the role of securing funding for afterschool programs, specifically those that are grant-funded. “I like to stay behind the scenes. I am behind the scenes making sure that we’re compliant with our federal funding, and then making sure that... our staff have those resources to be able to do that work.”

Courtney Havrilek, Afterschool Ambassador and colleague of Weaver, explained, “Fairbanks hasn’t faltered a step since she’s taken over as a leader, and we’ve really grown.”

“She’s contagious. She has contagious energy,” Havrilek added.

In February, the National AfterSchool Association chose Weaver as one of its 2023 Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders. “I’m really excited to bring a national viewpoint to Alaska for our afterschool programs,” Weaver said.

This honor, according to the association, is for those who play a broader role in these programs, and whose effect is seen around a community. Havrilek said of Weaver, “She works super hard. She perseveres, she’s resilient, she’s extremely positive, and she just keeps moving forward.”

Involved with afterschool programs since high school, Weaver emphasized the importance of community staff and volunteers for these activities to thrive. “We have full-time employees that work on these programs behind the scenes, and their full-time job is to make sure that these programs run, and then what we’re doing is we’re asking our certified teachers, our support staff and student workers to extend their day beyond the school day.”

In the Fairbanks School District, seven facilities host afterschool programs for students all across the district. These are Anne Wien Elementary, Hunter Elementary, Denali Elementary, Weller Elementary, Ticasuk Brown Elementary, Ryan Middle School and Lathrop High School.

These programs range from cooking to coding, fencing to 3-D printing. “Our working parents, in order to do their jobs well, to be effective at work, to feel good about going to work and staying the full amount of time, need to know that their kids are safe and healthy. That’s what our afterschool programs provide,” according to Havrilek.

According to both Weaver and Havrilek, there’s room for growth. “In Alaska, for every one student we have in an afterschool program, we have three students waiting.”

Weaver explained, “If I had an opportunity to expand summer programs, that’s just a real need that we have.”

A profile of Weaver can be found in the Spring 2023 issue of Afterschool Today magazine, along with this year’s 16 other recipients.