Hundreds of school and community leaders are in Indianapolis to share ideas on expanding learning opportunities. "Mission Possible" is the theme of the conference bringing together people from five states to share the latest innovations in afterschool and summer programming. The gathering presents a chance for providers to gain a different perspective on learning opportunities outside the classroom.
Many of the ideas are hands-on.
"They're buiding robots, they're doing rockets, they're planting trees," says Indiana Afterschool Network President, Debbie Zipes.
Zipes says kids participating in additional educational programs can add over a thousand hours of learning every year. The discussion is also a chance for experts to talk about how to provide these opportunities for underserved youth in the face of federal funding cuts. Other barriers that widen the achievement gap include cost and lack of transportation. In Indiana, only 10 percent of K-12 kids participate in afterschool programs.