The Georgia Statewide AfterSchool Network (GSAN) has announced it’s AfterSchool Community Champions for the year. The AfterSchool Community Champions Program is a board of AfterSchool Program professionals who help GSAN advance, connect, and support quality out-of-school time programs to promote the success of youth throughout Georgia.

Bulloch County boasts two Champions—Joy Deal with the Statesboro Bulloch County Parks and Recreation Department; and Joseph Folsom with the Bulloch Counseling Center and the Journey Child and Adolescent Center.

These two Champions, along with many others from around the state, will receive training and will work to strengthen community awareness, support effective programs, and advocate for AfterSchool Programs and their impact on a student’s success.

“AfterSchool care is a vital and necessary program for working parents,” says Deal. “I believe quality Afterschool programs help children to thrive. It gives them great socialization skills, introduces them to wonderful college student mentors and offers them a group of caring individuals that support every child.”

Joy Deal

“It is an honor to be included as a Champion,” says Folsom. “I am extremely excited to be able to network with others in the Afterschool world and be able to include mental health wellness approaches into these programs. We are excited about growing our AfterSchool Program called SHINE for elementary and middle-school aged children that have a mental health diagnosis. We want to be able to help more children and families in the area.”

Joseph Folsom