After School Programs in Tennessee

After school programs often provide food in the form of of snacks or dinner, computer time in the tech lab, social time and video game time in the games room that consists of Xbox, bean bags and board games, active play which includes gym and outside, and homework which includes homework help and tutoring These are the main parts that makes the club work smoothly and provides items to make sure a member is successful.

In Tennessee, 17% (170,645) of K-12 youth are responsible for taking care of themselves after school. Also, of all Tennessee children not currently enrolled in after school, 31% (263,754) would be likely to participate in an after school program if they were available in their neighborhood.92% of parents in Tennessee are satisfied with the after school program their child attends.18% (179,897) of Tennessee’s K-12 children participate in after school programs, including 21,786 kids in programs supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, the only federal program dedicated to after school (




After school and summer learning programs help Tennessee’s students achieve goals. After school programs help students do better in school, develop their work behaviors, and advance. The programs involve students in moving experiences that increase leadership, collaboration, and responsibility. In Tennessee, nearly 180,000 children and teens are enrolled in an after school program. After school and summer learning programs can show kids new academic and professional opportunities, especially in the STEM fields known as science, technology, engineering and math. It is critical to prepare all kids for the future. Between Tennessee parents: 92 percent are pleased with their child’s after school program, 75 percent say it’s significant for their children to have summer activities that help them sustain academic skills and learn new things, 74 percent say after school programs help children increase workforce skills, and 59 percent say their child’s after school program offers STEM learning opportunities (

Families across America report that the space between work and school schedules can be up to 25 hours per week. Parental worries about after school care result in missed work time and decreased production that costs U.S. businesses up to $300 billion annually ( Between Tennessee parents: 78 percent say that after school programs help working parents keep their jobs, 83 percent agree that after school programs help give working parents peace of mind about their children when they are at work, 86 percent backs public funding for after school programs, and 88 percent backs public funding for summer learning programs (

Businesses can partner with after school and summer programs to offer mentorships or internships to middle and high school students and invest in STEM activities for after school and summer programs. Also, Volunteers in after school programs share simple STEM-related activities to acquire interest in the careers to encourage after school programming and organize a task force in the community to create youth services where there are gaps to Create a Maker Space where youth and their families can discover and experiment (

Opinion: Clarence Brown Theatre helps students, Knoxville residents get in the holiday spirit

The winter season is upon us. Weather is getting cooler, lights are going up all over town and finals are just around the corner. To help get everyone into the holiday spirit, the Clarence Brown Theatre is producing their annual rendition of “A Christmas Carol.”

“A Christmas Carol” is an age-old holiday story following Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Eve to change his life. While there are many versions of “A Christmas Carol,” such as the Mickey Mouse version from the 1980s, the Clarence Brown production stays very close to the classic story line of the show.

Jed Diamond, professor in the theater department of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, returned this year as the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, with a performance to wow any audience. The rest of the cast also helped to create an astounding performance. This show features many children playing young roles, and each of them were “real” and mature actors when on the stage. “A Christmas Carol” features a truly amazing cast this season.

The crew for “A Christmas Carol” blew away the audience with its elaborate set for this year’s show. Every scene featured intricate sound and lighting effects and unbelievably realistic set pieces. One recurring feature that I really enjoyed was the use of a trap door in the stage. In just a few seconds, a bed could arise from or descend into the stage.

At one point in the show, the ghost Marley, Scrooge’s late lifetime work partner, made his entrance by coming up from the floorboards of the stage, and his exit by descending back into the stage. The added fog effects made it really feel like a ghost was entering the theatre that night.

If you get the chance, make your way to the Clarence Brown Theatre sometime before this show closes. The Clarence Brown is conveniently located on campus, in between the music building and the Humanities and Social Sciences building. Shows are just $5 for UTK students to see. “A Christmas Carol” runs from now until Dec. 17.


Featured Image courtesy of Creative Commons

Edited by Vanessa Rodriguez

Preview: Inside Joy Again, Knoxville concert

Following its early 2017 debut EP, the Philadelphia five-piece band Joy Again announced a list of tour dates including a stop in Knoxville with headliner Furnsss Nov. 20 at the Pilot Light beginning at 9 p.m.

The group formed in 2015 when the members met at boarding school. They have since performed with acts like Car Seat Headrest, Shamir, Hinds, Daywave, and Hoops, making festival appearances at 35 Denton, Savannah Stopover, and SXSW, according to their official biography.  

With the upcoming show, Tennessee Journalist secured an exclusive short interview with the group.

TNJN: How did you all [JoyAgain] get started?

Joy Again: First steps at 3, first food at 7, first stocks at 12, bankrupt by 5 a.m.

T: How did you come up with the name?

J: We were at prom and [the name] sounded really nice.

T: Who or what are your musical influences?

J: Outkast, Pavement and Bryan Nowell.

T: What do you hope to accomplish with your music?

J: Make enough money to afford a plane ticket to Los Angeles.

T: Why play Knoxville– what does our scene have that others don’t?

J: The East Tennessee chili cookout, of course.

T: What are some random facts about each band member/band as a whole?

J: Tyndall- big guy

Sachi- slaps the wheel

Arthur- bowl cut

Will- Tinder master

Blaise- diabetes

T: How has the band evolved as a group?

J: [We’ve become] older and wiser.

T: Does anyone have any pre-show rituals?

J: Melatonin and a cup of coffee.

T: What is everyone’s favorite song that they’ve ever done?

J: “Hotline Bling”

T: Do you have any advice for aspiring music artists/bands?

J: It doesn’t happen, till it happens.

T: What is your favorite moment or memory since becoming a group?

J: One time Tyndall was asleep in the car with his mouth open and [a member] put a lit cig in his mouth.

T: What’s next?

J: We’re going on tour this week and also going on tour in January/February with Rostam and then maybe making a record and then [I don’t know].

T: What was it like creating your newest package of songs?

J: We made them mostly over in the internet and had additional help from some more people. [It] was cool to branch out and work with others, especially the talented minds who worked on these songs. Hopefully we can do it again in the future!

Caleb Laven, who produced Frank Ocean’s “Blonde & Endless,” produced Joy Again’s “Kim” + “On A Farm.”

Joy Again released “Kim” + “On A Farm” as a single package set with Never Grow Up Records, showcasing their unique style and ability to merge genres together. Joy Again’s storytelling through song continues to win-over internet underground music fans. Media outlets like “NME” and “FADER” have also noticed and applauded the group.

Joy Again has released previous debut singles on “Mom + Dad” (U.S.) and “Lucky Number” (U.K.). Their latest EP on Never Grow Up Records can be heard here.

Featured Photo: Caro Ramierz

Edited by Lexie Little

Author of “Station Eleven” visits UT, discusses novel set in post-apocalyptic North America

Emily St. John Mandel, author of the 2017 Life of the Mind novel Station Eleven, visited the University of Tennessee, Knoxville on Monday to discuss her book.

The Life of the Mind Project is a tradition at UTK where first year freshman enroll in an introductory style course unique to UTK as well as participate in a book study with an accompanying project.

“It’s really extraordinarily moving to see when somebody else does paintings or poetry or papers even based on books that I have written,” Mandel said.

Station Eleven is set in a post-apocalyptic North America where a deadly pandemic has wiped out majority of the population of the world and completely changed life as they know it. A group of artists known as The Traveling Symphony came together in this new world to distract themselves from the trauma of the past and keep music and theater alive. The novel follows the storyline of an actor, Arthur, who mysteriously dies during a production of King Lear before the pandemic as well as the story of a young actress, Kirsten, and her journey with the Symphony after the disease.

Mandel spoke about her research, the process she went through and how some of the things in the novel related back to parts of her own life including a setting being based on where she grew up in British Columbia.

After Mandel’s discussion, the audience was allowed to ask questions regarding the novel or Mandel’s life as a novelist.

What’s next for Mandel? 

“I’m writing a pre-apocalyptic novel about the aftermath of a massive Ponzi scheme. It is also about container shipping which I also get into a little bit in Station Eleven,” Mandel answered. “It’s almost done, and I think it will come out in late 2019.”

At the end of event, fans of the novel were invited to stay for a book signing with Mandel.

For more information on First Year Studies visit their website.  To learn more about Station Eleven visit Mandel’s website.


Edited by Vanessa Rodriguez

Featured image by Nima Kasraie