Monday, April 25, 2016


In Reach, Inc. 
Celebrates the Heart of Afterschool Programs During the First Ever
April 25-29, 2016

Prince George’s County, MD, April 25, 2016In Reach, Inc., is joining with the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) to celebrate the professionals that are at the heart of afterschool programs during the first ever “Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week” April 25-29, 2016.

“We believe Afterschool professionals make a difference in the life of a child,” said Executive Director Toni Smith “We encourage everyone to join us this week in thanking the afterschool professionals in their lives.”

Why is it important to recognize Afterschool Professionals?
An estimated 10.2 million children participate in afterschool programs each year. Today, afterschool programs are viewed as much more than just childcare. They are widely credited as the way to enhance education in STEM, literacy, the arts, social and emotional learning, health and wellness, and more. With that demand comes increased responsibility on the estimated 850,000 of professionals who are making a difference in the lives of our children.

What is Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week?
Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is a joint effort of community partners, afterschool programs, youth and child care workers, and individuals who have committed to dedicating time to recognize and appreciate those who work with youth during out-of-school hours. The week is marked by celebrations and public relations efforts to encourage people to thank afterschool professionals serving children in programs and organizations across the nation.

Who is an Afterschool Professional?
An Afterschool Professional is someone who works with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours. Currently, there is an estimated 850,000 afterschool professionals in the US.

How can I thank an Afterschool Professional?
--Declare on social media: “I believe Afterschool professionals make a difference in the life of a child. #heartofafterschool”
--Give a hand-written card from you and/or your child to the afterschool professional in your life.
--Send an email to an afterschool professional’s supervisor describing why that person is appreciated.
--Make treats for the staff at your afterschool program.

When was Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week introduced?
Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week was announced during the NAA Annual Convention in Orlando, Florida, on March 20, 2016, by NAA President & CEO Gina Warner.

For more information about Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week visit: For more information about In Reach visit or call 301.357.8433.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Prince George's County's Finest - Excellence Always!

 L-R, Mr. Cliff Barnes, Hon. Ingrid Turner, NHC President Tomeka Bumbry, Program Chair, Crystal Christmas-Watson,
In Reach's Executive Director, Toni Smith, and Mr. Ronnie Gathers

Prince George's County's Finest - Founder and Executive Director Toni A. Smith Receives Award of Excellence in Education

Prince George’s County, Maryland – On Sunday, April 10, 2016, In Reach’s Founder and Executive Director, Ms. Toni A. Smith, received an Award of Excellence in Education from the National Harbor Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., during its Fifth Anniversary Celebration. “How appropriate,” she said “for me to receive my first Award of Excellence from an organization that values family, education and service. It does not get much better than this.” 

Since its inception in December 1999, Ms. Smith has worked tirelessly to build In Reach into a full-fledged community-focused education organization with the primary goal of bringing opportunity in reach to more students in their communities. Starting with forty students attending two partner schools, an elementary afterschool program and an in-school high school program, both programs focused on preparing students for college, work and life. Today, In Reach provides afterschool programs to nearly two hundred students attending Title I schools through its K-8 College and Career Ready 21st Century Community Learning Center and Youth Ambassadors College Access High School Program. 

Having worked in a variety of local and national youth advocacy nonprofit environments, Ms. Smith has over twenty-five years of experience in nonprofit service, management and leadership. She has a long-standing commitment to children's issues and an intimate understanding of the wide array of social justice issues faced by children, youth and families. Professionally, she has found her greatest joy through In Reach where she is able to bring her whole self to improving the lives of children and youth, empowering women and girls to reach their full potential, and promoting the vital work of the nonprofit sector. 

Ms. Smith was delighted to share the spotlight with three other amazing recipients: the Honorable Ingrid M. Turner, Esq., for Civic Excellence; Mr. Ronnie Gathers, director of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County, MD for Recreational Excellence; and Mr. Cliff Barnes, member Epstein Becker & Green in the Health Care and Life Sciences Practice for Excellence in Health. However, the true star of the evening was Mr. Brandon C. Welcome, the National Harbor Chapter’s first Scholarship Awardee and student in the Academy of Health Sciences at Prince George’s Community College, graduating this year with a 4.25 GPA and a plan to attend Morehouse College in the fall to major in Political Science.

In Reach, Inc., is a tax exempt 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization designed to prepare students for college, work and life. Founded in 1999, In Reach envisions healthy, productive and prepared young adults in every family. To learn more about In Reach, visit In Reach is currently celebrating its sixteenth year, #TheBIGSixteen.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#Money, Money, Money!

April is National Financial Literacy Month, the perfect time for a financial health checkup. For parents, especially, I am certain there are times where it feels like there is simply not enough money to go around. Between buying food, paying bills, and having enough funds for transportation, the money doesn’t seem last too long. Now is a great time to make a change. No matter what your finances look like today, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Here are five tips to get you started on your journey to better financial health:

1. $ave whatever you can, just get started. If you have $10 and can only save $1, then save $1. The important thing is that you begin to form a habit of saving, the more you do it the more you will want to do it and will begin to think about doing it.

2. Educate yourself on financial matters. The more you know, the better you will be able to plan. There is a lot to learn— everything from investing to retirement—so take your time. Look for free classes at your local library and through community organizations including your place of worship.

3. Think twice, purchase once. Do you really need whatever you are about to purchase? Really? 

4. Include everyone in your household. There is strength in numbers. When you work together as a team, everyone moving in the same direction, you are more likely to be successful. This includes the children too. 

5. Don’t compare yourself to others. We must all run our own race. Don’t let what others are doing with their money determine your course. Stay focused on your plan. 

For a full checkup, visit to learn more about the five building blocks for managing and growing your money.