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Acknowledgments Writing a book is more than having writers put words on a page. It is much like cooking—start with two women who have a passion and years of experience working with children, add staff at a great publishing company, stir in two understanding husbands, mix together for many months, and send off to be printed; recipe serves all individuals working with children in school-age programs. Linda Armstrong First, last, and always I want to thank my best friend and husband, John, whose never-ending support, great meals, and 24-7 reminder that I really could write this book kept me going. My daughters, Sarah and Beth, continue to remind me that what we do (or did) for our children every day makes a big difference in their lives. And lastly, my grandchildren’s excitement and joy in learning remind me that children need and deserve amazing places to give them a good start as lifelong learners. Christine Schmidt To my husband, Rick, thank you for always believing in me, encouraging me when times were hard, and bringing laughter and love into my life. Your constant support and encouragement have allowed me to create this book. To my children, Rick, Mandy, Katie, and Beth, thank you for understanding and supporting my passion for children and afterschool programs. To my grand- children, who are constant reminders of the vast potential and unique inner spirit of children. Linda and Christine Many thanks to Peggy, Theresa, Donna, Jen, Tracey, Becky, April, Nikki, Cheryl, Sharon, Gail, and Lee for opening their doors to share the many faces of the afterschool world, and for their appreciation, encouragement, support, and belief in this project. And to Kyra Ostendorf at Redleaf Press, thanks for always being there for us. Your kind words and gentle guidance helped so much as we struggled to keep our focus and channel our energies. Last but not least, we want to thank each other. We have been a good team and devel- oped a lasting friendship during the many months of working and writing together. We are both proud of what we have been able to do together and realize it is far more than either of us could have done working alone. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL ix