Archives:

Select:

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

READ FULL STORY

Building peer-to-peer relationships and taking "safe risks": Project Morry

In a conversation with Dawn Ewing, Executive Director of Project Morry, we sat down to discuss how the program is fostering a safe space for youth to re-engage during the summer and how youth are able to define success on their own terms. Project Morry was one of the 36 grantees of the 2021 Aim High awards program. Aim High grants are awarded to afterschool, summer, or expanded learning programs that help economically disadvantaged middle school students successfully transition to high school.

The Afterschool Alliance invites out-of-school time programs to apply for the 2023 New York Life Foundation Aim High grant. The application period closes February 1, 2023.

What is Project Morry?

Project Morry is a comprehensive, year-round youth development organization located in Port Chester, N.Y., dedicated to empowering children from under-resourced communities to create a positive future. Project Morry provides opportunities to complement in-school learning and development and expose middle school children to year-round experiences they otherwise do not have access to. Through a variety of creative programs, traditional camp activities, and leadership opportunities, campers discover their passions, engage with their peers, and take “safe risks” as they apply themselves to educational challenges.

Project Morry changes the outcomes for more than 400 students annually from the N.Y. tri-state area. Our overall goal is to level the playing field by addressing many of the obstacles middle school youth of color from economically disadvantaged communities encounter in achieving a successful future.

How did the Aim High Grant make a difference in your program?

The Aim High grant really allowed us to build our own social-emotional learning (SEL) and racial equity tools that allow youth to start their own conversations and build their relationships in Project Morry and beyond. Our program has always revolved around (SEL) and our racial equity work. We have our social justice program where youth have the opportunity to talk about topics like equity versus equality, microaggressions, and intersectionality, which supports our students as they have these conversations outside of our program.

One of the ways the Aim High grant supported our racial equity work was through staff training and professional development. When you have a staff with a strong base, it really helps us create a supportive environment and safe space for youth. It’s about creating a safe space for everyone and allowing them to advocate for themselves. We really wanted staff to get in touch with their own stance and answer some of their own internal questions, because if you don’t know where you stand, then how are you able to help support the student’s own journey? We wanted our staff to not only understand the equity framework but learn how to support students’ journeys as they find out how they fit in. I think when you’re having these conversations with staff, it also allows them to know that they’re in a safe space.

What do youth need from out-of-school time programs right now?

Overall, I think youth need to feel that sense of belonging. Coming out of the pandemic, I think both young people and adults are more aware of who they are connecting with. We know what we need and we are looking for relationships we know we can give to and also get back from. And I think that our students are experiencing the same thing. What we are able to do at Project Morry is foster a sense of belonging because the kids are helping create it. As they age through the program, they have different levels of responsibility and leadership. Our older students are able to lead younger students through their own experience and help them belong and make them feel important.

At the program level, we need to continue having those conversations around self-care and being aware of what youth need to help them belong in their surroundings and adapt to different situations. Some of the kids in our communities don’t always have the power or resources to make the changes they want. We need to continue building out the tools these students need for them to be in control of their choices. One example of this is self-regulated time-outs; students have the opportunity to say, “I need some space” or, “I am not going to do the right thing right now” without us having to ask. They are given the chance to pull themselves out in a way that’s healthy for them. We give them the power to make that decision for themselves. That is a powerful tool.

How is the program responding to those needs?

We are being more intentional about listening and asking questions. You can get any answer you want when you ask, “How are you doing? Good?” Rather, we ask, “What should we be doing to help you?” and, “Is this what you need right now?” We found that the kids are responding much more robustly. They

are able identify their needs and tell us what they are.

When you’re with these kids and families for ten years like Project Morry is, there are highs and lows. Our kids and our families are no different from us. When there’s that consistency and that familiarity, there’s less of a chance for those children to get lost and fall through the cracks.

How are you supporting youth voice in your program?

In Project Morry, youth voice and choice piece presents itself officially and unofficially. In the official sense, we build out benchmarks for students’ progression in the program. For our younger students, we look at imagination; how are they able to play and organize? As they age through the program, students will have more time in their day to decide how they want to spend their time and pursue their interests. As they become older, they then begin facilitating those big brother and big sister programs and making those big decisions for younger students. This allows them to look both internally and externally and make decisions based on what they think younger students would enjoy, benefit from, and succeed in based on their own experiences.

In summer camp, kids are able to take these “safe risks” and know that they can try something out as a choice and know that they won't be judged or ridiculed for it. A great example is our annual talent show facilitated by our eldest campers. Kids have the choice to participate in our talent show and for many kids, it’s the first time they have participated in an activity like this. This year, I saw something I had never seen before. We had a group of students perform a song, but they did it from behind the curtain. The students facilitating the talent show had the sensitivity to respond to the performers’ fears and offer a solution we might not have implemented ourselves. This was wonderful to see. Our eldest students were able to meet the younger students where they were and help them define what success means to them. In a program where students know that they are safe, they are not afraid to say, “This is what success looks like for me.” Success for those students was singing the song, regardless if it’s behind the curtain or in front of it.

What is one way that you were able to create a safe space for youth in the program?

This summer, we hired a full-time licensed clinical social worker. She was able to be the person to step in and help those youth who needed that extra support, instead of needing a program staff member to step out with that student. We are now able to continue programming without sacrificing the group and also take the time to help the student build the tools that they need. We built a sensory space around our social worker, Kristen, where students and staff were able to go to decompress. “The Shack” was filled with soft places to sit, nice-smelling scents, and visual sensory objects. Camp can be very overwhelming and sometimes we all need something to wrap around us. This was a really cool tool that we had never thought of. Kristen also suggested that we get ear plugs for our students. Kids that might have previously been overstimulated or overwhelmed, were now sitting with their friends because they had earplugs in.

Why are staff so critical in fostering an effective program?

In order to run an effective program, you need to have effective staff. We’re being a lot more intentional about professional development. Especially in the summer camp setting, we ask our staff to give a lot. But we want to give a lot back to them. Our staff matter and make a difference. It’s not just about saying “Good job,” it’s about telling them “Good job, here’s why.”

What are your best practices for re-engaging students?

Don’t change things but offer a lot of room. Be intentional with your staff to ensure that they are setting students up for success. Utilize peer-to-peer relationships.

Kids come back because of the relationships they have with one another. They come back because they want to see their friends. You can’t hug your friends online. You can’t sit and eat pizza with your friends online. Peer-to-peer relationships are critical for youth, but also for promoting accountability and responsibility. This shows them that “If I’m missing, something can’t happen.” They become an example for someone younger than them.

Once they come back, you can’t just jump back as if everything's the same, but it is also important that none of the rules have changed. The safety to show up is knowing that space is still safe. Staff training is also critical in making sure that staff are sensitized to the concerns of youth. These concerns might be obvious, but it’s always important to make sure that we don’t validate the things that students fear might happen when they come back.

"I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world": An interview with Girls Empowerment Network

We spoke with Ami Kane, Deputy Director at the Girls Empowerment Network, to discuss how the Spark Change Project is empowering girls to become advocates for the issues that matter the most to them and strengthening critical supports for their students with help from the New York Life...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/24/22

Resources to help you Engage Every Student from wherever you sit

New parent data shows that for every child in an afterschool program, there are now four more who are waiting for an available program. It is more important than ever to amplify ways for programs, communities, districts, and states to connect every student to an afterschool program that wants...

BY: Maria Rizo      09/08/22

Guest blog: Foundations, Inc.'s REACH model accelerates learning recovery in afterschool

By Elizabeth Cieri and Paula Houghton of Foundations, Inc.  Educators across the nation are dealing with academic losses due to the pandemic -- mitigating those losses requires inventive thinking and better practices. “Coming out of the pandemic, we knew all kids suffered learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/29/22

Ensuring access to school meals this fall

As we approach the upcoming school year, school nutrition programs are increasingly important in ensuring children are fed during the hours they are in and out of school and addressing food insecurity exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Afterschool Alliance participated in the...

BY: Maria Rizo      08/11/22

From afterschool to the White House: A conversation with Life Pieces to Masterpieces alum Cateo Hilton

In February of this year, soon-to-be-high-school-graduate Cateo Hilton of Washington, D.C.’s Life Pieces to Masterpieces afterschool program was asked to speak at the White House at an event marking the end of Black History Month. Life Pieces to Masterpieces’ Andrew Blickle serves as an...

BY: Matt Freeman      07/12/22

Investing ARP in afterschool & summer: Overview of trends, opportunities, challenges

We’ve released a new overview looking at the trends, opportunities, and challenges around investing American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars in afterschool and summer programs. Use this overview to help educate partners, policymakers, local leaders, and educators on the opportunity to support youth...

BY: Ursula Helminski      06/06/22

New resources to plan for summer learning and make the case for afterschool

Sharing the latest on COVID funds for afterschool or summer programs that support students’ well-being and academic growth, preparing for summer 2022, and more: The latest updates and tools to help you advance partnerships between schools and afterschool or summer programs to support...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/28/22

MAP: Where are COVID funds supporting afterschool & summer programs?

If you’ve been following our COVID work, you know we’ve been working to track how and where federal COVID relief funding has been tapped to support young people with comprehensive afterschool and summer enrichment programs. Three major funding bills – the Coronavirus Aid, Relief,...

BY: Ursula Helminski      04/19/22

Giving a big #AmeriThanks to AmeriCorps VISTA members!

It’s AmeriCorps Week! Organizations around the country are taking this opportunity to acknowledge the work of national service members that participate in programs such as AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, Senior Corps, and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). In that spirit, we want to...

BY: Alexis Steines      03/18/22

Understanding “comprehensive afterschool” in the American Rescue Plan

In the American Rescue Plan, funds are allocated specifically for “the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

$1.8M awarded to middle school out-of-school time programs

The New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance are pleased to announce the 2022 Aim High grant recipients. In its sixth year, the Aim High grant has provided a total of $7.95 million dollars to help fund afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs as they help middle school...

BY: Dan Gilbert      06/14/22

Guest blog: Social and emotional learning in the spotlight

By Jenna Tomasello, associate director at The Hatcher Group. This blog post was originally published on the Wallace Foundation blog on March 11, 2022.  The social isolation students experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent school closures has shined a spotlight on unmet...

BY: Guest Blogger      04/21/22

Afterschool field creates resources to help support the mental health of young people

With year 3 of the COVID-19 pandemic now underway, mental health is recognized as one of the largest issues among youth today. The ways in which young people have suffered during the pandemic are heartbreaking - from increased anxiety and social isolation to coping with grief and loss. Fortunately,...

BY: Christopher Echevarria      03/15/22

Celebrating Black History 365 with Howard University Television

By Keisha Nelson, Education and Outreach Manager WHUT- Howard University Television. Black History Month may only last 28 days, but opportunities for learning don’t end in February. There are many ways to celebrate the past and present contributions of Black people to U.S. history,...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/28/22

Slowing down while playing catch-up: The educator Catch-22!

By Carlos Santini, CEO of Mizzen by Mott. If you’re an educator, mentor, coach or administrative staff member working in education, you’re most likely hearing of or reading about priorities such as accelerated learning, learning recovery, and historic investments at the federal level...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/22/22

Tips for afterschool to support trans and gender non-conforming young people

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection. Thanks to a growing number of supports for transgender and nonbinary youth to feel safe within their school settings, afterschool programs have more resources than ever to ensure that every young person who enters their doors between the hours of...

BY: Shaun Gray      02/14/22

Mentorship "show[ed] me my self-worth... the value that I have as a human."

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash The impact of afterschool and summer programs last well beyond a student’s formative years. The relationships that afterschool youth build with the adults in their programs often lead to academic success and future leadership opportunities. Mentored youth...

BY: Tierra Easter      01/25/22

Why afterschool programs need social and emotional learning now

This article was originally published on The Wallace Foundation blog on January 19, 2022. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, educators around the country are seeing an increasing need to support young people who may be struggling with anxiety, depression, fear, trauma, food insecurity or...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/24/22

Understanding “comprehensive afterschool” in the American Rescue Plan

In the American Rescue Plan, funds are allocated specifically for “the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/22

The future of learning

Photo: Courtesy of YMCA of Honolulu at Herton Branch By Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. This article originally was published as a Mott Perspectives piece on the Foundation’s website. It has been reposted here with permission. This is a...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/21/22

Philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett invest in a host of afterschool programs

As part of a larger series of gifts to nonprofit organizations, this spring, philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett announced the contribution of a combined investment of more than $500 million towards at least 29 afterschool, summer learning, and positive youth development organizations....

BY: Erik Peterson      04/18/22

Afterschool community mourns passing of Rep. Don Young

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), who passed away this weekend, was a tireless and powerful champion for children and families in Alaska and across the country, and one of Congress’ most ardent and dedicated supporters of the afterschool and summer learning programs that help children and youth...

BY: Erik Peterson      03/24/22

Giving a big #AmeriThanks to AmeriCorps VISTA members!

It’s AmeriCorps Week! Organizations around the country are taking this opportunity to acknowledge the work of national service members that participate in programs such as AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, Senior Corps, and National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC). In that spirit, we want to...

BY: Alexis Steines      03/18/22

Announcing winners of the afterschool staff gratitude campaign

As 2021 came to a close, the Afterschool Alliance launched a gratitude campaign across social media to encourage the field to recognize the amazing work of afterschool professionals. From teaching critical life skills outside of the classroom to “shaping the next generation of leaders,”...

BY: Maria Rizo      02/01/22

Mentorship "show[ed] me my self-worth... the value that I have as a human."

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash The impact of afterschool and summer programs last well beyond a student’s formative years. The relationships that afterschool youth build with the adults in their programs often lead to academic success and future leadership opportunities. Mentored youth...

BY: Tierra Easter      01/25/22

Understanding “comprehensive afterschool” in the American Rescue Plan

In the American Rescue Plan, funds are allocated specifically for “the implementation of evidence-based interventions aimed specifically at addressing learning loss, such as summer learning or summer enrichment, extended day, comprehensive afterschool programs, or extended school year...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/21/22

Afterschool as a teacher pathway

By Sam Piha, founder and co-director of Temescal Associates and The How Kids Learn Foundation, both organizations dedicated to promoting the learning and healthy development of youth. Our national teacher shortage predated COVID-19, however there is growing evidence that suggests that the...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/20/22

How to make universal afterschool a reality in your state

By Holly Morehouse, Executive Director, Vermont Afterschool. Across the country, afterschool programs have been chronically underfunded for decades, and the unmet demand among families has reached an all-time high. In Vermont, more than 26,000 youth are waiting for an available program. This...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/11/22

👏 Meeting the crisis: Afterschool leaders rise to the challenge

As part of our campaign this holiday season to show our gratitude for afterschool professionals, we are sharing some of the extraordinary efforts undertaken by our Afterschool Ambassadors and their programs to support kids and families throughout the pandemic. We thank them, and the many...

BY: Matt Freeman      12/16/21

Creating a path for career exploration and readiness at L.E.A.D. Afterschool

Welcome back to our series on credit for learning in afterschool programs! Afterschool programs can provide older youth opportunities to find their inspiration and gain skills that will benefit them in and outside of the classroom while allowing them to earn school credits. Credit-for-learning...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      08/23/22

Celebrating Juneteenth in afterschool programs

Image by William Adams from Pixabay Juneteenth National Independence Day also known as Freedom Day, or Jubilee day honors the emancipation of slaves in the United States. More than 150 years after its first celebration, the Juneteenth holiday provides an opportunity to learn and teach about the...

BY: Tierra Easter      06/17/22

Youth mental health is top of mind for voters

By Olivia Allen, strategy director at Children’s Funding Project. Public opinion polling during the COVID-19 pandemic shows that voters feel intense concern about youth mental health and are willing to prioritize public investment in programs that support young people. In fact, 79...

BY: Guest Blogger      05/26/22

Arts education and training program at Riverzedge Arts helps students earn credit

Welcome to our series on credit for learning in afterschool programs! Afterschool programs can provide older youth opportunities to find their inspiration and gain skills that will benefit them in and outside of the classroom while allowing them to earn school credits. Credit-for-learning programs...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      05/06/22

You're invited: Help amplify youth voices in afterschool!

Join us next week for Youth Voice Week! We want to hear from, and amplify, the perspectives and experiences of young people.  From Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 1, we will be sharing pieces by youth about their afterschool experiences, and what youth need after school. Afterschool...

BY: Maria Rizo      03/21/22

YouthForce NOLA: Creating a path for career exploration and readiness

Welcome to our new series on credit for learning in afterschool programs! Afterschool programs can provide older youth opportunities to find their inspiration and gain skills that will benefit them in and outside of the classroom while allowing them to earn school credits. Credit-for-learning...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      02/25/22

Tips for afterschool to support trans and gender non-conforming young people

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection. Thanks to a growing number of supports for transgender and nonbinary youth to feel safe within their school settings, afterschool programs have more resources than ever to ensure that every young person who enters their doors between the hours of...

BY: Shaun Gray      02/14/22

Meet our 2022 Youth Afterschool Ambassadors

We're thrilled to introduce the 2022 class of Youth Afterschool Ambassadors—our largest group ever! Nine students from across the country were chosen on the basis of their essays and video submissions in a competition held in 2021. The Youth Ambassadors promote the value of...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      01/04/22

Ohio Afterschool Network is unleashing student creativity, and fostering pandemic recovery, through entrepreneurship

At RISE Afterschool, which is expanding entrepreneurial education with help from the Ohio Afterschool Network and YEI, students are cultivating entrepreneurial skills as they create a garden business with raised beds. Photo: CBI Middletown, Inc. By Laurie Posner. Laurie Posner is a...

BY: Guest Blogger      12/14/21

Afterschool programs can help young people access vaccines

With the COVID-19 vaccine recommended by the CDC for everyone aged 5 and older, afterschool programs are positioned to help their communities’ young people access vaccines. The U.S. Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona, has traveled to various schools, including afterschool programs, to...

BY: Nicole Pettenati      12/06/21

"I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world": An interview with Girls Empowerment Network

We spoke with Ami Kane, Deputy Director at the Girls Empowerment Network, to discuss how the Spark Change Project is empowering girls to become advocates for the issues that matter the most to them and strengthening critical supports for their students with help from the New York Life...

BY: Maria Rizo      10/24/22

Expanding possibilities for students with The Wooden Floor, a New York Life Foundation Aim High grantee

In a follow-up conversation with 2021 New York Life Foundation Aim High grantee The Wooden Floor, we spoke with Chief Executive Officer Dawn S. Reese to discuss more on how the Aim High grant has continued to support the program in the past year and what she is seeing among youth today. Read our...

BY: Maria Rizo      09/29/22

Resources to help you Engage Every Student from wherever you sit

New parent data shows that for every child in an afterschool program, there are now four more who are waiting for an available program. It is more important than ever to amplify ways for programs, communities, districts, and states to connect every student to an afterschool program that wants...

BY: Maria Rizo      09/08/22

Guest blog: Foundations, Inc.'s REACH model accelerates learning recovery in afterschool

By Elizabeth Cieri and Paula Houghton of Foundations, Inc.  Educators across the nation are dealing with academic losses due to the pandemic -- mitigating those losses requires inventive thinking and better practices. “Coming out of the pandemic, we knew all kids suffered learning...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/29/22

Ensuring access to school meals this fall

As we approach the upcoming school year, school nutrition programs are increasingly important in ensuring children are fed during the hours they are in and out of school and addressing food insecurity exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Afterschool Alliance participated in the...

BY: Maria Rizo      08/11/22

Guest blog: Council for a Strong America identifies afterschool as key policy to help next generation succeed

By Barry Ford is the President & CEO of Council for a Strong America. Council for a Strong America has long advocated for high-quality afterschool programs as a way to strengthen communities and our country. Our organization is a national, bipartisan nonprofit that unites membership...

BY: Guest Blogger      08/08/22

Guest blog: Advancing equity and inclusion in hiring and staff development in OST

By Angelica Portillo, National AfterSchool Association’s Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives, and Shawna Rosenweig, Camp Fire Chief Strategy Officer and member of the National AfterSchool Association's Board. For the last 20 years, out-of-school time (OST) has...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/28/22

US Dept. of Ed calls for afterschool & summer for all

Today marks an incredible moment for the afterschool and summer program movement. For the first time ever, federal leaders are calling for afterschool for all. Today, U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona launched the Engage Every Student Initiative, a bold new call to action to...

BY: Jodi Grant      07/14/22

The future of learning

Photo: Courtesy of YMCA of Honolulu at Herton Branch By Ridgway White, president and CEO of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. This article originally was published as a Mott Perspectives piece on the Foundation’s website. It has been reposted here with permission. This is a...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/21/22

$1.8M awarded to middle school out-of-school time programs

The New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance are pleased to announce the 2022 Aim High grant recipients. In its sixth year, the Aim High grant has provided a total of $7.95 million dollars to help fund afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs as they help middle school...

BY: Dan Gilbert      06/14/22

Guest blog: A book about everyday superheroes inspired Girlstart campers to pursue world-changing careers in STEM

By Alexa Brown and Hannah Winkler, coordinators at Girlstart. Girlstart aims to increase girls’ interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) — a mission accomplished through free summer camps and after-school programs across Texas,...

BY: Guest Blogger      09/12/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

Celebrating Juneteenth in afterschool programs

Image by William Adams from Pixabay Juneteenth National Independence Day also known as Freedom Day, or Jubilee day honors the emancipation of slaves in the United States. More than 150 years after its first celebration, the Juneteenth holiday provides an opportunity to learn and teach about the...

BY: Tierra Easter      06/17/22

$1.8M awarded to middle school out-of-school time programs

The New York Life Foundation and the Afterschool Alliance are pleased to announce the 2022 Aim High grant recipients. In its sixth year, the Aim High grant has provided a total of $7.95 million dollars to help fund afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs as they help middle school...

BY: Dan Gilbert      06/14/22

You're invited: Help amplify youth voices in afterschool!

Join us next week for Youth Voice Week! We want to hear from, and amplify, the perspectives and experiences of young people.  From Monday, March 28 to Friday, April 1, we will be sharing pieces by youth about their afterschool experiences, and what youth need after school. Afterschool...

BY: Maria Rizo      03/21/22

Celebrating Black History 365 with Howard University Television

By Keisha Nelson, Education and Outreach Manager WHUT- Howard University Television. Black History Month may only last 28 days, but opportunities for learning don’t end in February. There are many ways to celebrate the past and present contributions of Black people to U.S. history,...

BY: Guest Blogger      02/28/22

Tips for afterschool to support trans and gender non-conforming young people

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection. Thanks to a growing number of supports for transgender and nonbinary youth to feel safe within their school settings, afterschool programs have more resources than ever to ensure that every young person who enters their doors between the hours of...

BY: Shaun Gray      02/14/22

Anti-discrimination Take Action guides are available for free from Nickelodeon!

Sooner or later, most adults will find themselves needing to discuss big topics with young hearts and minds. While many parents and educators are comfortable acting as role models and guiding young people through certain aspects of their lives, issues like anti-racism and combatting LGBTQ+...

BY: Shaun Gray      01/18/22

Highlights from #AA3PM Rural Tweet chat

The Afterschool Alliance recently released their latest America After 3PM report, “Spiking Demand, Growing Barriers: The Trends Shaping Afterschool and Summer Learning in Rural Communities,” with an engaging and thought-provoking Twitter Chat. Here are the highlights from the...

BY: Tierra Easter      01/10/22

Racial equity: Learning for justice

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Sieb and nappy.co. By Dr. Jackie Thomspon. This blog post was originally published on the Utah Afterschool Network's blog on March 11, 2021. Langston Hughes, a great poet from the Harlem Renaissance, is one of my favorite poets. When I think about racial...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/06/22

Supporting young people to engage at the intersection of STEM & society

We are living through some challenging times—societies across the world have been battered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the climate is rapidly changing around us and making our planet less hospitable to human beings, technology is evolving at a dizzying rate with dramatic consequences, and a new...

BY: Anita Krishnamurthi      09/27/22

Guest blog: Advancing equity and inclusion in hiring and staff development in OST

By Angelica Portillo, National AfterSchool Association’s Director of Advocacy and Workforce Initiatives, and Shawna Rosenweig, Camp Fire Chief Strategy Officer and member of the National AfterSchool Association's Board. For the last 20 years, out-of-school time (OST) has...

BY: Guest Blogger      07/28/22

Afterschool supports LGBTQ students

By Tran Tonnu, marketing manager at School's Out Washington, and Janell Jordan, King County program manager. This article originally appeared on School's Out Washington's blog on June 17, 2021. It has been republished here with their permission. For LGBTQ folks, June...

BY: Guest Blogger      06/28/22

Celebrating Juneteenth in afterschool programs

Image by William Adams from Pixabay Juneteenth National Independence Day also known as Freedom Day, or Jubilee day honors the emancipation of slaves in the United States. More than 150 years after its first celebration, the Juneteenth holiday provides an opportunity to learn and teach about the...

BY: Tierra Easter      06/17/22

Meet Kaiya Jones, Afterschool Youth Ambassador

Welcome to Youth Voice Week 2022! All during the week, we'll be amplifying the voices of our Youth Ambassadors, as they share their stories and speak about the impact that afterschool has had on their lives.  Kaiya Jones is a 15-year-old student from Howard County Library System Teen...

BY: Charlotte Steinecke      04/01/22

Meet Zhonghui Zheng and Kyla Anderson, Afterschool Youth Ambassadors

Welcome to Youth Voice Week 2022! All during the week, we'll be amplifying the voices of our Youth Ambassadors, as they share their stories and speak about the impact that afterschool has had on their lives.  Zhonghui Zheng is a 17-year-old student at Global Kids Afterschool Program in...

BY: Christopher Echevarria      03/31/22

Meet Brock Brewer and Juliana Montell, Afterschool Youth Ambassadors

Welcome to Youth Voice Week 2022! All during the week, we'll be amplifying the voices of our Youth Ambassadors, as they share their stories and speak about the impact that afterschool has had on their lives.  Brock Brewer is a 16-year-old student at Youth and Family Link Afterschool...

BY: Leah Silverberg      03/30/22

Tips for afterschool to support trans and gender non-conforming young people

Photo courtesy of The Gender Spectrum Collection. Thanks to a growing number of supports for transgender and nonbinary youth to feel safe within their school settings, afterschool programs have more resources than ever to ensure that every young person who enters their doors between the hours of...

BY: Shaun Gray      02/14/22

Mentorship "show[ed] me my self-worth... the value that I have as a human."

Photo by Josh Sorenson on Unsplash The impact of afterschool and summer programs last well beyond a student’s formative years. The relationships that afterschool youth build with the adults in their programs often lead to academic success and future leadership opportunities. Mentored youth...

BY: Tierra Easter      01/25/22

Afterschool as a teacher pathway

By Sam Piha, founder and co-director of Temescal Associates and The How Kids Learn Foundation, both organizations dedicated to promoting the learning and healthy development of youth. Our national teacher shortage predated COVID-19, however there is growing evidence that suggests that the...

BY: Guest Blogger      01/20/22