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APR
22

NEWS ROUNDUP
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Weekly Media Roundup  April 22, 2015

By Luci Manning

STEM’s Goal: Attract Girls (Daily News, New York)

Fifty girls at Energy Tech High School are getting free lessons in computer coding through the new Women in STEM (Win STEM) afterschool program. Girls who volunteer for WinSTEM classes learn about coding through hands-on coursework in robotics. Despite significant barriers for females in the tech world, the WinSTEM participants are determined to make a difference. “There are not enough women in STEM,” Energy Tech sophomore Linda Alvarado told the Daily News. “It’s rare, but I’m hoping to change it.” WinSTEM is funded through a $20,000 grant from Verizon.

Walpole Grade Schoolers Will Cross Marathon Finish Line (Walpole Times, Massachusetts)

Students from more than eight Boston communities crossed Boston Marathon finish line this weekend as part of the 19th annual Boston Athletic Association (BAA) Relay Challenge. Youngsters from the running clubs ran different legs along the Boston Marathon route, a culmination of weeks of training. The running programs for elementary and middle school students teach the proper form and technique for running, along with important life skills and healthy habits. “I liked learning about the basics of running and nutrition,” Bird Middle School seventh-grader Sarah St. George told the Walpole Times. “I also learned that running can be fun.”

180 Degrees Program Finds Success in Turning Lives Around (Kansas City Star, Missouri)

An afterschool program in the Kansas City School District is helping put at-risk students back on track. The pilot program, 180 Degrees, serves middle and high school students struggling with truancy and academic issues. For three hours a day, four days a week, students receive homework assistance and dinner and learn lessons on personal accountability, responsibility and good decision making. “This program is for students who need a push in the right direction,” program coordinator Max Mendoza told the Kansas City Star. “Some may be on the verge of being expelled from school or are on the way to juvenile detention. This program provides another option.”

Mermaid-Themed Running Club Encourages Girls to Swim Upstream (Sacramento Bee, California)

Low-income girls in Sacramento are learning about teamwork and boosting their self-confidence through the Mini Mermaid Running Club. The afterschool program helps young girls embrace positive feelings about themselves through fitness, community service and healthy eating. The program is run by teachers, parents and community members and is currently in place at six Sacramento area schools. Program founder Heidi Boynton said she started the club because she believed that fitness and girl-powered camaraderie could help young women see their self-worth. Marriage and family therapist Susie Morgan, who helped develop the Mini Mermaid curriculum, agrees. “Having healthy movement in your life as well as healthy practices, and being in a group of women that support one another, all those things are extremely valuable in developing a core sense of self,” she told the Sacramento Bee.

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learn more about: Health and Wellness Science Academic Enrichment
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APR
22

STEM
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New Department of Education post highlights STEM in afterschool programs

By Sophie Papavizas

A new blog post by the Office of Innovation and Improvement at the Department of Education highlights the new and expanding partnerships between 21st Century Community Learning Centers and STEM-rich federal agencies. 21st Century Community Learning Centers in states across the country are partnering with NASA to complete challenges based on the Summer of Innovation, with the National Park Service to take part in hands-on biology and ecology projects and with the Institute of Museum and Library Services to provide maker-focused curriculum to students.  We previously wrote about the partnerships in a February 3rd blog post.

The post is written by Ellen Lettvin, the Robert Noyce Senior Fellow in Informal STEM Learning—click here to check it out.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC Department of Education Science
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APR
21

FUNDING
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Labor Department seeks YouthBuild grant applications

By Rachel Clark

As reported in Education Daily today, the Department of Labor has announced the availability of $76 million in YouthBuild grant funds, with a goal of awarding 76 projects nationwide and serving nearly 5,000 participants.  Grants will range from $700,000 to $1.1 million and require a 25 percent match from applicants, with this match "using sources other than federal funding."

The YouthBuild program helps at-risk youth aged 16-24 who left school early complete high school or state equivalency degree programs.  Additionally, it offers youth opportunities to learn critical job skills in demand in the construction, health care, information technology and other industries, often while serving their communities by building or rehabilitating housing for low-income and homeless residents.

According to the notice, "DOL will award grants through a competitive process to organizations to oversee the provision of education, occupational skills training, and employment services to disadvantaged youth in their communities while performing meaningful work and service to their communities."

The application window will close on June 5.  Learn more about YouthBuild and apply for this opportunity at Grants.gov.

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learn more about: Federal Funding
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APR
21

STEM
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Join Click2SciencePD & NGCP for the Connecting with Community Partners webinar

By Rachel Clark

With the launch of The Connectory, it's easier than ever for STEM program providers to connect and collaborate.  Since we know that high levels of collaboration increase program capacity and thus increase STEM opportunities for youth, this is a critical advance for the field.  However, collaborating and developing partnerships are skills that take work and training to do effectively—to make the most of this new resource, join the National Girls Collaborative Project and Click2SciencePD for the "Connecting with Community Partners" webinar on Thursday, April 23 at 11:00 a.m. PT (2:00 p.m. ET).

The webinar will guide participants through using The Connectory to find partners in their community.  Additionally, it will introduce participants to best practices for partnership building by exploring Click2SciencePD's wealth of professional development resources.

Date: Thursday, April 23, 2015

Time: 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. PT (2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET)

Location: Online – Connection details will be provided upon confirmation

Don't miss this valuable opportunity to learn about strengthening your program through collaboration and partnership building: Sign up now!

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learn more about: Events and Briefings Science Youth Development Community Partners
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APR
20

POLICY
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Every Child Achieves Act passes Senate HELP Committee, includes 21st CCLC afterschool program

By Erik Peterson

The Senate HELP Committee concluded its three day mark-up of the bipartisan Every Childs Achieves Act of 2015 last week, unanimously passing the new ESEA reauthorization bill and sending it to the Senate floor for consideration later this spring or in early summer. The bill now includes Sen. Murkowski’s (R-AK) bipartisan 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) amendment that passed by unanimous consent earlier last week—a significant step towards ensuring that 1.6 million young people will remain in the afterschool and summer learning programs they currently attend.

The 21st CCLC amendment that was included in the Every Child Achieves Act is based largely on the bipartisan Afterschool for America’s Children Act (S. 308) introduced by Sens. Murkowski and Boxer (D-CA) that is the product of five years of discussion with afterschool providers, parents, young people, national youth development groups, state education agencies, and other stakeholders. The amendment strengthens the 21st CCLC initiative by emphasizing better data sharing between schools and community based organizations; updating allowable uses to include STEM, physical activity, nutrition education, financial literacy, workforce development programs and more; expands program performance measures; adds a role for external intermediary organizations; and highlights professional development for program staff.

The inclusion of 21st CCLC is a true win for young people, parents and communities, and is a result of the strong bipartisan support of Sens. Murkowski, Murray (D-WA), Franken (D-MN), Sanders (I-VT), Cassidy (R-LA), Collins (R-ME), Baldwin (D-WI), Boxer , Warren (D-MA) and others, as well as the outpouring of  support from so many stakeholders – including 17,400 individuals who signed a petition supporting 21st CCLC; 560+ local, state and national groups who signed a letter of support; and more than 5,000 emails that were sent to Senate and House offices since January when draft legislation released by Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee first proposed to eliminate 21st CCLC.

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learn more about: 21st CCLC ESEA Legislation
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APR
20

POLICY
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A message to the afterschool community

By Jodi Grant

On April 15, the Senate HELP Committee unanimously voted to adopt language that not only restores funding for afterschool and summer learning programs, but also improves the program. This vote was nothing short of miraculous and is a testament to the efforts of everyone in our field, from the dedicated staff who work with students, to the parents, advocates, law enforcement, local government, funders and researchers who have helped transform this local work into the powerful national movement we are today.

More than five years ago, the Afterschool Alliance began working with the field to develop legislation to strengthen and expand the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), the only federal funding stream dedicated exclusively to before school, afterschool and summer learning programs. The effort took more than a year, as we worked with stakeholders at every level to make sure that changes would be beneficial to our students and our programs. From the start it was a bipartisan effort, and we worked closely with Senators Barbara Boxer and Lisa Murkowski to develop and refine the legislation. We were always hopeful that it would be incorporated into the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) but, as we quickly learned, that was far from guaranteed. We have, indeed, come a very long way!

In the last Congress, while our efforts to incorporate provisions from the Boxer/Murkowski bill into 21st CCLC language in the ESEA bill were largely ignored, other challenges that would have diluted the 21st CCLC program were successfully rolled back.  The grassroots effort in doing so was tremendous, and a grasstops effort, led by our Honorary Chair Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, led to in-person meetings with key members of Congress, some of whom became champions of our cause. In this Congress, we faced an even graver danger: the complete elimination of 21st CCLC. Senate and House proposals would have lumped afterschool funding into a huge block grant that states could use for a variety of purposes inside or outside the school day. As we know from experience, if funding is not exclusively targeted to learning outside the traditional school day, it will all go to school day funding, not because afterschool isn’t needed but because schools need more resources, too.

We knew our best chance was in the Senate, and we began working with Senator Murkowski’s office to craft an amendment to restore 21st CCLC. We all knew it would be a huge, uphill battle. Getting the necessary 12 votes to pass the amendment in committee was going to be tough, since philosophically there was a push to consolidate as many programs as possible. Senator Boxer and other champions on and off the HELP committee were critical to our ultimate success. 

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learn more about: 21st CCLC ESEA Legislation
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APR
20

STEM
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Enter the STEM Uncovered video competition

By Melissa Ballard

Every day a light goes on in a young person's head as they grasp new concepts in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM), all because an afterschool or summer learning program has created a hands-on experience where interests are sparked and passions are fueled. Now is the time to tell that story!

Afterschool and summer learning STEM programs are invited to enter the STEM Uncovered: Telling Our Afterschool Stories video competition, a national video competition sponsored by the Noyce Foundation with support from the C.S. Mott Foundation.

Create a short (3 minute) video highlighting the impact of your program—students should creatively communicate what they love about their afterschool and summer STEM learning programs and how it inspires their future plans.

Deadlines:

  • June 15 (for school-year afterschool programs)
  • August 1 (for summer programs)

Six winning videos (3 videos from each category) will receive:

  1. An award of $1,000
  2. Recognition at a national STEM Summit in September 2015 in Washington D.C.
  3. The opportunity to work with media consultant Mobile Digital Arts to edit and refine submissions for broader dissemination

Visit www.stemvideocompetition.org for more information about the competition and video guidelines.

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learn more about: Science Arts
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APR
17

LIGHTS ON
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The 2015 Lights On Afterschool poster contest is open for submissions!

By Shaun Gray

Calling all afterschool artists! Your artwork could be displayed at more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events around the world!

We’re looking for the best artist to showcase their creativity on this years’ Lights On Afterschool poster!  Last year we received thousands of youth artwork submissions from afterschool programs across the nation.  Once again for 2015 we’re encouraging all of your program participants to submit artwork that celebrates afterschool programs and conveys the importance of keeping the lights on afterschool.   We all know how afterschool programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire kids to learn. Have your youth participants show the world how their afterschool program has benefited their lives.

The 2015 Lights On Afterschool Poster contest is also a great opportunity for an afterschool program to gain national recognition for the great enrichment opportunities it offers since the winner’s afterschool program will be credited on the poster, too!

The winning poster design will be printed on tens of thousands of posters and mailed to more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events worldwide.  The winning artist will also be featured on our website, blogAfterschool Storybook, and a national press release.

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2015.  Contest details and submission guidelines are available for download now.  Keep in mind that the winning artwork will need to be scanned to become a digital image, so avoid using textures or raised materials.  We love bright colors that jump off the poster so materials that won’t smear or rub off—like markers, paint and pens—often work better than crayons, watercolors or chalk.  Feel free to get your future graphic designers and computer programmers involved by encouraging them to submit their artwork in the digital form.  Be creative as possible!

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learn more about: Media Outreach Arts
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