May 2016 Members' Monthly 
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Members' Monthly 

15 Simple STEM Activities That Get Kids Outside

Spring is now here, and with the warm weather comes more opportunities for your students to experience STEM activities outdoors. The National Afterschool Association has put together 15 different STEM activities for youth to do outdoors, which could be great for afterschool and summer programs with a STEM emphasis! We've include 8 activities below, and the full list from NAA's STEM Specialist Andy Allan can be found here.
  1. Go digging in the dirt. Use hand lenses and microscopes to examine the different kinds of dirt. Was the dirt man-made or did it come from rocks or plants?
  2. Keep a nature journal of things seen and discovered during outdoor time.
  3. Build a bird feeder and record the birds that come to visit.
  4. Build a bridge or a dam. Find a natural obstruction and use items from nature or craft materials such as straws and Popsicle sticks to overcome it.
  5. Apply STEM themes to active games you already know, such as Tag, Red Light-Green Light or Duck, Duck, Goose.
  6. Survey the plants at your location. Explore where plants like to grow and illustrate the different plants discovered. (Hint: weeds count.)
  7. Leave a scrap piece of board outside for couple of days, on some dirt. Then lift it up to discover how many species have found shelter under it.
  8. Buy butterfly nets and an insect guide. Work together as a group to sweep a grassy area and discover what critters might be present.

Summer Learning for Staff!

We make it a point to focus on preventing learning loss and make academic gains among youth during the summer months, but staff can make a concerted effort to increase their learning during the summer as well. You for Youth (Y4Y) has devoted an entire section of their website to providing staff with information on how they can better support youth in their programs by learning about the different topics that are relevant to afterschool. These topics include Project-Based Learning, STEM, Strengthening Partnerships, Family Engagement, and Literacy, and each topic provides an introduction to the issue area, implementation strategies, and even resources for supervisors to learn how to coach their staff on the topic.

Spend some time with these Y4Y lessons and you’ll be better prepared to support your students during the regular school year! The full lessons can be found here.

Upcoming Trainings and Webinars

5/19: Free STEM in Afterschool Training (Buffalo)
Join the After-School Network of Western New York (ASNWNY) on May 19th from 10am – 12pm for a FREE training on incorporating STEM activities into your afterschool programs. More information, including registration, is available on the flyer here.
5/19: WEBINAR- Creating an Innovative STEM Program through Entrepreneurship and Engineering Webinar
On Thursday, May 19th from 2:00pm-3:00pm, two members of the Allen Distinguished Educators Program will share the work they have done to develop innovative STEM programs for teens. The webinar will also share upcoming grant opportunities for participants to bring these projects into their own classrooms. Registration can be found here.
5/24: WEBINAR- Effective School Community Partnerships to Address Student Health and Wellness
Join the Coalition for Community Schools and the National Association of School Psychologists for a webinar highlighting the benefits of strong school-community partnerships in addressing academic, health, and wellness outcomes in students. The webinar will be held from  3:00pm – 4:00pm and registration can be found here.

5/26: WEBINAR- Creating New Opportunities for Active Communities: Shared-Use & Parks Policies in New York State
DASH-NY will be hosting a webinar on May 26th from 12:30pm – 1:30pm to highlight new opportunities and policy priorities for expanding access to indoor and outdoor recreation spaces. Alli Lidie, Deputy Director of the Network for Youth Success, will be joining the webinar to discuss legislative efforts to allow afterschool programs more freedom to operate within school buildings. More information can be found here.

5/26: Strengthening STEM: STEM Educational and Career Pathways
STEM activities have becoming increasingly popular among afterschool and summer providers, but afterschool and summer programs can do even more to promote intersest among participants in STEM careers. Join the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) on May 26th for a STEM career pathways forum. Registration information can be found here.  
6/9: Strengthening Police-Youth Relationships: A Presentation by the Youth Justice Board
Join the Youth Justice Board for a presentation on the work they’ve done over the past year to improve police-youth relationships and how they have successfully transformed police precinct rooms where arrested juveniles are held. The presentation will be held of John Jay College of Criminal Justice and begins at 5:00pm. RSVP information can be found here.
6/20-6/22: Family and Community Engagement Conference- Owning Our Movement, Maximizing Our Impact
The 2016 Family and Community Engagement Conference is heading to Pittsburgh, PA from June 20-22. This year’s conference will be focused on supporting all stakeholders, including parents, students, teachers, and school district administrators, in their commitments to family and community engagement. More information can be found here.

6/26-6/29: 2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference
The 2016 Reaching the Wounded Student Conference will be held in Kissimmee, Florida from June 26-29, 2016. The conference will focus on helping educators identify and treat students who are suffering from trauma. More information on the conference, including registration information, can be found here

6/27-6/29: Positive Youth Development Institute
The 2016 Positive Youth Development Institute will be held at the University of Southern Maine in Portland, ME from June 27-29. This conference is open to all and is designed for providers from all states in the northeast. Visit the conference webpage for more information.

7/28: PASE @ PACE Conference
The Partnership for After School Education annual conference for afterschool and summer program staff in New York City will be held July 28th at Pace University in New York City. The deadline for workshop proposals has been extended to Thursday, May 19th. Submit your proposal here.

9/22-9/23: 2016 Transition Age Youth Institute!
This year’s Transition Age Youth Institute will be held in Saratoga Springs, NY and will include workshops on topics including:
  • Emerging Trends and Practices with School Systems
  • Community Inclusion Strategies
  • Partnerships and Collaborations - Who with and How is it Being Done?
  • Developing Transition Plans & Practices
  • Peer Advocacy and Mentoring
  • WIOA and Youth Focused Opportunities
  • Transitioning Youth from School to Other Services
  • Respite for Youth
  • After-School Supports for Youth with Disabilities
More information is available here.

10/2-10/5/16: 2016 National Dropout Prevention Network Conference
Afterschool programs play a crucial role in addressing chronic absenteeism and student dropout rates. Join other educators in Detroit, MI from October 2-5, 2016 to learn new strategies on combating and reducing dropouts among youth. You can find more information on the conference webpage.

Funding Opportunities

Youth Soccer Field Building Initiatives
Deadline: May 27th and September 30th for Letters of Interest

The United States Soccer Foundation is providing Safe Places to Play Grants for community organizations, schools, municipalities, and other groups that offer soccer opportunities to youth. The four areas that the foundation is providing grants for include: Synthetic Turf, Lighting, Irrigation, and Sport Court. More information is available here.

Hasbro Community Action Hero Award
Deadline: June 12th

The Hasbro Community Action Hero honors children and teens ages 5-18 who are committed to serving their local and/or global community. If you know of a young person who meets this description, please consider nominating them for the award. 10 recipients will be selected for a $1000 scholarship and $500 grant to their nonprofit partner. More information is available here.
Peter and Elizabeth Tower Foundation- Intellectual disabilities grants
Deadline: Mid-June 2016
The Tower Foundation’s funding objectives in this area are to improve the delivery of services for children, adolescents, and young adults to age 26 with intellectual disabilities in Erie and Niagara Counties. Eligible grantees include 501 (c) (3) organizations, diocesan and public school districts, charter schools, and nonprofit public benefit corporations. More information can be found on the Tower Foundation webpage.

Best Buy Foundation: Youth Technology Program
Deadline: June 29, 2016
Best Buy is looking for nonprofit organizations that have experience in building 21st century skills in youth through out-of-school-time programs. Programs should utilize technology to help students develop the skills needed to become fluent in digital learning and help them prepare for future success in their careers. If your program is currently providing similar programming for students, find more information on this grant opportunity here

Finish Line Youth Foundation
Deadline: June 30, 2016 (quarterly)
Finish Line is providing multiple grant opportunities to community based programs working with children and youth. Programmatic grants ($5,000), Legacy grants ($10,000-$75,000), and Founder’s grants ($5,000-$25,000) are available, and more information can be found here.

Good Sports Equipment Grant
Deadline: Rolling

If your program is in need of sports equipment, please consider applying for a Good Sports grant to receive equipment for your activities. This would be especially relevant to summer camps who are gearing up for the year! More information is available here.

Deadline: Rolling
Kars4Kids accepts funding submission from organizations for grants in the range of $500-$2000 for extracurricular programs and summer camps. More information is available on the website.

The Awesome Foundation 
Deadline: Rolling
Grants of $1,000 are awarded to projects that range from public artwork to scientific experiments that help bring communities together. These grants are provided to projects with no strings attached. More information can be found here.

Citizens Bank
Deadline: Rolling
Citizens Bank provides funding to organizations focused on fighting hunger, providing shelter, teaching money management, and strengthening communities. If your organization provides direct services to low and moderate income families, learn more about this opportunity here
Copyright © 2016 Network for Youth Success, All rights reserved.

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