NYSAN Digest November 2014
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NYSAN Digest
November 2014



Join the Letter Campaign!

The Hudson Valley Afterschool Network (HVAN), one of the regional afterschool networks affiliated with NYSAN, has decided to engage in a major letter writing campaign for the students and parents of afterschool, expanded learning, and childcare programs, and is issuing the challenge to the rest of the state to get involved! 

Answer their challenge and join in the letter writing campaign to Governor Cuomo by asking your students and parents to participate. Click here for more details. All letters should be completed by December 12th and mailed or emailed to NYSAN.

Make a Difference in a Minute: Sign NYSAN's Online Petition

Don’t miss your last chance to sign our petition to Governor Cuomo asking for increased funding for afterschool programs in the state. It only takes a minute to sign, and the petition closes on December 12th.  Please share the petition with your program’s parents and families. You can also share the petition widely on Twitter and Facebook by using these sample posts:

Twitter: NY needs more #afterschool! Sign @NYSAN petition for funding to give 110,000+ children access to programs they need!

Facebook: Join New York State Afterschool Network in calling for more funding for afterschool programs in NY! 1.1 million children still need access to high-quality programs that keep them safe and give them enriching experiences outside of the traditional school day. Sign this petition to Governor Cuomo and please pass it on!

Policy Updates

Historic Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Reauthorization

President Obama signed the reauthorization of the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) into law, updating the law for the first time since 1996. This includes a re-envisioning of the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) program that includes childcare subsides, approximately one-third of which is used to serve school-age children ages 6 to 13. Learn more about the implications for school-age child care programs in the Afterschool Alliance’s Afterschool Snack. The Office of Child Care has created a page where they will post resources and materials related to reauthorization and implementation of the new statute. The page can be found at:
If you would like additional information, you can also join an introductory webinar by the Office of Child Care policy team by selecting an option below:  

New School-Age Child Care (SACC) Regulations

The Office of Children and Family Services released the new School-Age Child Care (SACC) regulations this month that are set to go into effect on June 1st, 2015. These regulations contain few changes from the proposed regulations that were posted for public comment in January 2014, however the Assessment of Public Comment includes responses to the comments and some clarifying information. NYSAN will be reviewing the assessment and the regulations and will provide additional information over the NYSAN listserv. To sign up for the NYSAN listserv, click here.

Field Resources, Tools, and Research

Better Together: A Resource Directory for Afterschool System Builders

The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF), with support from the Wallace Foundation, has built a new resource directory to support afterschool system building efforts. Better Together: A Resource Directory for Afterschool System Builders is a comprehensive directory of over 50 organizations that offer resources and tools on afterschool system building. This resource catalogs the leading afterschool tools, information, and resources.

The place where trainers, employers, and people who work with kids connect online to share job, training, and career opportunities in New York State.

QSA Tip of the Month

Administration & Organization

“A quality program has well-developed systems and sound fiscal management to support and enhance worthwhile programming and activities for all participants.”

Indicator 15

“Maintains current and accurate activity schedule with room assignments..”

Tip for Success

Does your afterschool program maintain a current activity schedule? Does the schedule have room assignments and instructors listed? While it may seem tedious to update an activity schedule each day with accurate room assignments and instructors, doing so can be a simple step towards improving the quality of your program. These schedules ensure that staff members know where to direct students so they can participate in the correct activity and where to direct parents that are looking for their children. Even if the rooms and staff in your program don't change, a daily activity schedule is helpful to show what will be happening with each group that day.

Once you have created the schedule, consider posting it in the program space for participants and parents to view themselves as well. This way, everyone is informed of the range of activities happening each day in your afterschool program. Further, viewing the activity schedule can allow parents to have more meaningful conversations with their children about what they did during afterschool that day.

Finally, if your program is SACC registered, once the new regulations are implemented (see Policy Updates) you will be required to notify OCFS of any re-designation of classrooms to different age groups. Getting in the habit of creating your activity schedules now could help in this process.

NYSAN Resource of the Month

Supporting Homeless Youth and Families

A new report titled America's Youngest Outcasts: A Report Card on Child Homelessness by The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) was recently released and ranks New York as the second worst state in the country for the extent of homelessness. Your program could be serving this population even if you aren’t aware that your participants are homeless. NYSAN held a webinar this month on supporting homeless youth and families through afterschool that includes helpful information for any afterschool provider. The webinar focuses on the policy and research around homelessness and homeless students and best practices for working with these youth and their families. Presentations are included from the Institute for Children, Poverty, and Homelessness, Homes for the Homeless, and Center for Youth Services. A recording of the webinar can be found on the Homeless Youth and Families page of the NYSAN website, as well as other resources and information for supporting homeless youth and families. 


Youth Today Out-of-School Time (OST) Hub

The new Youth Today OST Research and Resource Hub, funded partially by a grant from the Robert Bowne foundation, serves to bridge the gap from research to practice in positive youth development. The first area included is “Language and Literacy” and includes work from many of the Robert Bowne Foundation’s partners, grantees, and fellows. In addition to resources for youth workers, the Hub also includes resources for board members, funders, researchers, and policy makers who seek to gain better understanding of critical OST issues. 

Brain Game: Implications for Programs for Children and Youth

This new report from Child Trends links emerging brain research with practical implications for youth serving programs. Research shows that the brain-environment boundary is permeable, meaning that the brain can be altered by many factors such as nutrition, physical activity, nurturing care, emotional stress, etc. This research makes a practical difference for how we work with youth, especially those who have experienced trauma. Several evidence-based programs for trauma-informed care and focused-intervention models are available for programs to utilize. Youth in foster care and those involved in the child welfare system can particularly benefit from these evidence-based programs. Read the Child Trends piece to learn more.  

Inclusive Out-of-School Time 

This summer, NYSAN released Including All Students: Frequently Asked Questions About Including Students with Disabilities in Afterschool and Summer Programs. This month, the National Center on Health, Physical Activity and Disability published an article highlighting this resource and others that promote inclusion in out-of-school-time programs. The article, Inclusive Out-of-School Time, is written by Kerry Wiley at the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council along with contributions by NYSAN’s Executive Director, Nora Niedzielski-Eichner. High-quality afterschool programs provide important opportunities for all youth, yet these experiences aren’t always available to all youth. Make use of these resources to consider how inclusive your afterschool program is currently, and how inclusive it could be with a little work. Please leave your thoughts and comments on the blog post to benefit others who will also utilize this resource.  

Internet Safety: 2014 Resource Guide

Afterschool programs can effectively utilize the Internet to support student learning, but it is important to ensure that this tool is used safely. Children’s Safety Network has put together Internet Safety: 2014 Resource Guide, which provides links to organizations, programs, publications, and resources focused on Internet safety. The guide also includes other related subtopics such as alcohol and drugs, cyberbullying, sexting, social networking, and suicide and self-harm. Download the resource guide now. 

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond

Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany Joins the Joy Maker Challenge

The Torch Club, part of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Albany, decided to give back this year by taking part in the Joy Maker Challenge (learn more below under Funding Opportunities & Competitions). For their service project, the Torch Club cooked and served a healthy, organic meal for the Albany Emergency Shelter. The kids were so happy being able to help their community that they hope to return and serve another meal. Read their full story here.


Boston Learns Together Strategies for Closing the Achievement Gap

As TASC (The After-School Corporation) outlined in their 6,000 hour learning gap video highlighted in a previous NYSAN Digest, there is a growing opportunity gap for students from low-income families and those from more affluent families when it comes to access to expanded learning opportunities. In Boston, a cross-sector coalition called Boston Learns Together has put together four strategies to close the opportunity gap. These strategies include summer learning for all, skills for success, innovative ways to learn and earn, and strategic partnerships. Expanded learning opportunities, such as afterschool and summer programs, offered with strategic community partners play a large role in these strategies. Read about their four strategies here. How can these strategies impact your community? 

Do you have a story about a New York program you would like shared? Email Alli Lidie and your story could appear in a future NYSAN Digest.


Funding Opportunities & Competitions

Joy Maker Challenge
Deadline: December 10, 2014 

The Joy Maker Challenge, held by generationOn, is open students in grades K-12 and provides a chance for students to participate in hands-on service projects during the holiday season. For every action a student takes to help others, Hasbro will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots.  Visit the Joy Maker Challenge website now to register you program, download a service-learning toolkit, and begin planning your project. You will then be able to share your story to be entered to win prizes for you school, with 20 schools receiving a $250 prize and a grand prize winner receiving a $1,000 grant to support continued service, as well as a holiday party and $10,000 worth of toys and games for kids in need in their community. If you have any questions, email: Aimee Wilder or Hannah Jones

2015 NYATEP Youth Academy Call for Proposals
Deadline: December 10, 2014

The New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP) is hosting the 2015 Youth Academy February 23rd – 25th in Saratoga Springs, NY. The event will bring together hundreds of workforce professionals from a range of youth-serving organizations for professional development, education and training, and networking. The call for proposals is currently open for practitioners to share best practices, front-line experiences, and models with attendees from across the Northeast. Proposals including youth attendance and participation will be prioritized. Proposals should align with: preparing for WIOA, programmatic promising practices, research, or capacity building. Download the proposal form here. For additional information, contact Jan Hennessy.  

Winning Beginning NY Poster Contest
Deadline: December 19, 2014

The Winning Beginning Poster Contest is now open for submissions. Children in New York between the ages of 1-8 are eligible to submit their art contributions illustrating why it is important to get learning right from the start / why high-quality early learning is important. The final poster will be delivered to Governor Cuomo and to all State Legislators. One submission from each age group will be selected and added to the final poster, with one additional submission chosen to serve as the focal point of the poster.  All artwork submissions should be in the form of drawings or paintings and made on an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper, then photographed hanging on a white background. Please send entries to: with the child's first name, age, teacher's name, and program name in the e-mail.

From Failure to Promise K-12 Educator's Grant
Deadline: July 17, 2015

From Failure to Promise K-12 Educator’s Grant program from Dr. C Moorer & Associates Inc. will award several $500 mini grants to community-based organizations, libraries, or schools that display creative ideas for incorporating and using “From Failure to Promise” in their curriculum. The deadline is July 17, 2015 and K-12 educators and youth-group leaders are eligible to apply. Learn more.

Macy's District Grants Program
Deadline: Ongoing

The Macy’s Foundation is now accepting applications for the My Macy's District Grants Program. The program provides general operating, project and program support for nonprofit organizations that fall within the following focus areas of the Macy’s Foundation—arts and culture, education, the environment, HIV/AIDS, and women's issues. There is no deadline and applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for program areas that include afterschool, arts, and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). Learn more.

Upcoming Events

2/18-2/21: Beyond School Hours XVIII

The Beyond School Hours XVIII conference will take place in Orlando, Fl from February 18-21, 2015. The conference will include many opportunities for networking and for professional development, including hands-on workshops. Learn more and register here.


3/8-3/11: Nation AfterSchool Association Annual Convention

The National AfterSchool Association's  annual convention will be held from March 8-11, 2015 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Join other afterschool professionals in the nation’s capital to share your successes in afterschool programs and learn valuable new ideas. The Afterschool for All Challenge will take place on March 10th and will give afterschool leaders the opportunity to visit and educate Congress on the benefits of afterschool programs. Registration is now open and additional information can be found here.  

4/28-5/1: BOOST Conference

The BOOST Conference will be held from April 28-May 1, 2015 at the Palm Springs Convention Center in Palm Springs, California. Join over 2000 other afterschool professionals for meetings with national leaders and public figures, workshops, and endless networking opportunities. Registration in now open at

Afterschool Pathfinder

For more events, check out Afterschool Pathfinder, which has an extensive list of upcoming trainings, seminars, and webinars.

If you have content you’d like featured in a future Digest, questions about anything that appears here, or any other feedback you would like to share, contact Alli Lidie, Policy & Communications Coordinator, at

Copyright © 2014 New York State Network for Youth Success, All rights reserved.
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