Promoting young people's safety, learning, and healthy development outside the traditional classroom

September 2012

Please find the September Digest below.  Please let us know 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 by contacting me at:
My Best,
Jyoti Folch
Policy and Communications Coordinator 

NYSAN News and Resources

  • Afterschool Pathfinder
Afterschool Pathfinder is now statewide!  This site is a FREE resource dedicated to helping you and other out-of-school time professionals do the youth work you love while you grow in skills and career possibilities. Now, as another school year begins, is the time to register. Find frequently updated development opportunities for your staff including webinars, conferences, and training opportunities. Search for employment opportunities in the out-of-school time field or register as an employer to post jobs.  The more you post to Pathfinder, the greater a resource it will be for all.
  • Expanded Opportunities for Reform: The Role of Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York State School Reform
NYSAN recently released a report, “Expanded Opportunities for Reform: The Role of Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York State Reform”, describing how high-quality expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) can play a valuable role in efforts to turn around low performing schools and improve college and career readiness.  Research has shown that high-quality ELOs lead to academic benefits—including increases in achievement and test scores, improved attendance and homework completion and higher graduation and promotion rates—positive impacts on social-emotional learning and development and decreases in high-risk behaviors.  The brief advocates for increasing access to high quality ELOs and engaging them as core partners as key strategies for achieving New York State’s ambitious school reform goals. 

News from the Field
  • Afterschool Alliance: Arts Enrichment in Afterschool
Afterschool Alliance released their second brief, Arts Enrichment in Afterschool as part of a series of Issue Briefs in partnership with the MetLife Foundation.  The brief discusses the benefits the arts brings to children’s lives and the importance of preserving time and space for arts education both in school and out of school.  This issue brief highlights the ways in which afterschool programs are perfectly situated to support schools’ efforts by: helping students build on music, art, dance and theater lessons learned during the school day, teaching them new art forms that may not be available at their schools and deepening their connection to the art world.  In addition, the brief includes examples of afterschool programs bringing the arts to children in their communities, working with school arts and music educators to boost students’ access and exposure to the variety of ways the arts can influence their lives, and strengthening students’ relationships with the arts in tandem with supporting overall student success.
  • The Forum for Youth Investment: The Common Core Standards in Out-of-School Time
The Forum for Youth Investment released a brief, “The Common Core Standards: What do they mean for Out-of-School Time?”, in July 2012 describing the Common Core State Standards, which have been front and center of education discussions as states, districts, schools and teachers prepare for their rollout over the next several years.  The expansion of the Common Core in education opens new doors for out-of-school time (OST) providers to align their work with schools.  The brief shares examples of OST programs and systems responding to these standards and makes recommendations around how the OST field might think about alignment opportunities.  The goal is not about replicating the core work of schools, but rather to complement, support and expand it.
  • Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy: What is Quality and Why Does it Matter?
The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy released a policy brief, Quality: What it Is and Why it Matters in Early Childhood Education, this month.  The release coincided with State Education Department Commissioner John King’s visit to Victory Child Care, a QUALITYstarsNY implementation site, in Albany, NY.  The brief makes the case for high quality early childhood programs for all children, especially those at-risk.  The report describes why quality matters, what it looks like, and how it’s measured.  It does not come as a surprise that research shows that a high-quality early childhood education is a crucial first step in a child’s development.  The brief advocates for increasing access to high quality early childhood education, starting with those who are most disadvantaged, in order to help raise achievement levels and narrow disparities, bringing both short- and long-term benefits to taxpayers and communities.

State Spotlight

  • School’s Out Washington (SOW): Bridge Conference 2012

The Washington Afterschool Network (WAN) is convening a two-day conference (Oct. 8 & 9) with Empower Youth Voice as its theme. WAN is bringing together afterschool and youth development (AYD) professionals, school leaders, funders, researchers, policymakers, trainers/coaches and business leaders from across the country to truly listen to the voices of the youth they serve and discuss how youth can have authentic opportunities to lead.  The Conference focuses on research, cutting-edge resources and strategies relevant to strengthening the services that youth (in grades K-12) receive both in and out of school.  It serves as a reminder for providers to take a step back and make time to create opportunities for youth feedback and voice.
Related youth involvement work around New York:

Tools, Research, and Resources

  • Collaborative for Building After-School Systems (CBASS): Toolkit for Expanding Learning

A new Toolkit for Expanded Learning developed by CBASS was recently unveiled on The Expanded Learning & Afterschool Project website.  The Toolkit compiles the best of resources from CBASS and partner organizations on building systems and developing high quality models grounded in school and community partnerships.  These city-level systems ensure alignment with schools, create and deliver quality standards and professional development, focus on data and promote sustainability strategies for a range of programs.  The Toolkit offers helpful resources around 3 main topics: 1. Building Strong Systems; 2. Engaging Today’s Students; and 3. Expanded Learning Models.  CBASS and partners hope that this Toolkit can help guide agencies as they develop plans for afterschool, summer learning and expanded learning time initiatives in their communities.  A webinar featuring the Toolkit has been archived here.  

  • National League of Cities (NLC): Toolkit on Building Afterschool Management Information Systems

A Toolkit on Building Afterschool Management Information Systems was developed by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) to offer city leaders a detailed guide for building management information systems in order to coordinate local afterschool programs more effectively.  This report was developed with support from the Annie E. Casey Foundation and The Wallace Foundation and includes a growing library of online resources, including: a summary of the top four uses of management information systems (MIS) that support high-quality afterschool programs; a “how-to” manual on implementing and expanding a management information system, illustrated with city examples; strategies for negotiating privacy and security concerns; and a comparison of six leading commercial MIS vendors that includes a cost calculator to help city leaders estimate products.

  • Cornell University’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research: New Measure for Youth Program Participation

The Complementary Strengths Research Partnership worked with New York City afterschool programs to develop and validate a new scale that community-based programs can easily use to assess the quality of youth participation.  The Complementary Strengths Study found that program participation measures were often too narrow, looking only at how much time youth spend involved in program activities or at how many different types of activities they join.  Youth participants, program staff, and researchers worked together to develop a validated short scale for measuring quality participation among youth.  The scale is now available for programs and researchers to use in their own evaluations, program improvement efforts, and studies of youth development practices in community settings.

Event Announcements

  • Afterschool Works! NY
AfterSchool Works! NY is pleased to announce its annual Training Institute on October 13th.  Afterschool Works! NY is an extensive network of intermediaries, training organizations and child care resource and referral agencies, who provide information, training, credentialing and support to afterschool professionals in order to build high-quality, sustainable afterschool programs.  Location: Holiday Inn: 911 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, NY.  For more information on this training, please click here.  In order to register, please click here.
  • The Association of New York State Youth Bureaus (ANYSYB): Annual Training
ANYSYB is pleased to announce its annual 2-day training on October 24-25.  Youth development experts from across the state and country will convene to share and learn best practices, ideas and exchange knowledge on issues pertaining to youth development, prevention services, healthy living and high risk youth.  Location: Holiday Inn Wolf Road, in Albany, New York.  First registration for Youth Bureaus who are members of the ANYSYB is free, subsequent registration for an ANYSYB Member Youth Bureau is $105, and Youth Bureaus who are Non-Members, Full Registration is $175.  For more information on specific workshops and schedule, please click here.  To register online, please click here.
  • Capital District Child Care Council Conference
The 2012 Capital District Child Care Council Conference: Grow at the Garden will convene on Monday, October 8, 2012 (the Columbus Day holiday).  This conference is perfect for: Child care center staff & directors, Family & group family child care providers, School-age child care staff & directors, Legally exempt providers, Special needs providers, Universal Pre-K staff, and Parents.  Participants can gain up to 6.75 hours of training.  Location: Hilton Garden Inn, Troy, NY. Early Registration: Register by September 21: $90 ($95 non-members).  Late Registration: After September 21: $100 ($105 non-members).  For more information or to register, please click here.
  • Partnership for Afterschool Education (PASE): Emerging Leaders in Nonprofit Management Course for Youth Program Professionals
PASE is leading a 12-week course, run in partnership with Baruch College School of Public Affairs, which helps aspiring leaders develop the skills they need to increase their managerial capacity, while improving services in their youth programs.  The comprehensive curriculum offers lectures and practical discussions that combine the expertise of both PASE and Baruch by merging the talents and experience of seasoned non-profit practitioners and Baruch professors.  The course meets every Friday at the PASE office, 120 Broadway, New York, NY.  For more information or to download the application, visit PASE's website. For questions, please contact Katie Hanna at or 212-571-2664. Deadline: September 28, 2012.

Funding Opportunities

  • The North Face Explore Fund
The North Face Explore Fund supports nonprofit community organizations that are working to re-connect children with nature.  The fund will fund organizations that encourage youth outdoor participation by creating more connections between children and nature, increasing access to both front and backcountry recreation, and providing education for both personal and environmental health.  Multiple grants of $2,500 are available to select applicants. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply.  Deadline: October 8, 2012.  For more information and to apply for this funding, please click here.
  • The Wal-Mart Foundation
The Wal-Mart Foundation supports programs and initiatives addressing education, workforce development, economic sustainability, and health and wellness.  Health and Wellness examples include programs that support nutrition and active lifestyles, educating people of all ages about their health, preventing and managing chronic disease.  Multiple awards ranging from $250-5,000 are available for select applicants.  Nonprofit organizations, K-12 schools, church or faith based organizations, and government entities are eligible to apply.  Deadline: December 1, 2012.  For more information and to apply for this funding, please click here.

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