Network for Youth Success Digest- April 2016
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Network for Youth Success Digest

April 2016

We've Changed Our Name!

As of May 1st, AfterSchool Works! NY: the New York State Afterschool Network is now the New York State Network for Youth Success! As our friends, you can call us the Network for Youth Success for short.

We are excited for the launch of our new name, as it fully encompasses the diverse scope of our work, including afterschool and summer programs, community schools, expanded learning time, and all other expanded learning opportunities! Join us in celebrating our new name by taking this quick survey to tell us how you contribute to youth success! 
Social Media
Be sure to also follow us on Twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on our work!
Become a Member
You can also support the efforts of the organization by becoming a member today! All members are entitled to benefits, including a discount to the annual conference, free webinar access, and a monthly members-only newsletter with funding opportunities and program resources. Become a member today!

New Website
A brand new website is coming soon at! We will send an announcement as soon as it's ready. All of our resources, publications, and materials you know will be available on the new website, and our other websites will redirect you to the new site when it goes live. 

What Isn’t Changing
Our name and web presence may be changing, but everything else you love is staying the same! Still remaining are our dedicated staff, our same offices, and our same programs and resources created to serve you. The only thing changing is our name, which we hope you love as much as we do.  
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the name change or the organization as a whole, please contact Kelly Sturgis.
Our Mission
Strengthening the capacity and commitment of communities, programs, and professionals to increase access to high-quality programs and services beyond the traditional classroom. 
Our Board and Staff Celebrating our New Name & Colors!

Network for Youth Success News 

Welcome our STEM Coordinator, Timothy Fowler! 

Please join us in welcoming Timothy to the organization as a full-time staff member! Timothy spent the last year as an AmeriCorps VISTA Fellow for the Network for Youth Success, where he worked on connecting STEM resources and expertise with expanded learning programs across the state. As the full-time STEM Coordinator, Timothy will continue the work he began as a VISTA Fellow and looks forward to expanding the number of STEM opportunities youth have access to in summer and afterschool programs across the state.

Before his time with the Network for Youth Success, Timothy most recently worked for the Missouri AfterSchool Network, coordinating technical assistance and professional development for the state’s 21st Century Community Learning Center grantees. He has more than 20 years’ experience working with children and youth in a variety of community organizations. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in History from Washington University in St. Louis. Timothy recently completed his Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management through the Truman School of Public Affairs at the University of Missouri–Columbia. Welcome, Timothy!

Policy Updates


Mayor de Blasio Releases FY 2017 Executive Budget

Mayor Bill de Blasio released his $82.2 billion Executive Budget last Tuesday. The budget is committed to raising the wage of human service workers under City contracts to $15 by 2018, a necessary step in ensuring afterschool and summer staff receive appropriate compensation for the work they do. The budget also includes a $5.6 million increase for Beacon community centers. However, the budget includes a decrease of $20.3 million in summer programming funds that have served 31,000 youth across the city. Last year, these funds were also cut and eventually restored after a strong fight from advocates. This year, advocates again call for restoration of these funds to ensure that the city's youth have access to the high-quality summer experiences they need. 

To read more on the impacts of the New York City Executive Budget, we suggest reading the budget analysis from Citizens’ Committee for Children as well as the report from the Campaign for Children on how these cuts will affect communities across the city.  

Field Resources, Tools, and Research


New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council

The New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council 
(NYS DDPC) has completed their draft 5-year State Plan and is sharing it with the public to review and share final comments.  This plan was developed based on input from over 1,000 diverse New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, family members, staff, service providers, and others.
If you or your program works with students with disabilities, please take a few minutes to review and provide final comments on the plan. The survey is available in four different languages below.
English Survey Link
Spanish Survey Link
Simplified Chinese Survey Link
Traditional Chinese Survey Link


Recharge, Remind, Reflect: Reduce Year-End Stress

As the school year winds down in the coming months, students can often become overwhelmed with upcoming exam dates or project deadlines and may not be as receptive to instruction as earlier in the year. To help students cope with the academic demands, afterschool program staff can make a concerted effort to “Recharge, Remind, and Reflect”.  
Youth for Youth has an acticle with tips and activities to help student’s make that final successful push through the end of the year. Learn about fun review strategies, active reflection, and more on the Y4Y website here.


Changing the Game for Girls in STEM: Findings on High Impact Programming and System Building Strategies

Afterschool and expanded learning time is critical to promoting STEM learning with girls and other youth. That is one of several key takeaways in a new white paper from Techbridge, Changing the Game for Girls in STEM: Findings on High Impact Programming and System Building Strategies (

Another key point: "STEM workforce issues will only be solved by diverse partners collaborating to create disruptive solutions that promote equity for all girls and underrepresented racial minorities." This report is a must-read for anyone interested in STEM learning, youth development, quality programming, gender equity, and learning ecosystems. 

If you'd like to be involved in system building or developing high impact programming, please email Timothy Fowler, STEM Coordinator for the Network for Youth Success, to get involved.

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

Staffing & Professional Development

“A quality program recruits, hires, and trains diverse staff members who value each participant, understand developmental needs, and form positive working relationships with youth, parents, co-workers, and other partners.”

Indicator 5
“Provides ongoing staff development in order to engage and retain staff.”

Tip for Success
Staff development is most often offered during orientation and at the beginning of the year, but the need for professional development doesn’t end there. Opportunities for staff development, for both the whole staff and for individuals, should be offered periodically throughout the year so that staff members are able to brush up on skills and incorporate new practices. These opportunities not only lead to higher quality programming when done well, but also show staff members that they are valued and growing professionally. 

Now is a great time to assess what skills are still needed and make a plan for future development, both for your summer program or your afterschool program. 

In order to determine what professional development opportunities are needed, use the
 Partnership for After School Education’s Professional Development Planning Tool. When planning for professional development, also be sure to plan jointly by asking staff members for their feedback on what they feel like they need.

Resource of the Month

Workforce Development in Afterschool Prepares Youth for the 21st Century

Current research highlights an increasingly unmet demand for skilled workers, particularly for middle-skill workers – those who have some postsecondary education but not a four-year college degree – even as opportunities and salaries for middle-skill jobs continue to increase. View our Workforce Development one-pager to learn the role that afterschool programs play in preparing youth to enter the workforce.

STEM Corner

This STEM activity is from the National Afterschool Association's Weekly e-Newsletter, part of the NAA's STEM Gems series. Become a member of the Network for Youth Success today to get a free Ambassador Membership with NAA, and have these sent directly to you!

Spring is in the air! All around us, warmer temperatures and longer days are causing plants to put out new shoots and turn green. In this STEM Gem, your students could learn about the importance of our ecosystem while creating miniature inflatable greenhouses using simple household supplies and some grass seed. As the seeds start to germinate, your students will see science at work. In seven days, they will have grown a small putting green. 

More information is available here

NAA's Most Influential in Government

Congratulations to New York City Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, and Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Student Support Services Renee Rider on being honored by the National Afterschool Association for their work on behalf of the afterschool field in New York.

Be sure to read why each of these afterschool champions were honored as Most Influenrial in State in Local Government on the
NAA website

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond


2016 Network for Youth Success Annual Conference 

We wrapped up our annual conference two weeks ago in Saratoga Springs, NY. This year’s conference, From Quality to Sustainability: Advancing Youth Success, was held over two days at the beautiful Embassy Suites, and provided training to afterschool and summer staff in advocacy, family engagement, STEM, program sustainability, and much more. We’re looking forward to building on this year’s successful conference and bringing you even more quality training and networking opportunities next year! Please keep an eye out for a save the date for next year’s conference in the coming weeks.

Staff and Board Members attend the 2016 Annual Conference.

Upcoming Events

5/5- WEBINAR: Learn to Speak "STEM-ish:" Finishing the Reframed Story of Afterschool STEM
The Afterschool Alliance will be hosting the second part of their series on messaging around STEM in afterschool programs. Tune in at 1pm on May 5th to learn how you can begin convincing stakeholders of the benefits of STEM programming in afterschool. Be sure to watch the recording of Part 1 before participating in Part 2.  Register here.

5/5- WEBINAR: Messages Made Simple
Join Every Hour Counts on May 5th at 1:00pm to learn how you and your organization can use clear and consistent language to explain your work. Messages Made Simple will provide tips on how you can effectively communicate the value of expanded learning programs to stakeholders. Registration can be found here.

5/9- WEBINAR: New Healthier CACFP Meal Standards: What you need to know
Join the Food Research and Action Center for a webinar at 1pm on May 9th to learn about the new USDA rules around the Child and Adult Food Care Program. While the New York School-Age Child Care (SACC) regulations require programs to meet these standards already, this would provide a great opportunity to learn more about nutrition standards relating to afterschool and summer programs. Registration can be found here.
5/17- WEBINAR: Using Data to Drive Action: Portraits of Chronic Absence
Chronic absenteeism is an issue many in the afterschool field are familiar with, as afterschool programs often have an impact in addressing absenteeism during the school day. New data on chronic absence from the Office of Civil Rights explores information on school districts, schools, and student sub-groups to provide a detailed picture into the number of students at risk of missing too many days of school. Join Attendance Awareness Campaign on May 17th at 2pm to learn how communities are using this data to raise awareness of chronic absences. Registration can be found here.

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.

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

7/28: PASE @ PACE Conference
The Partnership for After School Education has just announced the date for their annual conference for afterschool and summer program staff in New York City. If you would like to present a workshop, submit a proposal here by May 16, 2016.

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.

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 Chris Neitzey, Information and Communications Manager, at

Copyright © 2016 New York State Network for Youth Success, All rights reserved.
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