Network for Youth Success Digest- October 2016
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Network for Youth Success Digest

 October 2016

Network for Youth Success News


Keynote Speakers for the Annual Conference Announced

We're excited to announce that we've confirmed our keynote speakers for our 2017 Annual Conference! Check out their bios below:

Dr. Flores is the founder and CEO of Algorhythm Consulting.  She has been a constant  “activator” throughout her professional career, making social and emotional learning outcomes and youth development approaches both functional  and accessible for everyone around her. Drawing upon her training in developmental and environmental psychology, Kim has introduced hundreds of people, their programs and their communities, to the empowering impact of creative and sustained participation, reflection and evaluation. In addition, she has worked with numerous foundations, governmental agencies and nonprofits to help them measure their community impacts and progress toward achieving their missions. Her unique approach highlights the virtuous potential of evaluation and learning systems.
Dr. Flores has conducted international research and evaluation projects that have focused on youth development, social and emotional learning, civic engagement, youth media, children's rights, post conflict, protection, international development, and a variety of social issues. She has worked with numerous government, UN Agencies, and non government agencies to examine implementation strategies and the impacts of national, international, and local youth initiatives. Kim has authored several books and publications on youth-led evaluation, and organizational learning and is the founder of the American Evaluation Association’s Topical Interest Group – Youth Focused Evaluation.

Susie Lupert is currently the Executive Director of the American Camp Association, New York and New Jersey. She attended the University of Wisconsin (Madison) and New York University where she received a Masters in Public Policy and Non Profit Administration. Susie has over 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Prior to joining ACA, NY and NJ, Susie spent close to a decade at Housing Works, one of the nation’s largest AIDS service providers. She worked to create social enterprises which funneled money back to the nonprofit.

Policy Updates


21st CCLC Funding Update

Late last month, Congress avoided a government shut down by passing a continuing resolution (CR) for the Federal budget. A CR is a short term spending bill that essentially keeps funding close to the previous fiscal year level. The CR passed by Congress and signed by the President on September 30th included a .0496% cut across the board to all federal programs, which translates to a $5.8 million cut for the 21st CCLC program. This cut will in no way impact current grantees in New York, but could impact the next round of 21st CCLC grantees if the next federal budget includes the same .0496% cut. The current CR is set to expire on December 9, 2016, which means Congress will have to either pass a long term spending bill, or pass another continuing resolution to keep the government operating.

The consensus among many in Washington D.C. points to an additional CR being passed that would allow the 114th Congress to have their shot at passing a new budget after they are sworn in on January 3, 2017. If Congress continues to pass CR's instead of a full appropriation bill, the uncertainty in funding could impact the way the State Education Department determines the 21st CCLC award process. 
If you would like to read a more in-depth overview of the Federal budget negotiations, please check out the Afterschool Snack post from the Afterschool Alliance. 

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


New Resource: Sample QSA Calendar

It's easy to say that the QSA should be integrated into your everyday program work rather than something separate, however it can be difficult to understand what that really means in practice. We have a new resource to give you a better sense of what we mean. Check out this sample calendar for a year of an afterschool program! The bold pieces are the regular program calendar, and the unbold pieces show how the QSA work fits in. Take a look, and then review your program calendar to see how you could start integrating your QSA work today. 

STEM Corner

The Power of Open-Ended Questions in STEM Learning

Informal STEM activities provide wonderful opportunities to engage children in hands-on activities as well as promote an atmosphere of curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Asking questions is the innate nature of the scientific world - asking good questions that can stimulate young people’s minds will help develop their observation skills in addition to fostering their reasoning abilities. Intentional open-ended questions can help kids move beyond simple yes or no answers, inviting them to think fresh thoughts and share their perspectives, thus leading to meaningful discussion. Here are some great insights and tips from Andy Allan, the National Afterschool Association’s STEM Specialist, to parents and out-of-school professionals on how to harness the power of open-ended questions in stretching the curiosity and creative thinking of our young people.

Resource of the Month


Coordinating with K-12 Education


The Network for Youth Success’ report The Role of Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York State School Reform includes the latest research on ELOs and exemplary program models, and highlights how high-quality ELOs can help students to grow academically and socially. The report also includes recommendations for schools and communities to work together to ensure that the highest quality services are being provided to children. The Coordinating with K-12 Education page of our website also has other resources to enhance ELOs coordination with schools in affecting school reform.

Nutrition Corner

Menu Planning Form for Monthly CAFCP Submission

Last month we piloted an interactive webinar training, “Framework for a Healthy Afterschool Program,” which equipped afterschool providers with sample menus and a comprehensive breakdown on how to create snacks and suppers creditable with the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Menu planning forms a significant part of managing afterschool CACFP and securing reimbursement for meals served. The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) provides a menu planning form which simplifies the process of reporting sample menus at the end of each month. The form is suitable for afterschool providers licensed with OCFS since meals and snacks served are required to meet CACFP standards. To learn more about menu planning and creating CACFP creditable menus access the webinar recording here.

Field Resources, Tools, and Research


Office of Child and Family Services Website

The OCFS website is a great resource for afterschool providers. Under the "Info for Providers" tab, school-age professionals have access to a variety of information that is useful for running an afterschool program. Under the Policy Statements link, there is a listing, with pdf files, of many pertinent policies, including information on Pre-K waivers.  OCFS forms can be accesses, printed, and some even adjusted for program use. SAC Regulations can also be viewed and printed from here.

Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?

The Fill Your Bucket activity is a great activity for encouraging children to think about others' feelings when considering their own actions and words. The activity helps children see value in themselves as well as their peers. Using this activity provides a hands-on visual for children to see how their words and actions can have either a negative or positive impact in both their own lives and those of others. See the full activity here.

National Child Welfare Survey

The federal government continues to invest less in services for children who are at risk of or have been found to be victims of maltreatment. Meanwhile, states struggle to fill the gap. Child Trends just released results of the ninth edition of a national child welfare survey, in collaboration with Casey Family Programs and The Annie E. Casey Foundation. Read the report here. Child Trends also produced fact sheets on child welfare spending by state. See how your state fares.


Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in
New York and Beyond


Stillwater Area Community Center Embarks Upon New York State Accreditation


The Stillwater Area Community Center’s School-Age Care Program is going through our accreditation process.  Justin, the Director of Childcare, and Nick, the Site Manager, knew that becoming an accredited program would allow them to have a better quality program for their students, and are excited about becoming the first program in their community to hold NYS Accreditation status. Working for the Stillwater Afterschool Program is where Justin fostered his love for working with children and he knew that becoming an accredited program would only serve to further his ability to impact their lives. The accreditation process has allowed them to identify the areas in need of improvement within their program and get training and assistance to help them grow. They initially targeted transition times for growth within the program and both Justin and Nick feel as if the process has allowed them to develop strategies to have more effective and smooth-running transitions throughout the day.

Since engaging in this process, the program has seen less staff turnover and more staff with a real dedication to making an impact on children’s lives. The accreditation process has allowed Nick and Justin to focus on creating a sense of belonging among the children and ensuring that they are providing the best possible program to their students. They also continue to further develop the amazing programs they already provide to their students, which have included raising butterflies and chicks during the springtime! Stillwater has also used its small community to its advantage by having the children become engaged in its history. The program visits the Saratoga Battlefield which is located right in its backyard and attends events held by the Town Historian volunteers, which gives the students a hands-on experience of the Colonial Times. The program continues to work with their Accreditation Coach, Alicia from the Capital District Child Care Council to ensure the highest quality school-age care for all of its students.  We applaud them for taking this courageous step and look forward to them completing the process in the spring.

Upcoming Events

11/2 @ 10:00-1:00: Foundational Series for Line Staff: Introduction to Youth and Child Development
In this foundational workshop, participants will learn about the stages of child and youth development to gain a broader understanding of the needs of children and youth. Participants will also engage in activities that support the healthy development of children and youth and will learn how to plan and integrate activities that support various developmental levels and stages. Register here.

11/3 @ 1pm: WEBINAR- Engaging Older Youth with Technology
Older youth love technology, and it is often the neglected letter in STEM. It is, however, a great way to engage youth in Out-of-School Time programs. In this webinar, you will learn the theory behind engaging older youth, and then you will hear from OST practitioners who have been using technology in their programs, such as youth creating radio podcasts.  More information is available here.

11/6 - 11/20: NAA Virtual Conference
NAA will be hosting its second Virtual Conference this year. Designed to be concise and comprehensive, the conference will have recorded workshops and downloadable materials making all the information attainable. More information and registration can be found here.

12/6 @ 1pm: WEBINAR- Measuring Staff Engagement in OST Programs
Positive adult-child interactions are key to successful afterschool programs. This webinar will present research findings from a study on an innovative approach to strengths-based professional development, Simple Interactions, which uses short video clips of staff engaged in positive interactions with youth. In addition, a manager from a large youth program will discuss the implementation of this model and the positive effects it had on the staff dynamic.  More information is available here.

2/22-2/25/2017: Beyond School Hours National Conference
Next year's Beyond School Hours Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA, and will be celebrating it's 20th year! Registartion is now open, with early bird rates available through September 30th. More information is available here.

3/19- 3/22/2017: National AfterSchool Association Convention
Join NAA for the premier learning, networking, and professional development event for the field of afterschool. The event includes over 170 workshops, 20 hours of networking, and 100 exhibitors. Register here.

3/31- 4/1/2017: Network for Youth Success Annual Conference
Join us in Saratoga Springs, NY for our Annual Conference! Next year's conference, titled Preparing Youth for the Future Through Social and Emotional Learning, will provide quality workshops on Social and Emotional Learning, as well as a wide range of other topics related to the afterschool and summer learning field. 

4/18-21/2017: SAVE THE DATE- BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Conference
The annual BOOST Conference will be held in Palm Springs, CA from April 18 – 21st. Join more than 2000 out-of-school-time professionals for workshops, networking opportunities, and the BOOST Film Festival. More information can be found on the BOOST website here.

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 Erin Broderick, Capacity Building Director, at

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