Network for Youth Success Digest- June 2016
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Network for Youth Success Digest

 June 2016

Network for Youth Success News

Join the Team! We’re hiring a Policy Coordinator

The Network for Youth Success is hiring a Policy Coordinator to support the organization’s advocacy and policy efforts around out-of-school-time opportunities, including afterschool, summer, expanded learning time programs, and community schools. The Policy Coordinator will work closely with the Policy Director to formulate and execute the organizations statewide advocacy campaign to educate the public on the benefits of out-of-school-time programs and secure necessary state investments in out-of-school-time programs in the state budget. This position will also be involved in the creation of the organization’s public policy priorities, including identifying regulatory and programmatic issues and policies and working with lobbyists to address these issues through legislation.

If you’re interested in learning more, or applying for this position, the full job posting is available on Afterschool Pathfinder here.

Policy Updates

Cuts to 21st Century Community Learning Centers Proposed by Senate

The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee recently released their FY2017 appropriation bill, which includes the 21st CCLC funding stream. The proposed FY2017 budget of $1.05 billion for the 21st CCLC program would result in a reduction of $8.7 million for New York from the FY2016 funding level. This reduction in funding would impact approximately 5,800 children and youth in New York, likely resulting in these students losing access to their programs.

While the Senate’s bill proposes a cut to the program, the U.S. House of Representatives is still in the process of drafting their version, leaving advocates and program staff enough time to show how beneficial these afterschool and summer programs are to the children and youth they serve. Congress' summer recess will begin soon, providing a prime time for 21st CCLC summer programs to host site visits for Members of Congress. If you would like to schedule a visit, find your representative here, and then call their representative's district office to schedule a site visit! 

If you would like help in planning a site visit, don't hesitate to reach out to us!

Field Resources, Tools, and Research


Scholarships Available for Program Staff and Supervisors

The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD)  is offering scholarships for the Family Development Credential (FDC) Program and the Family Development Credential Program for Supervisors. Both programs emphasize a family development approach as a way of redirecting how health, education, and human services are delivered to families and individuals. 

Classes begin on Friday, September 16 (for FDC for frontline staff), and Friday September 9 (for FDC for Supervisors), and are offered at City University of New York (CUNY) campuses.  
Scholarship applications are available here

Better Together: Leveraging Partnerships for Afterschool Systems

Numerous research studies have shown that community involvement in education can have powerful impacts on the children they serve and the communities they are a part of. Educational opportunities, both formal and informal, from sports teams to science projects are essential to the growth of any community and can all be found within the domain of afterschool and summer programs. This short but informative article gives some great examples from across the country of effective community partnerships in place right now. Use some of these powerful stories for inspiration on effective ways to develop community partnerships and for ways to get involved. For more information, view the full article here.

PrACTice Matters: Encouraging Growth Mindsets

This article discusses a psychological phenomenon, the “growth” and “fixed” mindsets,and examines their short-term and long-term effects using student learning as an example. "Growth" mindsets support learning and constructive optimism, while "fixed" mindsets can be very negative and make us reluctant to challenge ourselves. How can youth development professionals (and parents) encourage growth mindsets among adolescents? This article by Kristen Elmore, PhD, MSW discusses strategies for promoting the “growth” mindset for youth and adults alike so that they are better prepared for overcoming challenges in the future.

This resource was developed at the Assets Coming Together (ACT) for Youth Center of Excellence at Cornell University and the full article can be found here.

Connecting the Dots: Data Use in AfterSchool Systems

As we progress further into the information era, technology is advancing at exponential rates while education has remained fairly traditional. This article examines the use and implementation of technology and data collection in the education field, specifically with afterschool programs. It mentions various strategies for implementing data systems into afterschool programs in order to provide better data analysis and informed decision making, resulting in improved program quality. Learn more here.

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


Parent, Family, and Community Partnerships

Sometimes engaging parents and families requires addressing some biases and assumptions that staff members may or may not know they have. Check out the Human Barometer activity listed on the Parent, Family, and Community Partnerships QSA Element page for one way to start that conversation. 

Even with those issues addressed, it's possible that programs still aren't fully engaging ALL parents and families. Start by considering where you are in order to make a plan to address those parents and families that may not currently be actively engaged with the program. Answer the following questions adapted from Teaching for Change while considering the families you are trying to reach and your current position.

1. What do I know about the families in my program? What are their experiences, prior knowledge, home language, interest, and goals?
2. Do I consider all of the families and communities in my program? How can I create or support opportunities to include parents who have a different culture, citizenship status, race, or socio-economic class than my own?
3. How can I create or support opportunities for families to give input into the policies and activities that affect them?
4. What opportunities am I creating or supporting for parents to exercise leadership? 

Next, considering your answers, create a plan for further addressing those families and parents that haven't been considered previously. This action planning tool may be helpful in this process. Finally, implement your plan and then assess if you are meeting your engagement goals or if a new plan is needed. 

Resource of the Month


Gear up for National Summer Learning Day – July 14th

If you’re planning to celebrate National Summer Learning Day on July 14th, check out our Summer Learning Brief from last summer! The brief includes information on the benefits of summer learning programs, the need for further investments in these programs, and even includes highlights of summer learning programs across New York State. View the full brief on our website here.

STEM Corner


STEM Fights Summer Learning Loss

Summer learning loss can inhibit child and youth development. Some young people have access to support and experiences over the summer that continue learning out of school. Below are several places that can help you (as a parent or a program leader) keep your young people engaged and learning through the summer months:
  • Edutopia lists some basic tips to start with, including making sure YOU are making time for youth learning.
  • The STEM Connector Blog has 5 ways to add STEM in the summer, including watching Bill Nye videos!
  • 20 STEM activities from Project Lead the Way can enhance the things you and your young people already have planned.
  • The U.S. Department of Education highlights public resources to support learning.
  • In addition, your local PBS station shares ways to connect STEM into summer fun.
All of these ideas are meant to keep learning alive without sacrificing the fun or the open-ended nature of summertime. If you use any of them, tell everyone about it on Twitter or Facebook, and let them know where you got the idea!

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond


Operation: weCODE- Albany, NY


Cerima Thomas, 2012 graduate of the University at Albany, started Operation: weCODE to offer youth opportunities to experience technology. In the spring of 2016, Operation: weCODE served 14 students in the Pine Hills and Arbor Hill neighborhoods of Albany, NY. These students recently graduated the program with an understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Ms. Thomas has a “passion for technology” that drove her to start the program. She states, “Observing the environment and children today, Operation: weCODE notices how much of a disadvantage many urban students are at in their communities. Technology has become a major piece in our everyday activities, it is absolutely necessary for our community to know how to use it and feel comfortable with it, especially our youth.” Ms. Thomas hopes to grow the program to reach even more youth in the future. Email Cerima Thomas with inquiries about the program or possible partnership.

Upcoming Events

7/25: Introduction to Family Engagement in Education Course
Harvard University is offering a FREE 6 week online course on family engagement. Family engagement has become a focus of many expanded learning programs because of the benefits associated with forming stronger bonds between teachers and program staff and students' parents. Register for the course here.

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. More information is available 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.

10/12-10/14/2016 Community Schools Fundamentals Conference
Children’s Aid Society will be holding the semi-annual Community School Fundamentals Conference from October 12 – 14, 2016 in New York City. More information can be found here.

10/24-10/26/2016: National Conference on Afterschool and Summer Learning: Dare to Disrupt!
School’s Out Washington, in partnership with the National Summer Learning Association, will be holding the National Conference on Afterschool and Summer Learning in Seattle, WA from October 24 – 26th. More information is available on the NSLA website 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.

3/30- 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. The workshop RFP will be available shortly. We hope to see you next year!

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 Chris Neitzey, Information and Communications Manager, at

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