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

August 2012
Please find the August 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 Snacks and Supper Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Document
Back to school means back to school meals! NYSAN and Hunger Solutions New York recently teamed up to update an earlier FAQ document on how to access funding through the At-Risk Afterschool Snack and Supper Program.  The At-Risk Afterschool Snack and Supper FAQ Document can be found on the NYSAN website in our “What’s New” box on our homepage.  This is particularly timely as the 2012 reimbursement rates were recently released: 78 cents for each snack and $3.08 for each supper.  In addition, Hunger Solutions developed an informative brochure on the school meals program that you can share with families.  NYSAN and Hunger Solutions are happy to work with you on any questions you may have regarding access to school and afterschool meals.
  • Afterschool Start-Up Resources
Thinking about starting an afterschool program?  Make sure you visit NYSAN’s Afterschool Start-Up Resources page which provides helpful information around registration and licensing, budgeting, and general information on how to start and manage a nonprofit organization as it relates to children and families.  Our catalogued list of Useful Websites is also a great resource for informative organizations on the state and national level.  And lastly, make sure to stay informed this school year by signing up to receive newsletters from any one of the many organizations listed on our Helpful E-Newsletters page

News from the Field
  • Afterschool Alliance: Uncertain Times Survey for New York 2012

This past April, Afterschool Alliance conducted an Uncertain Times 2012 survey.  The Alliance received a sufficient response from New Yorkers to be able to analyze state-specific data and issue a brief fact sheet focused specifically on afterschool and the economy in New York.  Key findings indicate that afterschool programs in New York are unable adequately meet the needs of their communities, including increasing access to eligible youth, as it continues to face significant budget cuts in this challenging economic climate.  At the federal level, the Afterschool Alliance is advocating to increase support for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) and the Child Care Development Block Grant (to provide child care vouchers to more eligible families), and allow for existing federal funding streams—such as those for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skill-building and youth health initiatives—to help support afterschool programs.

  • Child Trends: Expanding Learning Both Inside and Outside the Classroom

Child Trends, in partnership with The Wallace Foundation issued a report entitled, Expanding Learning Both Inside and Outside the Classroom: A Review of the Evidence Base.  This report examined 80 evaluations of initiatives to lengthen the school day or year or offer learning opportunities outside the traditional school day.  The report emphasized that most of the evaluations lack the rigor required to meet scientific standards for evidence of the impact that expanded time has on children.  But the available evidence suggests that extending school time can help raise academic achievement, while out-of-school opportunities can help establish a foundation that boosts achievement, such as educational expectations.  Findings also suggest that program quality and implementation are significant in impacting student outcomes.

State Spotlight

  • New Hampshire: Alternate Pathways to High-School graduation

In January 2008, the New Hampshire Department of Education (NHDOE), with support from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF), implemented a three-year Expanded Learning Opportunity (ELO) Initiative with four pilot sites.  As part of the Initiative, school districts establish competency-based procedures that allowed students to receive school credit for their participation in rigorous out-of-school-time programs.  The University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Amherst conducted an evaluation of the Initiative in May 2011 and their preliminary findings suggest positive outcomes for students and teachers, including increased engagement and development of specific skill-sets needed to be successful in college and career.  The ELO Initiative was successful in establishing momentum for ELOs as a reliable option for providing students with a greater diversity of credit bearing learning opportunities, and as of December, 2011, New Hampshire requires all school districts to have a policy on how high school students can earn credits through ELOs

Tools, Research, and Resources

  • The Annie E. Casey Foundation: 2012 Kids Count Data Book
Kids Count Data Book is a state-by-state report on children’s well-being. The 23rd annual Kids Count Data Book offers an in-depth view of child well-being, focusing on an index of 16 indicators grouped into four domains: Health, Economic Well-Being, Education, and Family & Community.  The report shows New York ranks 29th out of 50 states in overall child well-being.  In the four domains, New York ranked 15th in Health, 19th in Education, 32nd in Economic Well-Being and 34th in Family & Community.
  • White House Council for Community Solutions: The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth
In January 2012, a report was released entitled The Economic Value of Opportunity Youth.  The report defines youth ages 16-24, who are out of school and work as “opportunity youth” as estimates their numbers.  The report investigates the opportunity youth population in relation to its economic potential.  The full lifetime fiscal burden of opportunity youth to taxpayers amounts to $1.6 trillion, while the social burden (more broadly defined to include lost productivity as well as actual taxpayer expenditures) amounts to $4.7 trillion across the cohort of 6.7 million opportunity youth in 2011.  The researchers’ recommendations for addressing this issue include upgrading secondary education institutions and providing affordable and accessible training opportunities beyond high school.
  • America’s Promise Alliance: Communications Planning for Youth-Serving Organizations Handbook
Communications planning is crucial in engaging communities to get involved in advocacy efforts.  This new Communications Handbook offers practical, field-tested guidance for planning effective outreach.  It is designed to help you develop your organization’s goals, key audiences, key messages and messengers, strategies, and expected outcomes and metrics.  The handbook draws lessons learned from communications trainings that America’s Promise conducted in five diverse communities in the fall of 2011.  Grad Nation hosted a webinar highlighting methods for strategically reaching your key audiences.

Event Announcements

  • 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.
  • NYSAN Regional Network: After School Network of Western New York (ASNWNY)
On October 18, more than 1 million people will gather at some 7,500 sites for Light’s On events across the country to rally in support of the afterschool programs that help working families, keep kids safe and inspire them to learn.  ASNWNY will be hosting a Light’s On event at the Buffalo Museum of Science where they will be screening the film Connected, created by Buffalo’s youth.  The film highlights local afterschool programs, the people that run them, the kids who love them, and the impact such programs have on people’s lives.  Location: 1020 Humboldt, Buffalo, NY.  When: October 18th, 5:00-7:00.  For more information on hosting Light’s On events, please visit the Afterschool Alliance website.
  • Summer Learning Conference
The National Summer Learning Association’s Annual Conference will be convening in Pittsburg, PA.  This is the only national conference dedicated to summer learning and this year’s theme is Expanding the Pool: Reaching More Kids Effectively.   Location: The Westin Convention Center, Pittsburgh.  The conference will be held October 23-24, 2012.  For more information or to register, please click here.

Funding Opportunities

  • National Ag Poster Art Contest
The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) and Successful Farming are encouraging young artists to celebrate modern agriculture through the first ever National Ag Day poster.  The contest is open to amateur artists enrolled in high school or college and the contest theme is: Generations nourishing generations.  The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship from Successful Farming and a portion of the proceeds from limited edition prints, and the artwork will be publicly displayed.  Deadline: Midnight (CST), October 31, 2012.  Please apply here.
  • Connecting Youth to the Outdoors Grant Program
The National Environmental Education Foundation in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the Bureau of Land Management, and the US Forest Service, has announced a new initiative that seeks to catalyze efforts to increase the number of pre-K-12 youth, particularly urban and/or underserved youth, who build a connection with public lands as places for recreating, learning and volunteering.  Multiple grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000 are available to select applicants.  Nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and tribal groups are eligible to apply.  Deadline: September 19, 2012.  Please apply here.

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