NYSAN Digest August 2014
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NYSAN Digest
August 2014



New NYSAN Website!

After many months of development, NYSAN is excited to announce that we will be launching our new and improved website next week! All of our resources will still be available, but the new site will be easier to navigate, include a wider array of materials, and contain a bunch of pictures from afterschool programs throughout the state. If you have high-quality photos from your program that you would like included, send them to for consideration. 

Look out for an announcement email as soon as the site has launched, and be sure to explore the new site at your earliest convenience!

NYSAN Visits a County Fair

This month, NYSAN visited the leaders of the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County at the Dutchess County Fair to learn more about their 4-H clubs. At the fair, 4-H participants were showing the animals—ranging from horses and cows to goats and rabbits—that they have been working with over the past year, meeting with their club to projects and activities and to share experiences. The fair also included horticultural exhibits and service-oriented project displays by 4-H clubs. The activities and focuses of 4-H clubs and afterschool programs range across the state from agriculture to robotics, sewing, and more. Learn more about 4-H here

Policy Updates

Elections Coming Soon

With elections fast approaching, you may be wondering how you can get involved. Even if you are a non-profit, there are some ways you can support afterschool, summer, and other expanded learning opportunities this election season. Check out this 2014 Campaign Toolkit by Afterschool Alliance for more information on how 501(c)(3) organizations can and cannot get involved.

Afterschool Alliance also hosted a helpful webinar for providers on this topic. Afterschool and Elections: How You Can Get Involved is now available as a free half hour recording. During the webinar, you will learn some key challenges and opportunities, how you can advocate, and examples of past successful efforts.

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

Environment & Climate

“A quality program provides a safe, healthy, and nurturing environment for all participants, staff members, and families.”

Indicator 1

“Provides a stimulating, welcoming, and supportive environment for all young people.”

Tip for Success

Youth will assess how welcoming your program is from the moment they walk in the door. Students are more likely to feel supported from the start if they are greeted by a friendly staff member who is excited to see them, and if they are welcomed into a youth-friendly space, decorated with student work and other interesting materials (posters, magazines, art, etc.). Click here to learn more about creating a positive youth-centered space. 

Don't forget, at the beginning of the year orientation or introduction activities can help participants to acclimate and become familiar with the program and social group.

Research shows that only high-quality afterschool programs create positive outcomes for participants. Access NYSAN’s Quality Self-Assessment (QSA) tool to begin improving the quality of your program.

NYSAN Resource of the Month

Inclusion FAQ 

NYSAN is proud to announce the publication of Including All Students: Frequently Asked Questions About Including Students with Disabilities in Afterschool and Summer Programs. 
This resource defines disability and inclusion and the rights afforded to people with disabilities before going into greater detail on best practices, tips, and resources for inclusion. We also identify organizations throughout the state and country that provide additional training and resources for both program directors and front-line staff on inclusion practices. Finally, the FAQ directs program providers to tools with which to assess how inclusive their programs are and guidelines for making the necessary changes. 

Field Resources, Tools, and Research

Every Student Present

The New York State Council on Children and Families’ Every Student Present Toolkit provides information on the issue of chronic absenteeism and explains what you and your program can do to reduce chronic school absence in your community. Chronic absence, when students miss 10 percent or more of school days, contributes to lower test scores and graduation rates.

Afterschool programs are in a prime position to increase engagement in learning and therefore increase attendance, and as such are key partners in reducing chronic absenteeism. This toolkit includes materials to help students develop the habit of good school attendance, an essential element of school success. See events below for details on an upcoming webinar on Every Student Present.


New Indicator Framework for More and Better Learning Time

A new report by the Annenberg Institute for School Reform (AISR), Leveraging Time for School Equity: Indicators to Measure More and Better Learning Time, includes the More and Better Learning Time (MBLT) Indicator Framework, which addresses four areas of expanded learning opportunities involving school-community partnership. The framework is meant to help guide development of internal or external evaluation systems that are relevant to the work of MBLT practitioners. A review of research and an overview of the initiative are also included in the report.


Grantmakers and Thought Leaders on Out-of-School Time

A new report, entitled Grantmakers and Thought Leaders on Out-of-School Time: Survey & Interview Report, investigates the priorities of grantmakers that support expanded learning efforts. The report, issued by Grantmakers for Education's Out-of-School Time Funder Network and funded by the Wallace Foundation, the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, concluded that "improved academic achievement" and "increased student engagement" are top goals for funding. Recent research has shown that afterschool programs can help close the achievement gap. For tips, tools, and resources on student engagement, check out the Youth Participation and Engagement element in NYSAN’s Quality Self-Assessment (QSA) Tool. 

Resources from the 2014 PASE@PACE Conference Now Available

The 2014 Partnership for After School Education (PASE) Conference brought over 450 members of the afterschool field together for a day of professional development on everything from classroom techniques to measuring long-term impact. The materials from 40 of the workshops presented are now available on the PASE website.

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond

Community Building Summer Internship Program

For the past 7 years, The Children’s Aid Society (CAS) has been providing youth from high need neighborhoods the opportunity to intern in the offices of their elected officials for six weeks during the summer. The Community Building Summer Internship (CBSI) program ensures that youth gain the leadership skills and practical experience required to succeed in a public service setting. The internship is coupled with a community engagement project completed in weekly training (learning sessions) sessions. For the past two years, Children’s Aid has partnered with the Resilience Advocacy Project (RAP), a youth empowerment organization, to provide facilitators for the community engagement project the students produced.
This summer, CBSI placed 15 students in 14 different offices in all three levels of government offices. As part of their community engagement project, the Community Builders decided to focus on Dating Violence Awareness as their topic of choice. After weeks of learning about peer advocacy and diving more in depth into the topic of dating violence awareness, the students developed a three tool project to educate the community on the issue. The group created a fact sheet to be distributed to young people in different mediums; additionally, they created a visual component for the fact sheet, a powerful poster reflecting the issues around dating violence. Finally, the youth filmed, produced and edited a short video to raise awareness on this topic.
The final products of the project on dating violence were showcased at an End of the Summer Appreciation Ceremony, where electeds and staff join the students in celebrating such a productive and amazing employment and learning experience this summer. 


Fresh Prep : Using Hip Hop to Prepare for Regents Exams

Fresh Prep, a program from Urban Arts Partnership, uses hip hop music and culturally responsive pedagogy to help students prepare and pass the Global and US History Regents Exam. Classroom teachers pair with one of 12 teaching artists (called MCs) to teach original hip hop music with NY State Standards based lyrics. Unlike many test prep classes, a Fresh Prep classroom is energetic, engaging, and informative. The program serves 13 New York City schools and includes curricula for the US History and ELA tests, with a Math curriculum in development.

Teaching artists use process drama, an educational practice in which the classroom is transported through history as students and teachers are "in role" as major players from different time periods. Students become US or Russian reporters trying to uncover the truths of the Cold War by interviewing President Truman and Joseph Stalin, (played by the teaching artist and teacher, respectively.) Students are in charge of their own learning and thus drive their own success by investing in the process of learning. 

Click here to see Fresh Prep in action.

Do you have a story about a New York program you would like shared? Email Alli Lidie and your story could appear in a future NYSAN Digest.


Funding Opportunities

Safe Places to Play Grants 
Deadline: September 24, 2014 

The U.S. Soccer Foundation grants support soccer programs and field-building initiatives in the U.S. that keep children in underserved communities active, healthy, and safe. Grants of up to $20,000 are available for individuals who apply on behalf of a nonprofit organization, school, municipality, or tribal nation. 

ClimateChangeLIVE Grants for School Projects
Deadline: September 30, 2014

GreenWorks! is offering grants of up to $1,000 to fund classroom projects geared toward reducing  our carbon footprint, recycling, energy or water conservation, or other projects  through which students seek to address climate change. More information is available here

Reebok BOKS Activation Grant 2014-15
Deadline: October 1, 2014

Reebok and the Reebok Foundation are awarding $1,000 to up to 300 schools to start the BOKS program in the 2014-2015 school year. The BOKS program is intended to get kids moving with before-school activities. All elementary and middle schools and non-profit organizations (such as YMCAs) are eligible to apply, but priority will be given to those programs that have a viable sustainability plan.  Learn more here.

Upcoming Events

9/9: Every Student Present Social Media & Resource Toolkit Webinar 

On September 9 from 1pm to 2pm, the New York State Council on Children and Families is hosting a webinar focusing on how your organization and community can help students build a habit of good school attendance and be on track for school success. They will highlight social media and other Every Student Present materials available for you to use throughout your community.  Register here.

9/23: Every Hour Counts Measurement Framework Webinar 

This webinar is the national release of the Every Hour Counts Measurement Framework. The framework identifies priority outcome measures for expanded learning systems to track at the youth, program, and system levels. Learn about the research behind the framework, the framework itself, and how the framework can be used to inform data collection during this webinar on September 23rd from 2pm to 3pm. Register here.

10/16-17: Community Schools Fundamentals 2014

The Community Schools Fundamentals Conference, presented by the Children’s Aid Society National Center for Community Schools, is a two-day seminar designed specifically for those new or relatively new to community schools. The Fundamentals Conference will share The Children's Aid Society's lessons learned from more than 20 years of implementation in New York City and 18 years of nationwide capacity building. In addition to conducting a study visit to a mature community school, participants will learn about the foundations and the "nuts and bolts" of the strategy. The conference will take place in New York City. Learn more and register here.

10/23: Lights On Afterschool 2014

Lights on Afterschool 2014 will take place on October 23, 2014 all around the country. Entering its 14th year, the Afterschool Alliance’s initiative celebrates afterschool programs and their importance for the well-being of children, families, and communities. Lights On Afterschool is a great opportunity to demonstrate the great work your program is doing.  To register your event for Lights On Afterschool 2014, click here


10/28-29: ANYSYB 2014 Annual Youth Development Conference

The Association of New York State Youth Bureaus will be holding the 44th Annual Youth Development Conference October 28-29, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in Syracuse, New York. 

11/1: AfterSchool Works! New York Training Institute

Save the date for the annual Fall Training Institute which will take place on November 1st at the Rochester Airport Holiday Inn at 911 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, NY. View the conference website here.

Afterschool Pathfinder

For more events, check out Afterschool Pathfinder, which has an extensive list of upcoming trainings, seminars, and webinars.

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 Alli Lidie, Policy & Communications Coordinator, at

Copyright © 2014 New York State Network for Youth Success, All rights reserved.
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