Network for Youth Success Digest- December 2016
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Network for Youth Success Digest

 December 2016

Network for Youth Success News

Advocacy Day

The Network has announced the date for their Annual Advocacy Day in Albany in 2017! Our Advocacy Day will fall on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 from 9:00am to 3pm. Our Policy Department will arrange your meetings with your elected officials and will send you all the useful information for those meetings prior to Advocacy Day. To sign-up for our Advocacy Day, click here.
The Network's annual Power of 3:00 Summit celebrating afterschool, summer, and expanded learning will take place in Albany on January 31, 2017 immediately following our Advocacy Day. The Summit will be a networking event with food and drink for afterschool, summer, and expanded learning providers and supporters from across New York State. To register for our Summit, click here.

Policy Updates


Hitting the Road with the Network's Policy Team

The Network's Policy Team has spent the better part of December traveling across the state to deliver advocacy trainings to program providers and supporters. Each training is designed to provide attendees with the knowledge they need to become effective advocates for afterschool, summer, and expanded learning programs. Understanding the role that the Governor and Legislature play in determining program funding and education policy has been eye opening to training attendees and has helped them understand the important role they can play in ensuring New York provides necessary funding increases to programs programming for children across the state.  
Over the past few weeks, our travels have taken us to Binghamton, New York City, Corning, Rochester, Lyons, and Syracuse, with more trainings scheduled for Buffalo, Nassau County, and Albany in the new year. If you are interested in having the Network deliver an advocacy training in your area, please reach out the Chris Neitzey. These trainings are offered free of charge.

Resource of the Month


CACFP Menu Planning

It is important that CACFP compliant menus and meals served contain serving sizes and food which meet CACFP guidelines and satisfy various age groups. Our CACFP Menu Planning template helps program providers in planning menus that meet CACFP requirements by clearly indicating how each meal component will be satisfied, whether it is a snack or supper. The template is also useable by providers of early child care and features an extended guide with visual representations of the meal components.  


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


Continuous Improvement

The start of a new year is often a time for reflection. Whether you are looking to make improvements in your afterschool program by utilizing the Quality Self-Assessment (QSA) Tool or looking to make changes in your own life, a continuous quality improvement process can be a great format for making lasting change. Check out the Embedding Continuous Program Quality Improvement into Your Afterschool Program webinar by Network staff highlighting this process and how you can use it for any part of your program - or personal life! The handouts referenced in the webinar can be accessed here

STEM Corner

Winter STEM Fun

With the winter season gracing us with snow, exploring the structure and the science behind snowflakes with simple hands-on experiments is a great way to celebrate the most amazing thing about winter. Growing crystal snowflakes can be such a fun experience – with simple household materials, permanent crystals can be grown while providing an opportunity for kids to discuss big STEM concepts. The National Afterschool Association has a detailed lesson plan that can be used step-by-step to grow snow crystals. The lesson plan also provides parents and educators with knowledge on how to engage kids with concepts of crystal structures, chemical reactions, and make connections to real world applications. You can also watch the video about snowflakes by Andy the Science Wiz for a hands-on demonstration.

Nutrition Corner


Food First


Last month in a webinar titled “Set Up for Success,” we discussed common challenges that afterschool programs face during their CACFP enrollment and implementation. The webinar was guided by survey data gathered by the Afterschool Alliance, which showed that afterschool program providers commonly hoped their monthly reimbursements would be enough to cover both the cost of food and cost of administrative staffing. However, the goal of CACFP is to increase the nutritional quality of meals provided through reimbursements to supplement the cost of meals. In other words, food comes first. By enrolling in CACFP, providers can provide children with healthy whole grains, lean meats, and both fruits and vegetables which often incur a high cost. Enrollment also gives providers the opportunity to introduce more variety to their meals, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables, and encourage healthier attitudes around food. 

Field Resources, Tools, and Research


Quick Tips for School Age Students

This 3-minute video clip brings resilience-building strategies to life for school-age children and adults! The video, made by the Deveruex Center, explains the importance of modeling behavior for children and also demonstrates how to accomplish this. This video is a quick and easy way to implement positive behaviors in school-age settings. Check out the full video here.

Soft Skills and Youth Success

This publication provided by Child Trends outlines the importance of soft-skills in fostering youth workforce success. Soft skills refer to a broad set of skills, competencies, behaviors, attitudes, and personal qualities that enable people to effectively navigate their environment, work well with others, perform well, and achieve their goals. Social skills, communication skills, and higher-order thinking, among others, are addressed in this white paper. The full document is available here.


Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in
New York and Beyond



SONYC, a New York City based program, focuses on social-emotional development, leadership/service, and academic support. A variety of STEM, leadership, physical-activity, and service programs are offered. This includes a robotics programs where children can build and use their own robots! 
One of the program goals for this year is: "Turn students into leaders". A large project that students recently led was a homeless outreach project. Students learned about homelessness in New York City and then made pillows and blankets from fabric and poly-fill to distribute. Students gathered at the school on a Saturday morning to make sandwiches and hit the streets of Harlem to distribute packages of pillows, blankets, food, and water.
Belaine Trinidad, one of the program assistant's, says that working with SONYC is what he truly loves to do and enjoys watching the students develop life skills through program activities. SONYC provides the unique opportunity for its employees to have a direct impact in helping children develop life skills that are easily transferable to their real world experiences.

Upcoming Events

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! Registration is now open. More information is available here.

2/25/2017: PASEsetter Awards
PASEsetter Awards are given to afterschool educators who demonstrate outstanding commitment, energy, and creativity in their work, and who achieve excellence in and exhibit true devotion to improving the lives of the young people in out-of-school time. Winners receive a crystal award, a $5,000 donation to their organization, and 100 Jets tickets for their youth and staff. More information on the event 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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