Network for Youth Success Digest- February 2017
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Network for Youth Success Digest

 February 2017

Network for Youth Success News


Conference Registration

Our 2017 Annual Conference registration is open! The cost for attending for one day is $125 and the cost for the full conference (two days) is $190. EIP scholarship may be available for the conference. More information on EIP can be found here. Registration can be found on our website here. Please email Erin Broderick with any questions regarding the conference.

Professional Development in the Capital Region

The Network will be hosting a variety of Professional Development Trainings in 2017 in the Capital Region, including advocacy and leadership trainings. Registration is required for all trainings and can be found here. Any questions can be directed to our Professional Development Director, Timothy Fowler.

Policy Updates


30-Day Budget Amendment for Empire State After-School Program

On February 17th, Governor Cuomo released his 30-Day budget amendments, which included additional language to the proposed Empire State After-School Program. The Executive Budget that was released on January 17th previously restricted eligibility for the Empire State After-School Program to the 16 cities identified as Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) areas.

According to the 30-Day Amendment, school districts and counties with child poverty rates “in excess of 30% as determined by the 2015 small area income and poverty estimates produced by the United States Census Bureau” will now be eligible for the program.
Find out which school districts will now be eligible for the Empire State After-School Program here

Nutrition Corner


New CACFP Guidelines Are Here!

New meal guidelines are in for the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The program aspires to provide your students with nutritious meals that fuel their minds and concentration, adding to a high-quality program. An addition to the new guidelines is the allowance of tofu to be served as a meat alternative in support of programs that wish to provide vegan options. The new guidelines also feature an expansion of the adolescent age groups to include serving sizes for children ages 13-18 years. Learn more about these new additions and other specifications in this Food Research Action Center (FRAC) detailed webinar recording and slides.

The new meal guidelines will be in effect beginning October 1st, 2017, but programs can begin implementation using these menu planning resources. Contact your CACFP governing agency to learn more about early implementation of the new CACFP meal guidelines today!  

Resource of the Month


Updated Sample Menus and Menu Planning Template!

The Child and Adult Care Food Program has issued updated meal guidelineswhich go into effect on October 1st, 2017. Get a head start on implementation with our updated kid-friendly supper and snack sample menus designed to meet the nutrition needs of afterschool children. The new meal guideline features tofu as a meat alternative and non-dairy equivalent milk for the milk component. We’ve updated our menu planning template to reflect these new menu options, including serving sizes for children ages 13 – 18 years. Both versions of the sample menus and menu planning template are available on our Child Nutrition page so providers can begin implementation today! 


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


Staffing and Professional Development

Indicator 5

"Provides ongoing staff development in order to engage and retain staff."

Tip for Success

Afterschool programs should know what skills their staff need to be successful in their role, which of those skills they already have, and which of them need to be developed. Check out these resources to help make your professional development planning as effective as possible! 
Wondering what skills your staff might need? The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development has this helpful guide, Core Competencies for Youth Work Professionals
Be sure to create an Individual Professional Development Plan with each of your staff members. Working together to create the plan ensures that the staff member is bought in to the plan and will help them make the most of future development opportunities. 
Then, make sure that the professional development you offer is as economical and effective as possible by scanning similar needs across your whole organization and by identifying potential peer mentors. Use the Partnership for After School Education's Professional Development Planning Tool to help you get a sense for your whole organization's strengths and needs. 
Finally, follow through on the plans you've created! Check out Staffing and Professional Development for more tools and resources.

STEM Corner

Connecting Your Youth to Current Science

Scientific research and discoveries are happening, but are you aware of it? Can you bring it to your program in a way youth can understand? Two websites can help. Science News for Students takes the current news and reporting about science and research and brings it to youth in down-to-earth language. Frontiers for Young Minds goes directly to the research: youth editors give feedback to scientists, who summarize their published research so a young audience can understand the concepts. Check out this article on life that thrives in boiling water and this article on 7 just-discovered earth-sized planets. You can use these websites to start conversations with youth about science, or to encourage reading on topics that interest them.

Field Resources, Tools, and Research


Igniting the Fire

The American Federation of Teachers, supported by a grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation, developed a toolkit designed around expressing the importance of afterschool in youth development. It provides structure for educators looking to incorporate project learning into their afterschool programs and explains the significance of this method of learning. The toolkit also provides questions to ask as a strategy for helping students solve their own problems. The resource even includes step-by-step professional development modules for staff of all levels. Any activities that are referenced in this module are included within the resource as well. The entire report contains a wide variety of materials that can be used by afterschool professionals at any level and even contains the research behind the report for further reading. The full report can be found here.

Supporting SEL in Afterschool

The Afterschool Alliance had a great Guest Blog regarding strategies to support social and emotional learning in afterschool. Incorporating SEL into afterschool is no easy task, but this article outlines great strategies to do this. Some of these strategies include incorporating program discussions, time for self-reflection, and stressing the importance of cooperative learning. The article also stresses the importance of educating staff on social and emotional learning and how it impacts youth development. Staff are encouraged to learn techniques to avoid negative behaviors rather than handling the behaviors after the issues arise. The guest blog, along with a  link to a longer article regarding supporting social and emotional learning in afterschool, can be found here.

Understanding Adolescent Development

ACT for Youth published a great resource for any program working with middle or high school students. This toolkit has guides, articles, fact sheets, videos, narrated presentations, and websites, all directed towards understanding adolescent development. Resources on youth risk-taking, identity development, and teen demographics are all included in the toolkit. This resource addresses issues that are commonly faced by adolescents throughout their development, including race, ethnicity, and gender. Dealing with middle school and high school youth is not a topic always covered in expanded learning materials, so this is a great resource for professionals at any level. The toolkit, along with links to all resources, can be found here.

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in
New York and Beyond


Smile Connect is an online platform available to afterschool programs in New York that allows programs to receive dental resources and preventive services onsite free-of-charge for their students. SmileConnectSM  works to connect children in need of dental resources with those available to help by utilizing local volunteer dental providers and distributing oral health kits donated by our partners. Programs can get connected with these resources at any time by visiting and creating a request. Feel free to contact Allison Bohlen, SmileConnectSM Program Lead, with any questions at or (734) 302-4618.

Upcoming Events

3/9/2017 @ 9AM: STEM Workshop in the Southern Tier
Join Cornell Lab of Ornithology at the Spencer Crest Nature Center educators for an interactive workshop for afterschool providers, youth program leaders, and teachers who work with kids in 3-8th grades. Participants will receive a free copy of the Afterschool Investigators: Nature Detectives kit, which is filled with hands-on STEM activities and supplies, many with an outdoor component. The workshop starts promptly at 9:00am and ends at 2:00pm, and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Registration is required for this free workshop, and space is limited. Get the details and register 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. Several staff from the Network will be presenting. 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. Our brochure and registration can be found here.

4/6-4/7/2017: Moving from Research to Policy and Practice to Improve the Lives of Youth Conference
The Center for Juvenile Justice Reform has finalized its list of speakers for the 2017 LEAD Conference at Georgetown University. The conference will feature several of the nation's leading juvenile justice experts, including researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and youth/family voices, to discuss innovations in targeted services, supports, and approaches for system-involved youth. The Forum's Karen Pittman will be featured as a plenary presenter. Find out more information here.

4/18-21/2017: 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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