NYSAN Digest August 2013
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August 2013


NYSAN’s Upcoming Summits on Expanded Learning Opportunities

The New York State Afterschool Network (NYSAN) is honored to have been chosen by both the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the National League of Cities (NLC) to host statewide summits to discuss the importance of afterschool and summer programs in New York. New York community-based organizations, state and local governments, and public-private partnerships have been leaders in developing innovative, high-quality programming that meets the needs of their youth and families. We are tremendously excited about the opportunity to showcase the great work that goes on every day across our state and to challenge ourselves to create more opportunities for our children.

Our first summit, sponsored by NCSL with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, will take place in Albany in January and will be designed for state legislators and officials. National and state leaders in the expanded learning opportunities field will be in attendance for active conversations about the current status of expanded learning opportunities in New York and the next directions for growth in alignment with New York’s educational and economic development goals. We are excited to work with our partner organizations and with many legislative leaders to organize this event.

Our second summit, sponsored by NLC with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, is focused on mayors and other city leaders and will take place in Buffalo in the spring of 2014. We are particularly excited that Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo has graciously agreed to host, and we appreciate the assistance of the After-School Network of Western New York (ASNWNY) in organizing this summit. We look forward to working all of our partners and contributors to spur continued public and private innovation in expanded learning opportunities across New York’s communities.

Community Schools Grant Initiative RFP

Since the Community Schools Initiative RFP released on August 9th is focused on providing wrap-around services to students, which include some services that may or may not be provided by traditional afterschool programs, NYSAN has spent the weeks since its release providing the field with resources to use when planning a proposal that includes these valuable services. View a compilation of these potential resources on the NYSAN website here. Additionally, NYSAN released a statement commending the Governor for this initiative.

Policy Update

21st Century Call In & Visit Day

Declining federal, state, local, and private support, along with rising need, created a 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) competition this year where 458 applicants submitted more than $250 million in requests for the $78 million available. With not enough funding to go around, programs were competitively scored and great programs that fell a point or two short of the top 128 could not be funded. Annual federal allocations for New York’s 21st Century programs have declined from $94 million in the 2010-11 school year to $78 million for the coming year—a decline worsened by the sequester, which cost New York enough funding to serve more than 5,000 students.

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

Youth Participation and Engagement

“A quality program provides opportunities for youth to participate in planning, to exercise choice, and to engage in a rich variety of offerings.” 

Indicator 6

“Promotes consistent and active engagement.”

Tip for Success

Back-to-school time and the beginning of afterschool activities can be a scary time for students, and is also the most important time to welcome and engage participants. On the first day of the program, make sure there are signs posted so that your participants can clearly identify where to go. Greet them as they arrive, and introduce yourself to new participants. Consider a creative method for assigned seating on the first day, such as passing out color-coded index cards that match to tables as they arrive to make sure that every participant has a place to sit and doesn’t feel left out if they don’t know anyone. Then, engage participants from the start by having an activity prepared that they can begin as soon as they walk in. An individual assignment that will be part of a get-to-know-you game later is a fun idea for the first day. For more tips that can translate into starting your afterschool program on the right foot, check out The First Days of School: How to be an Effective Teacher by Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong.

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

Afterschool Pathfinder  is geared towards New York State’s job seekers, employers, trainers, and afterschool professionals looking for resources. Make use of this free resource to post or find youth development jobs, trainings, and resources.
Due to the aforementioned state of 21st CCLC funding, NYSAN organized its first Call In & Visit Day on August 19th. Past and present 21st CCLC grantees, program supporters, and other advocates participated across New York State. Representatives were reached in Buffalo, Central New York, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, Rochester, and the Southern Tier. Thank you to all who took the time to call, visit, email, and invite representatives on site visits.

Though this advocacy day has passed, there is still time to contact your representatives about this important funding stream. As they return to session, NYSAN will continue to monitor federal actions around 21st CCLC.

Following up from the Call In & Visit Day, programs are urged to continue to develop these relationships with legislators. Lights on Afterschool Day in October (see Events below for more information) is the perfect time to invite legislators out to view programs and see what afterschool is really about.

Field Resources, Tools, and Research

Wallace Foundation Report: Getting to Work on Summer Learning

Getting to Work on Summer Learning, a new RAND report studying districts participating in a demonstration project funded by the Wallace Foundation, seeks to answer the question: What makes for strong summer learning programs in school districts?
While the demonstration project is still under way, RAND has gathered lessons and developed a set of recommendations for creating and operating programs, including:
  • Start planning early, with the decision to hold the summer program agreed on by January.
  • Run the program for five to six weeks, and devote three to four hours daily to academics.
  • Develop a rigorous hiring procedure to ensure the selection of motivated teachers.
Download the full report to learn more.

New York State Healthcare Reform: What ELOs Need to Know

Expanded learning opportunities are in a prime position to help inform families about subsidized health insurance soon to be available through the Affordable Care Act. Open enrollment begins October 1st, 2013, so back-to-school is the perfect time to ensure families are aware of the new healthcare opportunities available to them. The new healthcare law:
  • Creates a health insurance exchange that will simplify comparing health insurance plans and enrolling for individuals and families who do not receive health insurance through their employers; and
  • Offers a sliding scale of subsidies to families with incomes below 400% of the federal poverty line (which could be as high as $90,000 for a family of four, so this could have an impact on a large segment of the families in your community).
Find more information to share through New York State of Health, New York’s online marketplace where individuals will be able to shop for insurance. There are several documents and resources that may also be helpful in understanding and explaining the Affordable Care Act. Additionally, programs can make use of the navigators available throughout the state to refer families with more questions. As an alternative, programs may consider inviting a navigator out to the next family event or meeting to answer all of their questions at one time.
To learn more, join the School-Based Health Alliance’s webinar on how to partner with healthcare outreach organizations to coordinate information and/or enrollment efforts. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, September 10th at 3pm EST. Register here.

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond


Children of Promise, NYC

This year’s winner of the national Lights On Afterschool poster contest is New York’s own Rosanie Cazeau, a 10-year-old participant at Children of Promise, NYC (CPNYC). CPNYC is a community based, non-profit organization, in Bedford-Stuyvesant (Bed Stuy) Brooklyn, whose mission is to embrace the children of incarcerated parents and empower them to break the cycle of intergenerational involvement in the criminal justice system. CPNYC offers an after-school program and summer day camp specifically designed to meet the needs, interests and concerns of children left behind by parents serving time in prison.

CPNYC has just completed their 5th year of an eight-week summer day camp, which included 150 children that have an incarcerated parent. Now to help participants prepare for the upcoming school year, the program is hosting a back-to-school supply street fair which will include free school supplies such as book bags, notebooks, pencils, rulers, folders, and more. Additionally at the event, the program will have screenings for medical care, representatives from the WIC program, and a nutritionist to help meet their participants’ needs.

Poster contest winner Rosanie designed her Lights on Afterschool poster as part of a creative arts therapy class at CPNYC. Participants were encouraged to artistically express what their afterschool experience has meant to them. Rosanie’s poster was inspired by how safe she feels in the program and by the multitude of activities she has been able to experience through her participation over the past five years. As a shy student, she has always used art as a way of telling her story. Her artistic depiction brought to life how meaningful CPNYC has become to her, and now her poster will be distributed to thousands of programs throughout the country. Rosanie was surprised and thrilled to have won, and cried when she found out. This October 17th, Lights On Afterschool Day, CPNYC will be hosting their own Lights On Afterschool event with Rosanie’s poster featured front and center. Don’t forget to sign up for your own Lights On Afterschool event and get 10 free copies of Rosanie’s poster!

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

California Outcomes Measurement Online Toolbox

NYSAN has recommended the implementation of a statewide data system, leading to the question of what data to collect and how to measure outcomes. California has tackled the question of outcomes measurement through the creation of the Outcomes Measurement Online Toolbox. The toolbox allows programs to collect data on skills development and positive behaviors. The Online Toolbox includes three types of surveys: student self-reports, program staff reports, and classroom teacher reports.  Extensive field tests, involving thousands of students in grades 3 to 12, have determined that the Online Toolbox can be used easily and reliably.
Programs sign up to participate, and can select what they will measure. Individualized reports are provided to all participating programs, and include summary statistics for each program site, for the program as a whole, and for all programs that participated during the same administration period. These reports enable programs to compare their participants’ skills and behaviors over time, and to compare their program and site-level outcome scores to aggregate scores across the State.
Data from preliminary field tests have supported key claims about afterschool in California, including linking skills development and positive behaviors to participation in high-quality afterschool programs.

Funding Opportunities

$1 Million in STEM Mentoring

The US2020 City Competition, a nationwide contest supporting outstanding, multi-sector efforts to increase STEM mentorship for underrepresented youth, especially girls, youth from low-income families, and students of color, launches next month. The City Competition will distribute over $1 million in in-kind and direct support among 3-5 cities, including on-the-ground service corps members, access to a state-of-the-art online volunteer platform, consulting services from a leading firm, and participation in local and national communities of practice. Introduced by President Clinton in June, the month-long first-phase application period will open on September 18th, with winning projects launching in Fall 2014. You can take action now to learn more about the US2020 competition and prepare to apply. Webinars on this opportunity will be offered on September 10th and September 25th.

Green Works! Grant Program

The Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! grant program provides funding for service-learning projects led by students, such as school/community native plant gardens, forest improvement projects, streamside restoration plans, recycling programs, and energy conservation projects. Grants are available in two award levels: traditional GreenWorks! grants up to $1,000 and GreenWorks! grants up to $3,000 for registered PLT GreenSchools! The application deadline is September 30, 2013. Learn more here.

William T. Grant Foundation

The William T. Grant Foundation is accepting applications from organizations for research projects related to understanding how youth settings work, how they affect youth development, and how they can be improved.

Grants will be awarded for projects that address theory, policy, and/or practice affecting the settings of youth ages 8 to 25 in the United States. Social settings are defined as the social environments in which youth experience daily life. These include environments with clear boundaries such as classrooms, schools, and youth-serving organizations, and those with less prescribed boundaries such as neighborhoods or other settings in which youth interact with peers, family members, and other adults.

To be eligible, organizations must be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The application deadline is January 8, 2013. The maximum grant is $600,000. To learn more, view the guidelines and application.

Contest Opportunities

2013 MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Awards

The Afterschool Alliance and MetLife Foundation have announced the 2013 MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Awards call for nominations. Nominees should be exemplary, lesser-known afterschool programs serving middle school youth that showcase the innovation that takes place during the out-of-school time. Each of the five programs selected to receive the award will receive $10,000, be featured in the 2013-2014 series of issue briefs and the Afterschool in Action Compendium, and be offered the opportunity to present at national conferences.

Nominations in the following four categories must be received by Oct. 14, 2013 to be eligible for consideration:
1.        Keeping Kids Safe and Supported in the Hours After School
2.        The Role of Afterschool and the Common Core State Standards
3.        Students with Disabilities and Other Special Needs and Afterschool
4.        Why Data Matters: How Afterschool Programs Use Data to Improve Programming

More detailed instructions on the nomination process are available on the online nomination form. Additionally, "Afterschool Innovators and Middle School Success," available in the webinar archive, offers helpful tips about the MetLife Foundation Afterschool Innovator Award selection process, as well as features a few of last year's winning programs.

Healthy Young America Video Contest

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) and Young Invincibles launched the Healthy Young America video contest to encourage young people to get health insurance and take advantage of the new options available to them under the health care law. Participants may submit a video and compete to win from a prize pool of up to $30,000 – and over 100 prizes. Entries are due by September 23rd.

[You]th Snap4Change

The Center for Conflict Studies (CCS) at the Monterey Institute of International Studies has created a new opportunity for your students called [You]th Snap4Change, a competition that seeks to tap in to the creativity of students to create a social space in schools where youth play a prominent role in fostering an environment of acceptance and nurturing within a diverse population.

Any student in grades 5 – 12 in America is eligible to participate by submitting an original creative work (photo-essay, website, video, music) that expresses the theme of conflict and peace in their community. Submissions are accepted until October 15th. A selection committee comprising of people from diverse backgrounds will decide on the winners. The top three will be sponsored to be in Monterey on November 14th to present their work at an official ceremony.

Upcoming Events

Management Information System (MIS) Webinar Series

Interested in learning more about the range of available options around data systems? Want to know how they work, what they can contribute to ELO program quality and management efficiency, and how a statewide data system might streamline data management and support quality? The following webinars will feature 6 different MIS vendors and will occur on Tuesdays at noon.  The schedule for the webinars will be as follows:
Tues 27th August – nFocus’ KidTrax (A link to the archived recording will be sent out) 
Tues 3rd September – SAS (Link to webinar)
Tues 10th September – The Children’s Institute’s COMET (Will require pre-registration)
Tues 17th September – Cityspan (Will require pre-registration)
Tues 24th September – CSS (provider of the DYCD system) ( Will require pre-registration)
Tues 1st October – Social Solutions (Link to be sent out later)

NYSAN has asked that each vendor host their own webinar, as this information is not being provided by NYSAN and NYSAN is not endorsing any product discussed on any of these webinars. Please direct any questions related to accessing each webinar or the content of any webinar to the appropriate vendor, as NYSAN has no control over the webinars.

Lights On Afterschool

Each October, 1 million Americans and thousands of communities nationwide celebrate Lights On Afterschool to shine a light on the afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire them to learn and help working families. This year’s event will take place on October 17th. Register your event, and use Afterschool Alliance’s planning kit to get started. Need help reaching policy makers? Contact us at for assistance.

Afterschool Works! Training Institute

Save the date for the 2nd Annual Fall Training Institute put on by Afterschool Works! New York. This event will take place on Saturday, November 9th, 2013 at the Rochester Airport Holiday Inn: 911 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, NY. Registration information can be downloaded here.

The National AfterSchool Convention in New York City

The National AfterSchool Association’s (NAA) 2014 National AfterSchool Convention will be taking place in New York City. Save the date for February 27, 2014 – March 3, 2014. For more information, visit the NAA website.

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 © 2013 New York State Network for Youth Success, All rights reserved.
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