ASW:NYSAN Digest July 2015
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July 2015


Moving On

 Nora Niedzielski-Eichner has 
transitioned out of ASW:NYSAN as she prepares to attend Yale Law School this fall. She looks forward to continuing to advocate for youth in her future endeavors. We are so grateful for her hard work and dedication while serving as the Executive Director of ASW:NYSAN. Nora’s commitment to building afterschool systems has helped to raise the quality of afterschool, expanded learning, and summer programs across the state. We hope you will join us in wishing Nora the best of luck!

Joining the Team

We are excited to announce that Kelly Sturgis will be joining the ASW:NYSAN team as our new Executive Director in mid-August! Kelly has a long history with the Capital District YMCA, where she has worked in varying capacities for the last 10 years. Kelly is very knowledgeable and passionate about the afterschool field, and is eager to move the work of ASW:NYSAN forward. Please join us in welcoming Kelly! 

Policy Updates

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Reauthorization

This month, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate each passed their own versions of an Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization. While the Senate’s version of the bill (S. 1177) strengthens the 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program and maintains dedicated funding to implement these programs, the House’s bill (HR. 5) eliminates dedicated funding, instead including 21st CCLC with other programs in a block grant. This measure would increase the likelihood that many 21st CCLC programs across New York and the country will be eliminated.

As the House and Senate come together to conference these bills, it will be crucial for afterschool leaders and advocates to reach out to their representatives to inform them of the need to maintain dedicated funding for 21st CCLC programs. Sign up to receive updates from the Afterschool Alliance on how you can support these programs. Stay updated on ESEA and other policy priorities here.

Field Resources, Tools, and Research


Growing Together, Learning Together

Effective coordination between key players in afterschool is the only way to achieve effective afterschool policy and implementation. Towards that end “Growing Together, Learning Together”, released by the Wallace Foundation, suggests four components of any effective afterschool system: strong leadership for major players, coordination that fits the local context, effective use of data, and a comprehensive approach to quality. This resource provides ideas on how to better coordinate the resources and efforts of a community to establish a more effective network of expanded learning opportunities, and is a helpful report to share with your partners and local leaders. The full report can be found here.


Children’s Budget 2015

Afterschool programs cannot effectively meet the needs of the children they serve without reliable funding. This month, First Focus released the 2015 Children’s Budget in which they detail all of the federal funding streams that affect children. This is a great resource for understanding the ways in which the federal government funds children and afterschool. The full report can be found here.


Data on Our Children

This month, two great resources informing us about the state of children and child care in the state and across the country were released.

Child Care Aware released reports for each state detailing key demographic data and data on the need for child care and afterschool programs. New York has one of the highest annual costs associated with before and after school care for school-age children at $8,346 per child. In New York alone 419,208 families live in poverty, making it very hard for these families to afford to enroll their child in a program.  This resource can be a great reference for key facts in the child care and afterschool world, especially when applying for grants and when advocating for additional funding in these areas.  
The Annie E. Casey Foundation released its 2015 Kids Count Data Book this month, examining data associated with education, economic well-being, and health in children. The report finds some positive data trends in education and health and suggests that efforts to support child safety and development are producing rewarding results. Trends shown in the report include a reduction in the number of uninsured children, teen births, and teen drug and alcohol abuse, but data also shows an increase in the number of children living in single parent households and concentrated poverty. If you would like to view the full report, visit the 2015 Kids Count Data Book.

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 

"A quality program recruits, hires, and trains diverse staff members who value each participant, understand developmental needs, and form positive working relationships with youth, parents, co-workers, and other partners."

Indicator 1

"Has regular staff meetings."

Tip for Success

As you begin gearing up for fall, consider your schedule and format for staff meetings. It may be difficult to find time for full staff meetings when working with part-time staff, but these meetings are important times to build relationships, get everyone on the same page, incorporate training, and provide leadership opportunities for staff. Try to schedule meetings at least monthly and more frequently if possible. Be sure to let staff know about the schedule well in advance, and ask for their input for the agendas. Consider including team-building activities to allow the staff members to get to know each other better and work more effectively as a team. Allow staff members to run some portions of the meetings as appropriate given their areas of expertise and interest. For more ideas on staff meetings, check out the Connecticut Afterschool Network’s Staff Meeting Starters training kit, including guides, slides, and handouts to facilitate incorporation of staff training. 

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.

ASW:NYSAN Resource of the Month


Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP): the At-Risk Afterschool Snack and Supper Program Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are interested in getting reimbursements for healthy snacks and suppers for your afterschool program, or are a School-Age Child Care registered program looking to comply with the new requirements to meet the CACFP guidelines for your snacks, this newly updated FAQ is a resource for you. Take note that the CACFP reimbursement rates have increased for both snacks (now 84 cents) and suppers (now $3.07) as of July 1, 2015, so there is even further incentive to get your programs enrolled! If you are interested in more information, visit our Child Nutrition webpage and join us for our webinar on CACFP listed in Upcoming Events below.

STEM Corner


15 Questions to Ask When Selecting STEM Activities

The National Afterschool Association (NAA) has put together a list of important questions to ask when considering introducing STEM activities into your program. Any activity that is introduced into a program should meet youth interests, experiences, and needs if they are going to effectively engage students and help them develop important STEM skills. It’s also critical for all staff involved in delivering STEM activities to feel confident choosing and facilitating these activities, while also understanding how their work compliments traditional classroom learning in an out-of-school time setting.

Some questions to consider when thinking about implementing STEM activities into your program:
  • What STEM skills will youth learn by doing this activity?
  • Is this activity suited to the unpredictable environment of out-of-school learning?
  • Does the activity address STEM standards?
  • Can a real-world career connection be made to this activity?
Make sure to check out more of these important questions on the NAA website. 

Expanded Learning, Expanded Opportunity 

Increasing access to expanded learning opportunities requires the involvement of the whole community. America’s Promise Alliance examined four cities across America to understand the way each engage the community to increase access to out-of-school programming, and the outcomes associated with those programs. From New York, Rochester was featured with particular attention paid to their “re-imagined school day”. Whether you are looking for ideas for how to better involve your own community, or case studies in effective advocacy, this report is a helpful resource.

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond

Young People’s Chorus of New York City

The  Young People’s Chorus of New York City, winner of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, is a musical program directed at children of all ages, cultures, and economic backgrounds, encouraging them to strive for artistic excellence individually and as a group. In addition to their afterschool choir that travels and performs nationally and internationally, their satellite school programs serve nearly 1,400 children in 12 New York City Public Schools. Within this program, children meet twice a week with a conductor, learn to read music, sing harmonies, and perform for their school and community.

This month, 40 members of the choir traveled to California to compete in the Golden Gate Choir Competition, earning three gold medals. Additionally, they performed at the Napa Valley Festival del Sole and will be travelling to Munich, Germany to compete in the Euroradio Choral Competition this fall.

The chorus was founded 27 years ago by MacArthur Genius Grant winner Francisco J. Núñez to “harness the power of music to fulfill the potential of every child.”

Funding Opportunities & Competitions

*More funding opportunities are available in our member-only newletter. If you would like to receive more information on upcoming funding opportunities, become a member of ASW:NYSAN.

Afterschool Alliance Survey

The Afterschool Alliance would like to better understand how the afterschool field views computer science education. Even if you have no experience in this area, your input is still important! If you complete the survey before August 7, you will be entered to win a brand-new iPad Air, and if you complete the survey by August 14, you will be entered to will a $100 Amazon gift card. Take the survey here.

Dollar General Afterschool Literacy Award 

Deadline: August 27, 2015

The Afterschool Alliance has partnered again with the Dollar General Literacy Foundation to offer the Afterschool Literacy Award. The $10,000 award will recognize afterschool programs that provide year-round literacy support to students that help improve their skills in reading, writing, and critical thinking. The deadline to nominate a program is August 27, so click here to nominate a program now!

Upcoming Events

8/20: Getting Started with Healthy Afterschool Snacks and Meals: CACFP

Join ASW:NYSAN for a webinar on the Child and Adult Food Care Program (CACFP) on August 20th from 1:30pm – 2:30pm. Learn about eligibility and how you can get your program enrolled to receive subsidies for healthy snacks and suppers. The webinar will also cover child nutrition and healthy living, and will highlight creative ways to incorporate nutrition into afterschool programming. Misha Marvel from Hunger Solutions New York and Mary Ellen Flynn from the Department of Health will join Saleah Blancaflor, ASW:NYSAN Food Programs Coordinator, to discuss the benefits of CACFP as well as the application process.  This webinar will also be recorded. Register here

8/18: Smithsonian LVM Educator Training at Pace University

The National Girls Collaborative Project will host a training for informal educators (out-of-school and expanded learning time) and teachers. This training, offered by the Smithsonian Virtual Latino Museum (LVM), includes an overview of LVM and in-depth training on their teacher toolkit and two modules: Sustaining a Bio-Diverse Planet and World Cultures-Day of the Dead. This no-cost training will be held at the Pace University School of Education, Pleasantville Campus on Tuesday, August 18th from 9 AM to 12:30 PM. Travel stipends are available for educators travelling from outside the greater NYC area. Space is limited so register today! 

8/13-9/29: National Center for Homeless Education Webinars 

Various webinars relevant to homeless education will be offered throughout August and September by the National Center for Homeless Education. Webinars focusing on the McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act will help users understand their rights under this act and the different services available to the homeless and the providers who serve them. Register for a webinar here.

9/2: Save the Date- ASW:NYSAN Webinar on Program Sustainability

On Thursday, September 3, 2015 at 11am, ASW:NYSAN will be holding a program sustainability webinar focused on helping afterschool, expanded learning, and summer providers become better equipped to identify funding opportunities for their programs. This webinar will feature presentations from representatives of The Robert Bowne Foundation, the NY Funders Alliance, and expert grant writer Candace LaRue. Presenters will share tips and experiences on identifying funding opportunities for programs, using tools and data to support proposals, and crafting strong grant applications. Key resources from will also be shared with participants. This webinar will be free for all ASW:NYSAN members and $15 for non-members. More information will be available shortly!

9/24: Broome County Youth Collaborative Conference:  An Interactive Youth Community Action Event

The Broome County Youth Collaborative Conference will include speakers, professional development workshops, youth performances, and a chance for those in the youth development field to network and share stories with their peers. For more information, contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County at 607-772-8953.

10/1-10/2: 2015 Transition Age Youth Institute

Save the date for the 2015 Transition Age Youth Institute, be held at the Saratoga Hilton in Saratoga Springs, NY.  The institute will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn more about CTE’s and employment, inclusion, and literacy and how these topics can be addressed though innovative youth service delivery models.

10/12-10/14: National Conference on Summer Learning

The National Summer Learning Association’s 2015 Summer Changes Everything conference will be held in Baltimore, Maryland from October 12-14! As the only national conference dedicated to summer learning, organizations and administrators have the opportunity to learn how to strengthen their staff and get the most from their programs. Registration is now open and can be found on the conference website.  

10/13-10-15: 4-H: Many Generations for One Thriving Future

The 2015 Annual NYSACCE4-HE Conference will be held from October 13-15 in Ithaca, NY. The conference schedule and list of workshops can be found here, with a link to registration found at the bottom of that brochure.

10/16-10/17: Asia Society - Penn GSE Global Education Forum

The Global Education Forum will be held on October 16 and 17 in Philadelphia, PA. Through a series of keynote speakers, hands-on workshops, and networking opportunities, participants will explore how to engage and prepare students for a global world. More information can be found on the conference website

10/20 – 10/21: Association of New York State Youth Bureaus Youth Development Conference

Save the date for the 2015 ANYSYB Youth Development Conference will be held in Niagara Falls, NY. Learn more here.

10/22: Lights on Afterschool

If you’re planning to hold a Lights on Afterschool celebration, register your event here. You can also find events in your area to attend.

11/14: AfterSchool Works! NY: the New York State Afterschool Network Fall Training Institute

The Fall Training Institute will be held on November 14, 2015 at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rochester, NY. Registration will open in August. More information can be found here.

3/9-3/12/2015: Beyond School Hours National Education Conference

The Beyond School Hours conference will be held in Dallas, TX from March 9-12, 2016. Earlybird registration is available through September 30th, so register now and save! More information can be found 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 Alli Lidie, Policy & Communications Coordinator, at

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