Promoting young people's safety, learning, and healthy development outside the traditional classroom

November 2012

Please find the November Digest below.  Please let us know 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 by contacting me at:
My Best,
Jyoti Folch
Policy and Communications Coordinator 

NYSAN News and Resources

  • Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs) and School Reform: Series of excerpted one-pagers
NYSAN’s recently released white paper made the case for the value of high-quality ELOs, including afterschool, summer, and extended day programs, as a critical part of the New York State discussion on how to turnaround low-performing schools and ensure that our students are graduating college and career ready.  Building on this paper, NYSAN is releasing a series of one-pagers highlighting how ELOs can contribute to the school reform goals laid out in NY’s successful Race to the Top (RTTT) proposal, which is currently structuring NYSED’s school reform work.  ELO providers and school districts will need targeted guidance and support to ensure they can partner successfully to deliver high-quality programs that are effective, sustainable and accountable.  NYSAN recommends:
1. Standards & Assessments: Align ELO curriculum with Common Core State Standards
2. Data Systems: Include ELO data in NYS P-20 data system
3. School Turnaround: Promote partnerships between experienced ELOs and Priority Schools
4. Great Teachers & Leaders: Support strong partnerships between schools and community-based organizations
For more information on New York State’s school reform strategies, including the Common Core State Standards, please visit EngageNY.

News from the Field
  • Outcomes Inventories: National Collaboration for Youth and Partnership for After School Education
Although youth-serving organizations and afterschool program providers agree that they help students grow, they are often uncertain about what outcomes they should use to measure progress, when they measure outcomes at all.  A new publication, A Shared Vision for Youth: Common Outcomes and Indicators, joins the existing Afterschool Youth Outcomes Inventory as guides that help youth-serving organizations align outcomes measures with their program goals in order to increase their ability to define and track their collective impact.  “A Shared Vision for Youth” was created by the National Collaboration for Youth in partnership with the Forum for Youth Investment, and the framework is built on Ready by 21 principles, including the target of making sure youth are healthy and safe, connected and productive.  The “Afterschool Youth Outcomes Inventory” was developed by NYSAN partner the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) with NYSAN’s participation.  Afterschool and summer learning program providers can use these inventories to help: (1) articulate program goals; (2) develop logic models and evaluations; and (3) develop communication materials.  Common outcomes and indicators also help to move the field towards a shared language on youth development, which can foster greater collaboration and impact.
  • Alliance for Excellent Education: Expanded Learning Opportunities- A More Comprehensive Approach to Preparing High School Students for College and a Career
The future of the American economy increasingly depends on more students graduating from high school ready for college and a career.  While momentum is building to expand learning time for students to help meet these challenges, most efforts have been focused on elementary and middle school students.  The Alliance for Excellent Education released a brief, Expanded Learning Opportunities: A More Comprehensive Approach to Preparing High School Students for College and a Career, which explores how expanding the learning opportunities of high school students—to provide flexibility regarding time, location, and delivery methods as well as opportunities to apply knowledge in real-world situations and access social and academic supports—can be used to change the projected skill and knowledge shortages in the nation’s workforce.
  • The Center for Children and Families: Pathways to the Middle Class
Americans believe that all children should have the opportunity to reach their full potential, but many children who start school behind will never catch up.  Pathways to the Middle Class: Balancing Personal and Public Responsibilities looks at the cumulative advantages for some children, the effect of cumulative disadvantages on others, and what it will take to create more opportunity for all.  Children born into rich or poor families have a high probability of remaining rich or poor as adults.  A high-income child in the U.S. is more than twice as likely as a low-income child to end up in the middle class or above.  Robert Putnam’s recent studies on the increasing opportunity gap in the U.S. have found that part of this gap is a gap in participation in enrichment activities that build community connections and social-emotional skills. Children in middle-class families are almost twice as likely to be involved in an afterschool activity, and well-off parents have increased spending on enrichment activities by $5,300 a year over the last forty years, while working class families have only increased their spending by $480.  Afterschool programs represent a real chance to help close the opportunity gap that many children and youth from underserved and low-income communities face.

State Spotlight

  • Indiana Afterschool Network

Indiana Afterschool Network (IAN) recently released the Indiana Afterschool Standards. Of particular interest are three Specialty Standards on College and Career Readiness, STEM, and Summer Learning.  These standards help programs assess whether they are meeting best practices in program content and culture, staff training, and evaluation for these specific content areas or program types, and could be helpful for planning new programs or assessing existing ones.  Indiana’s standards are presented through a self-assessment tool similar to NYSAN’s Quality Self-Assessment Tool, so programs may find it helpful to review the relevant Specialty Standards to see if they would like to integrate them into their QSA process.

Tools, Research, and Resources

  • NYS Touchstones/KIDS COUNT 2012 Data Book
The Council on Children and Families recently announced the release of the 2012 New York State Touchstones / KIDS COUNT Data Book.  This data book expands on previous editions, in that it has mapped combined county-level data for every county in New York State, bringing together information on children living in poverty with community resources that support healthy development (e.g., locations of WIC, Early Head Start and Head Start programs, etc.).  This new visualization tool can be used to more accurately depict our communities; educate fellow New Yorkers about the important issues that are impacting the daily lives of children; and guide our conversations and decisions around child well-being. Additional county-specific data are provided with each county map, including age group distributions from the 2010 U.S. Census.
  • Connecting Youth & Business: A Toolkit for Employers
There are currently over six million young people in the U.S. today who are not connected to school or work.  Businesses can play an important role in helping disconnected youth get on a pathway to a better future.  In addition, businesses can benefit from this work: companies involved in these types of programs report increases in employee engagement, customer loyalty, and employee retention.  A collaborative toolkit was created as part of work by Opportunity Nation and the White House Council for Community Solutions, to provide step-by-step instructions designed to guide companies on options for supporting, training, and employing youth, especially disconnected youth.  It was created for companies with some experience in nonprofit engagement or community involvement, and reflects the input of 30 reviewers who have expertise in this arena.
  • You for Youth: Project-Based Learning
You for Youth, a website developed to support 21st Century grantees and other afterschool professionals, is excited to unveil a new service, The Design Studio.  This site can help afterschool professionals design high-quality programming, connect with other afterschool programs, and learn about opportunities for professional development.  Sign up to receive a twice a month e-blast that highlights specific Y4Y educational strategies and resources based on input from 21st Century afterschool professionals across the U.S.
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension: 4-H
Do you know the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H Youth Development Educators in your county?  Resources and capacity vary from county to county, but 4-H Educators may be able to offer professional development, partner on grant proposals and projects, provide high quality 4-H STEM instructional materials, or collaborate in other ways.  To find your county CCE office, click here.

Event Announcements

  • Expanded Learning Network of the Southern Tier (ELNoST): Out-of-School Time Programs Agency Fair

One of NYSAN’s Regional Networks, ELNoST, is hosting an agency fair, creating an opportunity to network with other agencies and meet people who share a common goal.  Thirty (30) agencies will have the opportunity to showcase their programs, while others are encouraged to attend with business cards & flyers.  The agency fair will be held on Friday, January 18, 2013 from 11:00-1:00 pm.  Location: Wings of Eagles Discovery Center339 Daniel Zenker Drive, Horseheads, NY 14845.  Are you interested in hosting an information table at the agency fair?   Please download and complete the RSVP form and mail it in by January 11, 2013.  Questions? Email

  • The Afterschool Alliance Webinars

Before heading into the new year, the Afterschool Alliance will be hosting two mini-webinars for the afterschool community!  These shorter format webinars will offer a chance to hear from—and ask questions of—experts on the Alliance staff and from partner organizations.  Accompanying resources will be available for download during the webinar.

  1. Feeding America’s Children After School, Wednesday, December 5 at 1:00-1:30 PM EST: The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 opened up a new federal funding source for afterschool programs across the country by expanding the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program to all states.  This year, in addition to coordinating with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) to promote child nutrition programs within the afterschool and summer learning space, the Afterschool Alliance is working with ES Foods to increase participation in this important program.  Click here to register
  2. STEM in Afterschool Virtual Tour, Wednesday, December 12 at 1:00-1:30 PM EST: The webinar will provide an opportunity to ask questions and learn how the Afterschool Alliance is supporting STEM after school through field-building, policy and advocacy, and research. Join Afterschool Alliance STEM director and STEM research assistant for an interactive virtual tour of the resources available on our website, and an overview of recent and upcoming STEM publications for the afterschool field. Click here to register.
  • Announcement on initiative to expand learning time

Five states will announce their participation in a new effort supported by the Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning that will add significantly more time to the school year for tens of thousands of students in select public schools starting with the 2013 school year, including in Rochester, New York, where the Greater Rochester Afterschool Alliance (GRASA) has been working with the Rochester City School District on a pilot project.  The announcement will take place at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C. at 10:30 a.m. ET on Monday, December 3, 2012.  To access the live webcast, please click here.  If you have any trouble accessing the live webcast or have any questions regarding this event, please contact Nicole Weissman at or (202) 585-2014.

Funding Opportunities

  • 2013 Youth Garden Grant Award
The National Garden Association (NGA) is delighted to announce that The Home Depot Garden Club continues to sponsor Youth Garden Grants (YGG).  Awards Youth Garden Grants to schools and community organizations with child-centered garden programs. Priority will be given to programs that emphasize one or more of these elements: integration of content standards; nutrition connections; environmental awareness; entrepreneurship; or social aspects of gardening such as leadership development, team building, community support, or service-learning.  Schools, youth groups, community centers, camps, clubs, treatment facilities, and inter-generational groups throughout the United States are eligible.  Applicants must plan to garden with at least 15 children between the ages of 3 and 18 years. Deadline: December 3rd, 2012.  For more information, please click here
  • Lead2Feed Grant
Lead2Feed is a program that was created by the USA TODAY Charitable Foundation and the Lift a Life Foundation, with assistance from the Yum! Foundation in order to help middle and high school students develop leadership skills while tackling the issue of hunger.  Each student team is required to partner with a qualified nonprofit for its project.  An award of $25,000 will go to the top team's hunger project charity. Deadline: March 29th, 2013.  For more information, please click here.  

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