NYSAN Digest July 2014
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NYSAN Digest
July 2014



NYSAN Presentations

NYSAN has been hard at work sharing information with the field through presentations this summer, and is looking forward to many more conferences coming up this fall. This month, NYSAN had the pleasure of joining the Global Education Coalition of New York City (GEC-NYC) to present at Bank Street College of Education on incorporating global learning into expanded learning opportunities. To view materials from this presentation, visit the GEC-NYC website. Most recently, NYSAN was also able to take part in the Partnership for After School Education (PASE) Conference and share information on advocacy and media work through a presentation on Hot Topics in Local, State, and Federal Afterschool Policy and co-presented on Preparing Youth for a Global World: Developing Global Competencies During Afterschool with the Connecticut Afterschool Network with input from the Asia Society. Materials from each of these workshops will be available soon on the PASE website.

NYSAN Staff News

Alli Lidie, NYSAN’s Policy and Communications Coordinator, was recently selected as one of the 2014-15 White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellows. She is excited to spend the year working with her cohort and The Riley Institute at Furman to advance policy goals related to afterschool and expanded learning opportunities in New York. Additionally, Alli is honored to have been included as part of the National AfterSchool Association’s 2014 Afterschool’s Next Generation.

Policy Updates

Senate and House Bill Seeks to Improve Summer Meal Participation

New York Senator Kristin Gillibrand has introduced the Summer Meals Act of 2014, with Senator Murkowski (R-AK), and Representatives Young (R-AK) and Larsen (D-WA). If passed, this act would strengthen, protect, and expand access to the Summer Nutrition Programs. It would allow afterschool programs that serve meals through CACFP during the school year to continue to do so during the summer without a separate application, and it would reduce the qualifying free and reduced price lunch percentage for participation to 40% of students, aligning with 21st CCLC and Title I requirements. To read a full synopsis of the Summer Meals Act of 2014, click here. To read Senator Gillibrand's press release, click here.

Field Resources, Tools, and Research

Family and Community Engagement

The Handbook on Family and Community Engagement  compiles the advice of thirty-six experts on engaging family and community members in youth development work. These thinkers share best practices and telling vignettes that offer practical suggestions for everyone from educators to policy makers.
The School Learning Turnaround Community (SLTC) also offers an archive of free webinars on family engagement. “The What and Why of Family Engagement” defines family engagement and discusses its impact on student achievement and school reform. “Partnering with Diverse Families and Community Members”  and “Systemic Family Engagement”  highlight school and district strategies, respectively, that have been effective in engaging families and building culturally competent school staff. “Elements of Effective Family-School Partnerships” looks at four different models of family-school partnerships and explores what changes schools can make to improve student outcomes by engaging families.

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

Program Sustainability & Growth

"A quality program has a coherent vision/mission and a plan for increasing capacity that supports continuing growth."

Indicator 7

“Has an effective marketing strategy that publicizes the program and its achievements within the school and broader community."

Tip for Success

Marketing strategies can vary greatly depending on the setting for your program and the ages of youth served. As the beginning of the school year approaches, programs must recruit youth to attend. Does your marketing strategy include a recruitment plan? Many programs recruit by hanging flyers around the school/community, placing ads in school newsletters, or coming into classrooms or during lunch to present on the program. If you are looking to refresh your recruitment strategy, start by considering your audience. You will need a separate pitch for your program for youth, parents, school leadership, etc. Elementary school programs can often recruit by selling parents on the benefits of the program; programs working with older youth have the challenging job of convincing both participants and families. Using peer recruiters can be an effective method of gaining participants. Many programs use a ‘street team’ of participants or young staff members to sell the program to youth who are outdoors in the community during program hours. Other programs have seen success by changing their pitch of the program to an actual demonstration of the fun activities youth get to participate in if they join. Start the school year off right by ensuring your marketing strategy includes a recruitment plan that is tailored to your audience.

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


Submitting Your Press Release or Letter to the Editor

Having an end of summer event or something to kick off the school year? These are just a few of the perfect opportunities to submit a press release to members of the media to hopefully get coverage of your program. Submitting a press release or letter to the editor may sound daunting, but there are a few simple steps you can follow that have been outlined in this new instruction sheet.  You can also find a sample media advisory here.


Incorporating STEM and STEAM

A new paper released by the Afterschool Alliance looks at the recent research on the importance of out-of-school time experiences on STEM learning. “Examining the impact of afterschool STEM programs,” concludes that afterschool STEM programs successfully engage diverse student populations, teach life skills and STEM processes of investigation, and improve academic performance in the STEM subjects, among other things.
There are many free and easy ways to incorporate STEM learning into your program. A new online program, Shakti Warriors a.k.a S.T.E.A.M  Academy, is a free curriculum that students and programs can take advantage of to supplement their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM) learning during the school year or prevent summer learning loss during the summer months. The curriculum is designed to align with the Common Core State Standards and be fun.  It has been developed for grades 4 through 8 to incorporate digital badging. For more information, visit
As another fun way of incorporating and celebrating STEM learning, NYSAN is excited to be partnering with Mozilla to celebrate teaching and learning the web with Maker Party. Through thousands of community-run events around the world, Maker Party unites educators, organizations and enthusiastic Internet users of all ages and skill levels.
NYSAN shares Mozilla's belief that the web is a global public resource that’s integral to modern life: it shapes how we learn, how we connect and how we communicate. But many of us don't understand its basic mechanics or what it means to be a citizen of the web. That’s why we’re supporting this global effort to teach web literacy through hands-on learning and making with Maker Party.
We encourage you to attend a Maker Party event in your community. It's a great chance to improve your knowledge of how the web works, while getting your hands dirty and having a little fun. Better yet, why not gather a few friends and throw a small event of your own.
New York is now offering a STEM Incentive Program which provides full scholarships for recent high school graduates meeting specific requirements to pursue higher education in STEM. Learn more in the competitions section below.

2014 New York Kids Count Data Book

With the release of the 2014 Data Book, NY KIDS COUNT is celebrating its 25th anniversary. This 25th edition of the Annie E. Casey Foundation publication examines trends in child well-being since 1990, identifying policies and practices that have improved child health and development in that time. The Data Book and related resources can be accessed here, and are valuable tools for community needs and asset assessments, grant applications, and advocacy to build community support for youth services.

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond

Youth Discover New Career Options with the Help of State Senator


Most of the first and second graders that attend Gateway Youth Outreach, Inc. (GYO) for summer camp had never seen a horse in person, let alone had the chance to ride one. That changed at the end of July thanks to a partnership with trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and the New York Racing Association at the Belmont racetrack. State Senator Jack Martins came along to lend a hand and learn more about what the kids are doing over the summer.
During their visit, the participants learned about the many different careers available at the stables from assistant trainer Artie Magnuson. The morning started with a demonstration of horse grooming. They had the chance to question a veterinarian about horse care and pet Bugsy, a 12 year old pony. After watching a blacksmithing demonstration and painting their own horseshoes, youth were able to climb on top of Pistachio (pictured above) and ride around the stable for the first time. At the end of the day, even a few of the counselors who had never ridden before were able to take a turn.
When asked about the visit, one student said that now he wanted to come back and work at the stables with the horses when he grew up. He wouldn’t be the first of the GYO students to do so, as they have been offering an afterschool program called Kiaran’s Kids that has been operating since 2008. Read more about Kiaran’s Kids in this article by the New York Racing Association.

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

My Brother's Keeper: National Initiative to Improve Pathways for Boys of Color

My Brother’s Keeper is a $200 million initiative, launched in February 2014, to address the opportunity gaps faced by black and Hispanic boys living in poverty in the United States. Sixty of the largest school districts in the country have joined the White House to implement the initiative, which seeks to help young men of color succeed in school and beyond, by expanding early learning opportunities, monitoring students’ progress in order to intervene when necessary, and increasing graduation rates in this population, among other supports.

This recent report released by the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force examines the unique challenges faced by young men of color in the United States, particularly the disproportionate rate of disciplinary action for black and Hispanic boys and their frequent lack of access to quality education and educational resources. The report strongly recommended increased mentoring, and private sponsors such as AT&T have come forward with new funding and initiatives.

Both the White House and the Afterschool Alliance want to hear about how your program is helping disadvantaged youth in your community! Tell your program’s story and help policymakers understand the powerful role afterschool programs can play in supporting young men of color.

Funding Opportunities

The Culture of Health Prize

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is awarding the RWJF Culture of Health Prize of $25,000 to up to 10 winning communities in 2014. Winning communities are working to build a Culture of Health. Applications are accepted through September 17th. Learn more here.

The Trust Challenge

The Trust Challenge: Building Trust in Connected Learning Environments is the fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition by the Humanities, Arts, Science and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (HASTAC) and the MacArthur Foundation. They will award year-long development grants ranging from $10,000 to $150,000 to organizations and institutions that will address trust challenges in online learning. Applications will be accepted between September 3, 2014 and November 3, 2014. Learn more here.

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative: Developing Knowledge about What Works to Make Schools Safe

The National Institute of Justice is seeking applications for projects implementing school safety interventions in local schools and researching the effectiveness of these projects. Eligible applicants include local education agencies (LEAs) and state education agencies (SEAs) that partner with researchers or research organizations. Projects should focus on mental health services, public safety and preparedness, and school climate and culture. Applications are due July 10th. For more information and to apply, visit:

Science Center Partnerships for Lights on Afterschool

The Association of Science–Technology Centers (ASTC) in association with Afterschool Alliance is offering 20 minigrants of $1,500 each to science centers to host a Lights On Afterschool event in partnership with an afterschool provider. Applications must be submitted by a science center or museum that is an ASTC-member institution, so this is a great opportunity to reach out and create new partnerships with your local science centers. Read the Request for Applications and FAQ’s for more information. An informational webinar will be offered on August 6th from 1:30pm – 2:00pm regarding this opportunity.

Sparkplug Foundation

The Sparkplug Foundation funds start-up organizations and new projects of established organizations in music, education, and community organizing. Grants are available for up to $10,000. Past projects have included afterschool programs, and while they do not fund schools directly, they can provide funding for programs operating within schools. For the Fall 2014 round, a letter of intent is due by September 10th, 2014. Learn more here.

Project Learning Tree GreenWorks! Grants

Project Learning Tree (PLT) has GreenWorks! grants of up to $2,000 available to youth-serving organizations and schools for environmental service-learning projects. Grants are also available  for schools wishing to implement recycling programs, conserve water and energy, or establish school gardens or outdoor classrooms—and integrate these projects into the curriculum. The application deadline is September 30, 2014. Learn more here.

NYS STEM Incentive Program (Full Scholarships)

Do you know recent high school graduates that are interested in STEM? The NYS STEM Incentive Program provides a full SUNY or CUNY tuition scholarship for the top 10 percent of students graduating in each New York State high school if they pursue a STEM degree in an associates or bachelor degree program and agree to work in a STEM field in New York State for 5 years after graduation. Applications are due by August 15th. Learn more about requirements here.

Upcoming Events


8/15: Federal Bullying Prevention Summit (Virtual)

The 2014 Federal Bullying Prevention Summit, Keeping Kids Safe: Opportunities and Challenges in Bullying Prevention, will be held on Friday, August 15th in Washington, DC from 8:30am-5:30pm. This event will be offered as a live streaming webcast. The summit will highlight successful strategies to support a positive school climate and will include lessons learned from implementation. Register to join the Summit virtually.

10/16-17: Community Schools Fundamentals 2014

The Community Schools Fundamentals Conference, presented by the Children’s Aid Society National Center for Community Schools, is a two-day seminar designed specifically for those new or relatively new to community schools. The Fundamentals Conference will share The Children's Aid Society's lessons learned from more than 20 years of implementation in New York City and 18 years of nationwide capacity building. In addition to conducting a study visit to a mature community school, participants will learn about the foundations and the "nuts and bolts" of the strategy. The conference will take place in New York City. Learn more and register here.

10/28-29: ANYSYB 2014 Annual Youth Development Conference

The Association of New York State Youth Bureaus will be holding the 44th Annual Youth Development Conference October 28-29, 2014 at the Holiday Inn in Syracuse, New York. The Conference Committee is currently seeking workshop presenters. Prospective presenters need to submit the Proposed Presentation/Workshop Form by June 30, 2014.

11/1: AfterSchool Works! New York Training Institute

Save the date for the annual Fall Training Institute which will take place on November 1st at the Rochester Airport Holiday Inn at 911 Brooks Avenue, Rochester, NY. More information will be sent over the NYSAN listserv when it is available.


Afterschool Pathfinder

For more events, check out Afterschool Pathfinder, which has an extensive list of upcoming trainings, seminars, and webinars.

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 © 2014 New York State Network for Youth Success, All rights reserved.
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