NYSAN Digest December 2013
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December 2013


NYSAN Executive Director on Brian Lehrer

NYSAN’s Executive Director, Nora Niedzielski-Eichner, was interviewed on the Brian Lehrer Show that aired on December 12th. Nora was joined by Diana Torres, Division Director of Bronx Afterschool Programs for Good Shepherd Services. Together they talked about the importance of afterschool programs and the valuable experiences that they provide for our youth. Watch the full interview here.

Policy Update

NYSAN Summit: Inspiring, Preparing, Supporting

NYSAN is hosting a summit on afterschool, summer, and expanded learning opportunities for New York’s students on January 14th in Albany. The summit will bring together legislators and other state decision-makers to learn about the importance of these valuable programs for social and emotional outcomes, education, college and career readiness, and more. RSVP to attend.

Field Resources, Tools, and Research

Video: Mayors and Local Leaders on Afterschool

A new video created by the National League of Cities’ Institute of Youth, Education and Families features nationwide mayors discussing the importance of afterschool. The interviews highlight why afterschool is a local priority and why afterschool should be a priority for all city leaders. This new resource is perfect for sharing with local elected officials to help them become more engaged in the issue of afterschool.

NYSAN is thrilled to have the opportunity to share parts of this video and engage mayors and local leaders from across the state in an event supported by the National League of Cities in May 2014. To get involved or for help with ideas on using this video and other resources to get your local elected officials engaged, contact NYSAN.

Learning in Afterschool & Summer Project Video

This new video, produced by the Learning in Afterschool & Summer (LIAS) Project, focuses on the learning principles that afterschool and summer programs should incorporate. The video features comments from California State Superintendent Tom Torlakson, California Researcher Deborah Lowe Vandell, NYU Educator Pedro Noguera, afterschool youth, and others.


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 Growth and Sustainability

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

Indicator 6

“Forges relationships with advocates for program quality and availability, such as community leaders, businesses, and elected officials."

Tip for Success

Funding for free and low-cost afterschool programs comes from many sources, some through foundations and individual giving, some from corporate giving, and some from public funding sources. It is important to engage your local community leaders, businesses, and elected officials around the importance of accessibility to high-quality afterschool experiences for youth in order to gain advocates for your program and the field and keep these funding sources alive. For tips on advocating to these individuals and to learn more about advocacy for afterschool, view NYSAN’s power point presentation.

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

NYSAN QSA Action Plan and Improvement Plan Tool

NYSAN’s Program Quality Self-Assessment (QSA) Tool is an excellent resource for program improvement, but it can sometimes be difficult to create lasting change. Use NYSAN’s Action Plan and Improvement Plan Tool to be sure that you end up with a comprehensive plan for improvement that your program can stick with. This recently updated tool includes instructions and sample improvement plans.


Financial Aid Toolkit

The Financial Aid Toolkit, launched by the U.S. Department of Education as part of its work to help students and families prepare for higher education, provides valuable information and tools that may be worth sharing with your program’s students and families. The toolkit contains federal student aid information and outreach tools for counselors, non-profit mentors, and others.

The Financial Aid Toolkit, located at, covers types of financial aid, student eligibility, the FAFSA, and loan repayment.  Some useful resources in the toolkit include tips on hosting outreach events, sample financial aid night power point presentations, and advertising templates.

Spotlight on Expanded Learning Opportunities in New York and Beyond


United Way of Greater Rochester Shows Impressive Afterschool Results

On December 18th, the United Way of Greater Rochester announced the results of the organization’s grantmaking, including some impressive results from the afterschool programs they support.

For the second year, United Way partnered with The Children’s Institute and the Rochester City School District to evaluate the effectiveness of the afterschool programs they fund. This year’s results show that children in United Way’s afterschool programs attend 6,100 more days of school than their peers and their GPAs were an average of .87 points higher than their classmates. Results from the first year evaluation had shown that students participating in afterschool had a GPA increase of .25 points, corroborating the national research showing increased impacts from attending afterschool consistently over several years.

In addition to supporting careful evaluations that provide meaningful data, the United Way has also been a crucial partner in the work of the Greater Rochester After School Alliance and each partner program to implement continuous program improvement activities based on standards established by the local afterschool community. This commitment to quality is clearly paying off for Rochester’s students.

For more information about United Way’s results, visit

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.

Beyond School: Earning Credit for Real-World Experiences

A collaborative project between the Providence Public School District in Rhode Island and the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) enables students to earn digital badges and course credit for real-world experiences. These learning opportunities include working on engineering projects, video editing, community service, and business start-ups. The project has expanded from serving 30 students in 2011 to an anticipated 200 by next year. View a recent webinar to learn more about this partnership. The webinar included representatives from both the school district and the nonprofit partner organization, who provided their insights about broadening community support for, and better serving students through, real-life experiences.

Rhode Island is one of many states experimenting with giving course credit for real-world experiences. Read more about similar work in Kentucky in the archived edition of the October NYSAN Digest.

Funding Opportunities and Competitions

EPA's Environmental Education Grants Program

The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Environmental Grants Program is currently accepting applications. Under this program EPA seeks grant proposals from eligible applicants to support environmental education projects that promote environmental stewardship and help develop knowledgeable and responsible students, teachers, and citizens. The program works to engage communities across the country through educational projects that have a lasting impact on local watersheds and air quality. Local Education Agencies and non-profit organizations are among those eligible to apply. Each award will be an estimated $75,000 - $200,000. The application deadline is February 4th, 2014. Learn more here.


Carol M. White Physical Education Program

The Carol M. White Physical Education Program provides grants to local education agencies and community-based organizations (CBOs) to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including afterschool programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting state standards. The average award amount will be $150,0000- $700,000. Applications are due by April 12th, 2014. Click here to learn more.

New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award

Applications for the New York Life Excellence in Summer Learning Award are being accepted through February 14th, 2014. The award recognizes outstanding summer programs that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people between kindergarten and twelfth grade. Up to three high-quality programs will win $10,000.   

Nominate the Most Influential Person in Afterschool

In an upcoming issue, AfterSchool Today, a quarterly publication by the National AfterSchool Association, will highlight the top influential people in afterschool.  Fill out this survey to nominate someone who makes a difference in your community, is an inspirational thought leader, or inspires you. Entries should include your nominees contact information and should detail why they are influential in afterschool.

Upcoming Events

Beyond School Hours XVII

The national Beyond School Hours XVII conference will be held February 12-14, 2014 in Atlanta, GA. View the schedule and register here.

National AfterSchool Convention

The National AfterSchool Association’s (NAA) 2014 National AfterSchool Convention will be taking place in New York City from February 27, 2014 to March 3, 2014. For more information and to register, visit


Summer Changes Everything

National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) is hosting the Summer Changes Everythingâ„¢  national conference on summer learning from November 17-19, 2014 in San Antonio, TX.


Afterschool Pathfinder

Looking for more events? Check out Afterschool Pathfinder for the most comprehensive listing of in-person trainings 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 © 2013 New York State Network for Youth Success, All rights reserved.
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