December 2021
Upcoming Event
STEM Learning Community Discussion with The Science Center of Iowa

Join us for our next virtual quarterly STEM Learning Community Discussion on Thursday, January 13, 2022 from 1-2 p.m. Renee Harmon and Patrick Rice with The Science Center of Iowa will be presenting how their approach to build strong equitable programming resulted not only in great programming for girls but an embedded approach to staff training, exhibits and activities at SCI. We will also have time to network with others on the call about all the great things you are doing at your sites with STEM. This is a great way to share successes and work through obstacles as well as accessing resources.
Iowa Afterschool Alliance News
AmeriCorps Members Will Support Iowa Afterschool Programs Again in Summer 2022 Through Summer Ladders

It's hard to believe we already need to look ahead to summer as we approach winter break, but with it comes an exciting opportunity to receive additional staff support with Summer Ladders! Through AmeriCorps Iowa's Summer Ladders program, you can add a new leader to your summer afterschool program team focused on capacity building for your organization. This member will assist you and your summer site by developing lesson plans and implementing activities with youth.

From the end of May through to August, AmeriCorps members will each receive a stipend of $4,086, the equivalent of $13.62 per hour to cover living expenses. That’s a $1,086 living allowance increase from the last year, thanks to the additional support we have secured through combined federal COVID relief and Volunteer Iowa grants and funding. The cost-share to host a member (the amount you will be responsible for as a host site) is $2,183 for the entire summer (300 hours of service) – much less than most other forms of new-hire or temporary employees.

Afterschool programs will be able to officially submit their interest in the New Year! More information will come through email, the newsletter and social media. With any questions in the meantime, contact Emmanuela Noi at
Inclusion Spotlight
Disability Inclusion Activity Guide created for Inclusive Schools Week

For Inclusive Schools Week, held December 8-12, Kids Included Together (KIT) elevated disability inclusion with the creation of an activity guide. Educators and program leaders are able to use these activities to invite youth with and without disabilities to participate together for a new, shared experience. KIT is a national nonprofit providing support to all marginalized students. Focused this year on “rebuilding,” they seek to provide a blueprint and tools to create a solid foundation and construct a new environment in uncertainty. Access additional resources on KIT’s website.
Careers Pathways Corner
Host a Community Math Night with Toolkit

How do community members use math every day at home, at work, anywhere and everywhere? The Appalachia Regional Education Laboratory (REL) developed the Community Math Night toolkit to help K–5 elementary school educators and leaders engage families in interactive math activities, build positive math attitudes, and create a community of educators, students, families, and other caring adults to support math learning. The toolkit includes planning and organizational resources, relevant research, and step-by-step instructions and printable materials for the interactive activities.
Grant Opportunities
New Grant Program for 4-6th Graders Provided By Hillshire Farms
To help ignite and bring kids’ awesome ideas to life, Hillshire Farm SNACKED! brand is introducing the Allowance Grants. Nominate a kid and work with them to fill out an application for an Allowance Grant. Thirty-eight (38) $500 grants and three (3) $2,000 grants will be awarded to 4th-6th graders across the United States with the best ideas to create the change they want to see. In addition, parents and caregivers of the selected grant recipients will receive Hillshire Farm SNACKED! products for a year (estimated value $156) to share with their family and friends to help fuel their journeys. The final application deadline is January 2, 2022.

Learn more and apply at With questions, contact Katie Reusch at
STEM Best HD Grant from the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council
The STEM BEST® HD (High Demand) Program is designed to prepare students for the workforce by providing awards of up to $40,000 to schools to develop curriculum in job sectors of computer science/information technology, health professions, and advanced manufacturing. Funds can be used for facility upgrades, purchasing industry-grade equipment, acquiring additional space, time for program planning with partners, travel needs, and integrating curriculum into existing courses. Applications are open now and close on January 3, 2022.

Learn more and apply at With questions, contact Tanya Hunt at
Student-Led STEM Opportunites
Lunabotics Junior Student Contest
NASA and Future Engineers are challenging young innovators to help design a new robot concept for an excavation mission on the Moon. The Lunabotics Junior Contest is open to K-12 students in U.S. public and private schools, as well as homeschoolers. Entry deadline is January 25, 2022. Learn more about the contest here!
NASA and LEGO Education Build to Launch
NASA and the Artemis I team are collaborating with LEGO® Education to bring students and teachers an out-of-this-world STEAM learning series. Build to Launch is an exploration of the technology, STEAM concepts and careers behind the Artemis I mission to the Moon. You can engage by watching the first Mission Briefing here
Professional Development Opportunities
2022 Beyond School Hours Conference
Foundations, Inc. is hosting its annual Beyond School Hours conference this upcoming February in Orlando, Florida.

Foundations, Inc.’s mission is to improve the quality of education for our nation’s children by strengthening the skills of educators. We know the Beyond School Hours conference is a great way for all professionals, no matter the role or workload, to come and invest in their professional learning through hands-on, engaging workshops, networking events, and strategies that will benefit and develop their skill sets! Did we mention free swag, cocktail hours, and special Disney discounts?

Check out and attend this February 23-26, 2022! For additional information, please contact
2022 BOOST Conference
BOOST Collaborative will host their annual BOOST Conference on April 26-29, 2022, in Palm Springs, CA.
Join the largest, most recognized, and comprehensive global convening for after school, expanded learning, and in and out-of-school time professionals. Set in a retreat-like atmosphere, this annual, extraordinary event will rejuvenate your passion, boost your direction for quality programming, and provide tools and resources that will inspire you to create change.
To learn more, visit and register your team today! Registration questions? Reach out to
Out of School Time Professional Development Center
The Out of School Time Professional Development Center provides Out of School Time training to OST professionals. The classes provide in-depth curriculum and certificates. If you or your staff are interested in signing up for courses visit the Out-of-School Time website. Check out the entire course catalog here
Great Content on Y4Y!
You 4 Youth is a free online professional development site that is designed to support 21CCLC program staff but is a valuable tool for any afterschool professional looking to build their skills! Recently, Y4Y has rolled out a whole module on literacy. Click here to register.
Afterschool Alliance Webinars
The Afterschool Alliance offers webinars on a wide range of topics, from policy and the new Every Student Succeeds Act, to STEM and Social-Emotional Learning. Find out more on their webinars website
Iowa Child Care Training Registry
Find professional development for school-age programming on the State of Iowa Child Care Training Registry on topics ranging from health and safety to developmentally appropriate programming. Find out more online.
National AfterSchool Association PD Resources
NAA provides afterschool professionals with resources to stay up-to-date on the latest topics in afterschool and summer learning. Find out more on their website here
Resources for STEM Programming
The Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) provides background information that is useful for the development of STEM programming. Find out more on their website.
The Afterschool Tech Toolkit aims to empower afterschool professionals and educators with strategies and training so they can provide students with access to technology outside of classroom hours. It includes training modules on getting started, training staff, accessing technology, and devices, and more. Take a look at the toolkit here.