March 2021
Virtual Arts Program
Blooming This Spring
The After School Arts Program (ASAP) offers fun and engaging multi-session arts classes for students in grades K–8 at partner 21st Century Community Learning Centers. ASAP's virtual programs include individual supply kits and safe links to instructional videos for all enrolled participants. Videos are 10–15 minutes in length with enough activity to fill a full hour; they can be projected for a group to follow, or can be used on individual devices. Students reported feeling "creative," "happy," and "proud of my work" after completing ASAP virtual classes.

There is still plenty of time this spring to take advantage of ASAP's virtual arts programs. For more information or to book programs, contact

ASAP is a winner of the Governor's Arts Award for Impact and Accessibility in the Arts presented by the Iowa Arts Council, and the Spotlight Award presented by Bravo Greater Des Moines. ASAP's mission is to affirm young people as persons of value, nurture their skill and talent in the arts, help them realize their artistic gifts, and broaden their awareness of the varieties of artistic expression. You can view the ASAP website here.
Sylvan Supports for Students
Sylvan Learning of Iowa shares your concern about the well-being of students and their academic growth. They can help design programs that decrease potential academic losses incurred from the disruption in school and help students get back on track for the coming year.

Let Sylvan Learning help support your students. Sylvan’s reading, writing and math programs have proven to fill the gaps in learning skills, and Sylvan’s STEM camps encourage problem-solving, reinforce mathematics, promote critical thinking, and encourage life-long learners.

Sylvan Learning is ready to support your students by offering:

  • On-site support for student academic progress and opportunities for social, emotional and interpersonal connections.
  • Specialized and proven curriculum in math, reading and writing at affordable prices.
  • STEM classes and camps.

To learn more about the services offered by Sylvan, please contact Karen Baldon at
Virtual Art Gallery for Iowa Youth
COVID Recovery Iowa has put together a virtual art gallery for Iowa's youth to share their artwork and poetry with each other!

This virtual experience on Padlet allows youth to showcase their work while collaborating and talking with other artists of their age.

To join the gallery, scan the QR code in the circle of the image to the left.

If you would like to learn more about COVID Recovery Iowa and view their available resources, click here!
Health and Safety Resources
Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools (REMS) from the U.S. Department of Education has compiled resources for facilities that serve youth to ensure health and safety standards are upheld. This resource list contains information on:

  • Poison consumption and posion control
  • Monitoring and decreasing levels of lead
  • Monitoring and decreasing levels of mercury
  • Emergency planning and management

To access this list of resources, please click here.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
Youth Celebrate Diversity is an organization that helps students and their peers to explore diversity in their communities. This three-part program teaches youth how to organize by creating a new diversity club or group, teach their peers and communities through youth-led and youth-focused education and take action on issues facing their communities by designing their own projects. This programming is targeted at middle and high school youth (age 11 years and up).

With many areas of focus, youth will learn about diversity and inequity faced by many groups and communities, including:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Disability Justice
  • Economic Justice
  • Gender Justice
  • Immigrant and Refugee Youth 
  • Inclusivity in Sports
  • Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation
  • LGBTQ+ Youth
  • Mental Wellness and Healthy Relationships
  • Racial Justice
  • Student Activism
  • Teaching for Equity and Social Justice

To learn more and download the Youth Celebrate Diversity start-up kit, click here
Professional Development Opportunities
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.  
BOOST Conference & Online Professional Development
April 27 - April 30, 2021; Virtual
Join the largest, most recognized and comprehensive global convening for after school, expanded learning, 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.

Registration is now open!. For more information, visit the conference's website.

BOOST also provides free online professional development. Click here to check it out.