September 2018
21st Century Community Learning Centers Application Technical Assistance
The Request for Applications (RFA) for FY19 21st Century Community Learning Centers funding will be released soon. If you are interested in applying, please consider attending a technical assistance workshop (listed below). Even if you are a past grantee, it is important to attend these sessions to learn of changes for the new year of funding. This year, the RFA has been updated to align with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and to include greater guidance regarding rural applicants to ensure equitable participation among all communities in Iowa. There is no need to register for these events.

West Des Moines: October 17, 2018; 10:00 am to Noon
5000 Westown Parkway, Room 308, West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

Atlantic: October 23, 2018; 10:00 am to Noon
Iowa Western Community College, 705 Walnut St, Atlantic, IA 50022

Online: November 9, 2018; 9:00 to 10:00 am

Be sure to check the Iowa Department of Education 21CCLC website regularly for FY19 RFA documents as they are released.
A BIG Win for Afterschool!
In recent voting on a spending bill, the U.S. House of Representatives raised funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers by $10 million! This means an additional 10,000 youth will be served. This is a HUGE victory for the program, which was zeroed-out in President Trump's budget recommendation. Previous to the House vote, the U.S. Senate voted to approve the same legislation, meaning the bill is expected to be signed by President Trump in the next few days.

The spending bill also increases several other funding streams important to afterschool, including Title I grants, Title IV Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), Career, Technical and Adult Education, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

For more on this historic victory, visit the Afterschool Alliance policy blog here.
RURAL Act Introduced in Congress
Iowa's own Congressman, Dave Loebsack, introduced the Restructuring Underutilized Resources for Advancing Learning (RURAL) Act in Congress on July 25, 2018. In addition to establishing an Office of Rural Education at the federal Department of Education and other functions, the legislation would "enhance afterschool programs in rural areas by helping communities establish afterschool programs and improve existing programs by overcoming barriers to service."

Among the findings cited as justification for the bill are the following:
  • Investing in afterschool programs helps children in rural communities break out of the cycle of poverty and creates opportunities for at-risk youth.
  • In areas in which resources are limited, afterschool programs are often the only source of supplemental enrichment in literacy, nutrition education, technology, and preparation for college and entrance exams.
  • Children attending rural schools have the lowest median per-student funding for afterschool programs under the 21st Century Community Learning Center Program (21st CCLC) under part B of Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as compared to children attending urban and suburban schools.
Currently, the bill has been referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Committee on Ways and Means. To track the status of this bill, please visit the Afterschool Alliance's federal legislation tracker here.
October 25 is Lights On Afterschool!
The biggest celebration of afterschool in the nation, Lights On Afterschool was launched in 2000 as the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and generates media coverage across the country each year.

The national Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things - such as science, community service, robotics, and poetry - and discover new skills. The events send a powerful message that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs nationally.

In Iowa, the importance of raising awareness of the need for afterschool and summer programming is critical given over 130,000 youth would attend a program in their community if one were available. In some of our communities, especially in rural Iowa, no afterschool or child care opportunities exist. We need to raise our voice for this important issue!

For more information on hosting your own event, please visit the Afterschool Alliance's Lights On! page here.

Call for 21CCLC Reviewers and Facilitators
The Iowa Department of Education uses a peer review process to score applications for 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants. This process is used to ensure quality proposals are selected for funding, and involves the work of reviewers and facilitators. Reviewers are required to score and comment on all scoring criteria for each assigned grant (usually around 4-5 grant proposals, limited to 21 pages each). Facilitators have unique responsibilities. While not required to complete individual reviews, scoring, and commenting for each assigned grant, facilitators are required to familiarize themselves with all individual reviews, compiling documentation, facilitating the consensus scoring process on the day of the Readers' Conference, and officially documenting all peer review team conversations. The facilitator serves as the primary point of contact for all teams.
 
Required Reviewer Competencies:
  • Experience writing or reviewing grants with multiple scoring criteria.
  • Experience in youth development, education, parent supports, and/or related field. Diverse expertise among reviewers is desired.
  • Knowledge of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program as described in the Request for Applications (RFA).
  • Awareness of personal conflicts of interest and reporting the same to Iowa Department of Education staff.
  • Ability to write constructive comments for each scoring criterion. Comments are required to justify all scores.
Required Facilitator Competencies:
  • Ability to facilitate discussions among adults to reach consensus.
  • Experience writing or reviewing grants with multiple scoring criteria.
  • Experience in youth development, education, parent supports, and/or related field. Diverse expertise among reviewers and facilitators is desired.
  • Knowledge of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program as described in the Request for Applications (RFA).
  • Awareness of personal conflicts of interest and reporting the same to Iowa Department of Education staff.
  • Ability to identify constructive comments for each scoring criterion. Comments are required to justify all scores.
The Iowa Department of Education provides stipends for participating in this review process. Reviewers receive $250, or $300 if you live 50 or more miles from Des Moines. Facilitators receive $300, or $350 if you live 50 or more miles from Des Moines.
 
Both reviewers and facilitators will be required to attend an online one-hour training on December 6, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. All reviewers and facilitators are also required to participate in an all-day (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), in-person peer review conference on January 25, 2019.


If you are interested in becoming a peer reviewer or facilitator, please email Britney Samuelson at bsamuelson@sppg.com with your application.
Save the Date! Afterschool Snack at the Capitol
Save the afternoon of Tuesday, February 12 for the Afterschool Snack at the Iowa State Capitol Building in Des Moines. Each year, the IAA hosts advocates and legislators for a "get-to-know-you" event spotlighting great afterschool programs across the state. Please join us and bring youth! IAA staff will be on hand to help you meet your legislator and tell them about all the good things you are doing back home!

When: Tuesday, February 12, 2019; 2-4 p.m.
Where: Iowa State Capitol, Des Moines
What to expect: Legislators are invited to attend and show up anytime between 2 and 4 p.m. in the legislative dining room. IAA staff are on hand to help you tell legislators about what you do to support youth every day back home.

For more information about this event, please contact Britney Samuelson at bsamuelson@sppg.com.
Candidates for Governor Respond to Questions on Afterschool
The Children's Policy Coalition asked gubernatorial candidates Fred Hubbell and Governor Kim Reynolds about out-of-school time programming, as well as other policy topics that relate to children and families. See their responses here.
Follow IAA on Facebook for Latest Updates
Facebook Follow the Iowa Afterschool Alliance on Facebook at www.facebook.com/iowaafterschoolalliance for the latest updates on the Every Student Succeeds Act (formerly No Child Left Behind), PD opportunities, IAA activities, and grant opportunities. Expect an update on an issue of interest every day! You can also follow us on Twitter by following @iowaafterschool.
Professional Development Opportunities
Apply Today for Free Professional Development
Apply to bring in the Iowa Afterschool Alliance to train your staff and/or partners on a number of topics ranging from STEM to sustainability planning. Pick from a  menu of topics for one training with options for online or in-person training.  Apply online by July 31, 2018.

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

NAA Talk Tuesday PD Resources
Talk Tuesday provides afterschool professionals with the resources to host relevant discussions among peers, colleagues, staff, or community leaders. If you are looking to connect with afterschool professionals in your area or engage your staff with relevant topics, Talk Tuesday will provide the materials for you.

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.   
 
Summer Changes Everything Conference
November 12-14, 2018; Kansas City, MO
Join nearly 1,000 out-of-school time leaders from across the nation at the National Summer Learning Association's (NSLA) conference on summer learning and afterschool. Every year, this three-day national convening brings together the nation's top thinkers to share and discuss the newest research, partnerships, policies, and programs that take place in the out-of-school time spectrum.
 
For more information, visit the conference website.   
 
Beyond School Hours Conference
February 20-23, 2019; Atlanta, GA
Beyond School Hours workshops draw upon the experience and expertise of session leaders from through out the United States. The strands cover the topics that range from Trauma Informed Practice and Grade Level Reading to STEM, Family Engagement and more.
 
For more information, visit the conference website
 
National AfterSchool Association Convention
March 15-18, 2019; New York, NY
Join the NAA and 2,000 members of the afterschool community for four days of networking, learning, and inspiration: special events, workshops, daily keynotes, and an interactive Learning Expo all designed to meet the needs of the developing professionals and emerging and current leaders of afterschool. Come to NAA convention and leave saying, "I've found my people!" 
 
Find out more on the convention website.   
 
2019 Impact After School Conference
Tentatively April 24-26, 2019; Des Moines, IA
The annual Impact After School Conference will be back for its seventh year in 2019. Join over 200 of your afterschool friends for this fun and engaging conference focused on high-quality enrichment programming. Stay tuned for details!