September 2021
Iowa 21st Century Community Learning Centers RFA - Now Open!
The Iowa Department of Education has released the FY22 21st Century Community Learning Centers Request For Applications (RFA). New this year, the application will be submitted through an online platform. Click the button below to see the full application.

The Iowa Department of Education and the Iowa Afterschool Alliance will be offering virtual technical assistance sessions this fall to help with application writing on the following dates:

  • October 13, 2021, 10AM - 12PM
  • November 4, 2021, 10AM - 12PM
All Technical Assistance meetings will use the following Zoom meeting URL:
Meeting ID: 577.413.5846  
Password: iowa
For phone: 60277

Recommendations for 21CCLC funding are made to the Iowa Department of Education through a peer review process. The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is seeking peer reviewers from across the state to help determine which applications are funded. Peer reviewers are provided a stipend and compensated for travel to the Des Moines area. If you are interested in being a peer reviewer, please contact Crystal Hall at
Lights On Afterschool - October 28th
Celebrate the 22nd annual Lights On Afterschool October 28, 2021! Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is 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 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, Tae Kwon Do and poetry—and discover new skills. The events send a powerful message that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs.

The Afterschool Alliance has created dozens of resources for Lights On Afterschool to help programs plan their celebrations. Click the button below to get ideas and to register your Lights On event.
Impact Afterschool Conference Award Winners
The Impact Afterschool Conference was held last week and was a success! Thank you to the 100+ people who either attended, presented or exhibited. A special thank you to our awardees for all they do for afterschool in Iowa:

  • Advocate of the Year: James Nash, Boys & Girls Clubs of the Corridor
  • Afterschool Innovator: Kelsey Yansky, Iowa City Community School District
  • Collaboration Award: John Spinks, Oakridge Neighborhood Services
  • Principal of the Year: Ken Turnis, Iowa City Community School District
  • Friend of Afterschool: Councilman Dale Todd, City of Cedar Rapids
  • 21CCLC Literacy Improvement: Central Decatur Community Schools
  • 21CCLC Math Improvement: Bettendorf Community Schools
  • 21CCLC STEM Achievement: Council Bluffs Community Schools
  • 21CCLC Attendance Award: Maquoketa Community Schools
  • 21CCLC All-Around: Allamakee Community Schools
  • 21CCLC Family Engagement: Oelwein Community Schools
  • 21CCLC Community Partnerships: Oakridge Neighborhood Services, Council Bluffs Community Schools, and St. Mark Youth Enrichment
Afterschool Staffing Shortages
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is planning a statewide conversation about the staffing shortages that programs are facing. This meeting will feature best practices and innovative solutions for staffing that help address these issues. If your program is implementing a unique model to hire and retain staff, please reach out to the IAA at, so that we can learn more. Stay tuned for more details on this statewide conversation.

In the meantime, if you are struggling with hiring staff, take a look at this new Afterschool Staff Recruitment Toolkit that the Afterschool Alliance has created. The toolkit features tips, sample language, graphics, and more that programs can use.
OST Career Pathways Corner: Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is expanding its focus on college & career readiness in out-of-school time programs to ensure that afterschool is doing its part to prepare youth for their futures. The OST Career Pathways Corner acts as a way to share resources with the field specific to this topic area.

The Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning is a statewide initiative that brings students, educators, and professionals together to foster work-based learning experiences that will jumpstart the next generation of the workforce by exposing them to different kinds of careers. The virtual Clearinghouse is available to all Iowa schools, K-12 classrooms, and businesses for project involvement through a system where both classes and businesses can enter themselves as an interested party and browse for a good match for a project. Students work on the projects primarily in the classroom, making this distinctly different from work-study or internship formats. If your afterschool program is affiliated with a school district, you have access to this Clearinghouse as well. Click the button below to learn more about the Clearinghouse.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Have you ever examined how you might be unintentionally contributing to issues of inequity? ACT for Youth has dozens of resources on assessing unconscious bias among youth work professionals and addressing how supervisors and directors can build cultural competence among program staff. Check out their resources here.
Professional Development Opportunities
2022 Foundations Beyond School Hours Conference
Beyond School Hours will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year! The 2022 conference will run from February 23-26 in Orlando, Florida. Participants can expect:

  • Hands-on workshops and pre-conferences led by national experts
  • Motivating keynote presentations and interactive discussions
  • Powerful networking opportunities and celebrations
  • Fascinating educational excursions
  • Premium exhibits unveiling the latest products and solutions

Registration is now open, and you can register here.
2021 National Family Engagement Summit
The 2021 National Family Engagement Summit will occur October 13-15 in Norfolk and will be hosted by Successful Innovations, Inc. in partnership with the National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement. There are options to attend in-personal or virtually. You can read more about this summit and register to attend here.
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.