MAY 2018

The Synergy Conference 2018 in Greenville, NC was a huge success. This year's conference, "Building Tomorrow's Workforce Today Through Expanded Learning", featured workshops in Arts & Literacy, Closing Gaps, College & Career Readiness, Organizational Capacity, Public/Private Partnerships, S.T.E.M., and Youth Development. We hope that all of this year's attendees enjoyed the engaging keynote speakers, dynamic range of workshop topics and opportunities to network with other service providers from across the state. 

We would be remiss if we didn't take the time to acknowledge and thank everyone that made this year's conference a success.  Thank you to all of our sponsors for making the conference possible! We couldn't have done it without you. Thank you to our amazing keynote speakers who inspired us and challenged us to persevere in our efforts to build tomorrow's leaders. Thank you to the amazing vendors who shared invaluable resources with our conference attendees that can be utilized within programs statewide.Thank you to our workshop presenters who offered an extensive array of workshop sessions throughout the duration of the conference.  Your expertise and passion is unrivaled. Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all of our attendees who traveled from near and far to attend. Thank you for everything that you do through your programs to support, inspire and prepare our youth for their futures. 

The video of conference highlights can be found here. Workshop presentation materials can be found here

We can't wait until next year! Plans for Synergy 2019 are underway and details will be forthcoming... Hope to see you next year! 

The NC Center for Afterschool Programs [NC CAP] developed a statewide, searchable database for out-of-school time programs. Out-of-school time (OST) programs that serve K-12 youth before school, after school, summers, weekends and during school breaks. Programs can take place in schools, school-age child care centers, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, universities, libraries, museums, camps, and other locations can register their programs in the statewide mapping database. You can utilize this database to search for information on program locations, activities, number and grades of youth served.  This database helps families, schools, communities and elected officials locate programs for their youth.  It also aids in identifying community assets and gaps in out-of-school time programming.

Registering your program in the statewide database is easy and takes less than two minutes. Register your program today! 
The North Carolina Healthy Out-Of-School Time Recognition Program (NC HOST) offers a voluntary recognition for out-of-school time programs that provide foods, beverages and physical activities that promote lifelong health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Out-of-school time programs that meet a set of standards are eligible for NC HOST recognition. 

The NC HOST Standards are a subset of the National AfterSchool Association's Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards as outlined in the Healthy Out-of-School Time Framework. Standards used for NC HOST were chosen from the best available evidence of programs, policies, and practices shown to positively impact healthy eating and physical activity behaviors among youth.  The NC HOST Standards can be downloaded here

Steps to Apply: 
Step 1: Complete the NC Healthy Out-of-School Time Assessment
Step 2: Complete the NC Healthy Out-of-School Time Application
NC HOST recognition will be awarded at a Bronze, Silver or Gold Level. 
  • Bronze denotes programs that meet a minimum number of required standards. 
  • Silver denotes programs that meet all of the minimum standards and demonstrate progress in meeting additional standards. 
  • Gold denotes programs that consistently meet all standards. 
More details about the NC HOST Recognition process is available on the Eat Smart, Move More NC website.
As spring finally arrives in Washington, D.C., so does a suite of new resources highlighting key facts and stats on afterschool!  

The first resource is a new fact sheet on afterschool , which summarizes positive outcomes for students who participate in programs, as well as the supports programs provide to families. Research has shown that students who regularly participate in afterschool programs develop strong social skills, improve work habits and grades, and that their parents overwhelmingly agree that afterschool programs give them peace of mind and help them keep their jobs. Nevertheless, there remains close to 20 million students who are not in a program but would be if one were available. 

The second set of resources focuses on state-level information regarding afterschool. In these fact sheets, you will be able to find the number of children in each state who participate in an afterschool program, the number of children who would be enrolled in a program if one were available to them, state-specific evaluations on afterschool programs, what parents in the state say about afterschool, and more. To find the state fact sheet you are looking for, visit our " Afterschool in Your State" map, click on the state you are interested in, and click on the yellow "Learn more about afterschool in..." button.

These national and state fact sheets complement the set of fact sheets released earlier this year by the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) that outline the federal supports for afterschool and summer child care. The emphasis of these fact sheets is on the Child Care and Development Fund, including information on the number of school-age children served through subsidies and the state policies that support school-age child care access and quality. You can access these fact sheets through NCASE's  State School-Age Data Profiles Database.

Together, these different sets of resources help piece together a comprehensive picture of the afterschool landscape. Find out what afterschool looks like in your state today!
The 2018  Roadmap of Need was released at the Synergy Conference in April and is an annual in-depth needs assessment for youth across the state of North Carolina. 

First published by the Public School Forum of North Carolina and NC CAP in 2010, the Roadmap of Need uses data on health, youth behavior and safety, education, and economic development to take a whole child needs assessment of what young people living in each of North Carolina's 100 counties must have in order to thrive in school and in life.

According to the report, the five top counties where young people have the greatest likelihood for success are Orange, Union, Wake, Cabarrus and Dare. The bottom five counties where young people are most at risk are Anson, Warren, Halifax, Robeson, and Edgecombe.  The makeup of the top five has Dare County in place of Watauga County, while Northampton moved out of the bottom five this year.

"Looking at the data illustrated by our latest Roadmap of Need, we see a troubling trend continuing-the fact that our state is now divided into 'two North Carolinas,'" said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. "Our state continues to be one where opportunities for young people vary dramatically different depending on where they grow up, and too many of our children only have access to struggling and underfunded schools, few high-quality out-of-school programs and limited options for healthy activities."

At first glance, the Roadmap points to counties in eastern North Carolina as those most at risk. However, the nature of county-wide indicators often masks the variation occurring within counties, particularly our most populous urban counties where neighborhoods that alone would be viewed as thriving on the Roadmap indicators exist in close proximity to neighborhoods with many young people in need.

Over the past several years, the Roadmap has been a key resource for afterschool providers and other education organizations when communicating with policymakers, funders, and citizens about the importance of their services, and to target areas for increased investment. School administrators, central office staff, nonprofits, community leaders, and parent advocates also use the Roadmap to demonstrate to others the needs faced by their communities. Public education advocates have brought Roadmap data to the attention of school board members, county commissioners, and members of the General Assembly in order to inform their efforts to create state and local policies that address significant community needs.

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open, and this year we're changing up theme to reflect how youth see themselves and their futures because of their afterschool program! 

We're asking afterschool artists to consider what they are experiencing afterschool and how it might shape their future. Kids should think about the prompt,  "From Afterschool to...." and provide a drawing that shows their potential future self. For example, they might show themselves in a particular career, doing an activity they enjoy, or using a skill they've learned. Or, they might draw what they see themselves accomplishing using what they've learned, seen, or experienced in their program. This could be concrete, like making a building, or something more abstract, like achieving world peace. Students are also asked to complete the sentence "In afterschool, I am learning _________" on the back of their artwork.

As always, the winning artwork will be printed on more than 50,000 posters that will be displayed at more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events around the world.

Tips for a winning "From Afterschool to..." theme: (Be creative!)
Think about the new and exciting things youth are learning in afterschool every day. They've learned to build computers, code and design video games; think, "From Afterschool to Computer Scientist." Students have grown fruit and vegetables then make delicious and healthy meals for friends and families: "From Afterschool to Nutritionist." Youth in afterschool have learned complex dance routines and performed in front of large or small audiences: "From Afterschool to Professional Dancer."

These ideas can be portrayed in abstract or realistic renderings. Encourage students to use bright, bold markers or paint to bring life to their images and make it possible for us to scan the artwork into a digital file. Or feel free to get your burgeoning graphic designers involved by encouraging them to submit their artwork in the digital form to

For rules and guidelines, and to learn how to enter, visit here

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is a federally funded program which is administered and funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). The purpose of the program is to ensure that eligible children and adults who attend qualifying non-residential care facilities receive nutritious meals.

To accomplish this purpose, CACFP provides reimbursement to qualified caregivers for meals and supplements (snacks) served to participants. While the FNS develops the regulations and establishes the policies needed to conduct the program, state agencies are responsible for administering the program on the State level and for assisting sponsors on the local level.

In North Carolina, the CACFP is administered by the Special Nutrition Programs Unit in the Division of Public Health, Department of Health and Human Services.

The types of facilities that are eligible for CACFP reimbursement are:
  • Child Care Centers: Public or private nonprofit child care centers, Head Start programs, and some for-profit* centers which are licensed or approved to provide day care may serve meals and snacks to infants and children through CACFP.
  • Family Day Care Homes: CACFP provides reimbursement for meals and snacks served to small groups of children receiving nonresidential day care in licensed or approved private homes. A family or group day care home must sign an agreement with a sponsoring organization to participate in CACFP. The sponsoring organization organizes training, conducts monitoring, and helps with planning menus and filling out reimbursement forms.
  • At-Risk Afterschool Programs: Afterschool care programs in low-income areas can participate in CACFP by providing free snacks to school-aged children and youths.
  • Homeless Shelters: Emergency shelters which provide residential and food services to homeless families with children may participate in CACFP. Unlike most other CACFP facilities, a shelter does not have to be licensed to provide day care.
  • Adult Day Care Centers: Public, private nonprofit, and some for-profit* adult day care facilities which provide structured, comprehensive services to adults 60 years of age and over as well as functionally impaired, nonresident adults may participate in CACFP.
  • Outside-School-Hours Care Centers
For additional details, click here.   To determine your regional contact, click here

According to the  Nation's Report Card, released April 10, math and reading scores of students across the United States have remained statistically flat since 2015. Looking deeper, the flat line represents a more important story - it's an average of  two very divergent paths. Since the last results in 2015, students at the top of the academic ladder have been performing better than in the past, while those at the lower rungs are performing worse.

The Nation's Report Card (also known as the National Assessment of Educational Progress or NAEP) began as a nationally representative sample of student performance in 1964. It serves to determine student progress over time by a set of standards of proficiency in academic areas determined by a National Assessment Governing Board rather than individual states which set their own standards and tests and can be hard to compare nationwide.

The exam has since been extended to be able to identify trends in student progress within all 50 states and with a selection of urban districts as well. This year marks the first using entirely digital assessments on tablets rather than paper and pencil. Careful statistical modeling ensured that the new testing style did not affect student performance such that result can continue to be compared over time with confidence.

The growing gap between high and low performers is disconcerting. Educational opportunities are becoming more divided - schools are more  segregated by income and there are  growing opportunity gaps including among students' participation in enrichments in out of school time. During the NAEP scores release event, a panel of state level education leaders was asked how out of school time opportunities like afterschool might support more progress among lower achieving students. You can follow the exchange  here at about 1:11. Glen Price, California Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, pointed to the  work his state is doing with afterschool programs through state and federal funding to help ensure that gaps don't continue to grow in the 80 percent of time students spend outside the traditional school day. But, he cautioned even more school day and afterschool alignment is needed.

NAEP trends across the nation, in  each state, and in some urban districts are accessible  here.  

To read the full article, click here

Excerpt from:

Community and service are integrated into everything our company does. Through the Duke Energy Foundation, we provide philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where our customers live and work. The Foundation annually provides more than $30 million in charitable grants, with a focus on three areas: K to career, the environment and community impact.

The TD Charitable Foundation funds only charitable, non-profit organizations, public schools and other qualified local government entities  that serve residents of communities with TD Bank's geographical footprint.  In regards to education, TD Charitable Foundation focuses on reading, writing, math and financial literacy for all ages, pre- and afterschool programs that reinforce basic learning skills, English as a second language, tutoring and mentorship, and education-focused youth development programs and initiatives. 

Wells Fargo makes contributions in areas that we believe are important to the future of our nation's vitality and success. Their first priority is to support programs and organizations whose chief purpose is to benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and families. They look for projects that keep our communities strong, diverse, and vibrant.   They support organizations that promote academic achievement for low- and moderate-income students by:
  • Eliminating the pre-K - 12th grade achievement gap in public education through curriculum-based or school-sponsored programs
  • Facilitating merit-based access to higher education for underrepresented groups
  • Advancing teaching through recruitment, professional development, support, and retention of teachers
NC CAP wants to highlight your program!

The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs would like to highlight program successes statewide. Tell us about your program and you might be our Program Spotlight in the next edition of the Afterschool Observer or on Social Media. Click the Program Spotlight below to be redirected to the updated survey link to tell us about your program. 
To influence policy and serve as a catalyst, convener, and clearinghouse for afterschool programs through advocacy, professional development, and quality improvement. 

High quality afterschool programs accessible to all North Carolina children and youth helping them to succeed in and out of school. 
NC CAP | 919.781.6833 | Email | Website