Early Registration is now open for the annual SYNERGY CONFERENCE! We hope you will join us on April 25-27, 2018 at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, NC.  You can register here before February 14th for the discounted rate of $200.  Regular registration will begin on February 15th at the regular rate of $225.

The SYNERGY CONFERENCE is the premiere afterschool and expanded learning conference in North Carolina.  This year's conference is themed:

We will continue the SYNERGY CONFERENCE  trend of engaging keynotes, a plethora of workshop opportunities, and networking with providers across the state. This year's workshop strands include the following:

The SYNERGY CONFERENCE has a hotel block at the Hilton Greenville at the discounted rate of $139/night, which includes breakfast. You can make hotel reservations here.  
Hotel reservations must be made by March 26th to get the discounted rate. Please make your hotel reservations as soon as possible as space is limited.  

In addition, there is still time to submit proposals to be a workshop presenter or a vendor for the conference. The deadline has been extended and RFP submissions are now due January 18th. The workshop and vendor Request For Proposals can be found here.

Check out the SYNERGY CONFERENCE page on the new NC CAP website periodically for additional details. 

We hope to see you in Greenville!
At the beginning of each year, most of us set personal goals that we would like to accomplish. Although the list of New Year's resolutions vary from person to person, eating better and exercising more are two of the most popular resolutions we make. As we start the year, let's not only resolve to make healthier choices for ourselves but to also commit to creating heathier learning environments for our children. 

Since out-of-school-time programs provide a host of supports for students, finding an effective, easy-to-implement health eating and physical activity strategy can be somewhat challenging. To that end, here are a few tips to help you improve the health and wellness of students in your programs.

Set clear, individualized, and achievable goals
Start with the end in mind by identifying clear, achievable goals that are specific to your program. When developing goals, keep in mind that they should be measurable, budget-aware, and suited to your staff capacity. A good resource to establish appropriate physical activity and nutrition program goals are the  National AfterSchool Association's Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards and the NC Healthy Out-of-School Time (NC HOST) Standards. Remember, you don't have to achieve every standard at once or in one year. Take your time and go at a pace that makes sense for your program.

Make a plan
Once you have identified goals, develop a plan of action. Action plans help you to stay on target as well as give all program staff a clear blueprint to success. The  Alliance for Healthier Generation's OST Framework is a self-guided online system that assesses your current health and wellness programming, creates an action plan, and identifies resources to meet your program needs.

Integrate physical activity and nutrition into program activities and approaches
In order to maximize your time and enhance you programming, connect physical activity and nutrition education into other programming, such as tutoring, homework, STEM, creative arts, and other enrichment activities. Review this  STEM and Wellness Issue Brief to give you some ideas on how to blend these two important components.

To read the full article, click  here .


Following each school day, more than 10 million students take part in afterschool programs in this country, taking advantage of a system that provides additional educational opportunities, social engagement, exposure to new skills. For parents, those programs provide comfort, knowing their child is safe and in a structured environment.

The Afterschool Alliance says data demonstrates significant value for students that take part in these opportunities, but acknowledge that the quality and accessibility of afterschool programs varies across the country. They estimate that more than 11 million other children take care of themselves each day after school.

In this episode of "Our American States",  Jodi Grant, executive director of the Afterschool Alliance, and Texas State Representative, Trent Ashby, provide perspective on how these afterschool programs work on the state level.

To listen to the podcast, click  here.


The Bridge Downeast has been in operation since 2011. They started out as a place for teens to come on Friday and Saturday nights and have expanded to a 21st Century Learning Center afterschool program and summer camp. They provide a safe place for kids to come after school.  They recognize that in order to support the youth of their community, they need to support the family.  Consequently, they have been adding programs for parents and seniors in the area. Their motto is "A rising tide lifts all boats!" As a non-profit organization in the Down East area of Carteret County, they recognize that the future of our community lies in today's youth.  They strive to enhance and support their development throughout childhood and adolescence in order to provide the best chance for a successful transition into responsible adulthood.

Earlier this fall, President Donald Trump called on the U.S. Department of Education to direct at least  $200 million in competitive grant funding toward expanding science, technology, engineering, math, and computer science education. Though the administration hasn't detailed exactly how they would implement the funds, the announcement builds on a growing nationwide commitment to STEM education.

The president's directive also parallels similar moves by dozens of states to prioritize STEM education despite flat or declining state education budgets. High-quality STEM education not only has the potential to foster curiosity and creativity in students, it is critical for U.S. economic growth. But both words and plans are insufficient without follow-through. To best promote student success in STEM, we need both adequate funding and implementation of smart and equitable policies by all states and the District of Columbia.

And states (and their educators) still have a lot of work to do. Take training, for example: U.S. employers report having difficulty finding qualified STEM workers. According to the STEM literacy nonprofit Change the Equation, job postings in STEM occupations outnumber unemployed workers by nearly two to one. We need to do better in creating a pipeline or retraining the unemployed.

Additionally, access to STEM education is deeply inequitable-and that is reflected in schools and in the workforce. Change the Equation reports that low-poverty high schools are four times more likely to offer Advanced Placement computer science classes than high-poverty high schools.

It is also well documented that  people of color and women are significantly underrepresented in science and engineering occupations. This lack of diversity and a stark gender divide cannot continue, especially when the opportunities are there if we guide students toward the right pathways to reach them. It starts by giving all young people exposure to enriching STEM experiences to develop their interests.

To read the full article, click here

Excerpt from: 
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs has a new website. 
Visit our new website at for updates and resources. 

The National AfterSchool Association is the voice of the afterschool profession; the national membership organization for you, people who work with and on behalf of children and youth during out of school time. NAA, like NC CAP, is on a mission to promote development, provide education, and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school-time community to further the afterschool profession.
Together we are building the capacity of the field and the knowledge and competency of the afterschool community - be it children and youth who attend the programs, entry and developing staff who work directly with children and youth, leaders at all levels who play a variety of key roles, and mastery level professionals who provide research and thought leadership.
Would you like to be engaged with a national community comprised of afterschool and youth development professionals from across the nation?
If so, there are currently two membership levels for individuals:
  • Executive Level -  Your $99 annual contribution (that amounts to $8.25 per month) provides benefits designed specifically to meet the needs of current and emerging afterschool leaders AND supports the overall development of the afterschool profession.
  • Ambassador Level - A free starter membership provides benefits designed for entry and developing afterschool professionals.


Mangum Elementary After School Care is a program for K-5th graders. They started a cooking class that they do twice a week. All children are involved in the program, where they cook, prepare, and are taught about new foods that they have never had before. The children also prepare all the food when we have a celebration in the class room. This teaches the children how to safely prepare and measure food. They are able to take their recipes home and prepare food for their family. They love to prepare new things and are so excited to be a part of the cooking team. They have chef hats and aprons for the children and this really makes them feel appreciated as a chef. The after school class also has a volunteer that comes in every week to introduce new vegetables and fruits that some children have never tasted. It is a great experience for them to taste and realize that they like something that they have never tasted before. The cooking teams are also learning to clean up their space when they are finished with their projects to have a nice, clean, sanitized kitchen. So many things can be taught through cooking and Mangum after school is learning it all.
A new report from the  American Institutes for Research (AIR) and  The Wallace Foundation, " Review of Evidence: Arts Integration Research Through the Lens of the Every Student Succeeds Act," explores the evidence base for arts integration and the ways in which funding from the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) can be used to integrate arts into other academic subjects. While the report mainly explores how ESSA funding can be used to support arts integration during the school day, afterschool programs are included as a promising opportunity for ESSA-funded arts integration.

Linking the arts to other subjects, and using art as a means to teach math, history, language arts, or other traditional subjects, has been associated with positive youth outcomes - especially for students from low-income communities. This report, however, is the first comprehensive look at the evidence base associated with arts integration written with the intent to help stakeholders make the case for funding to support arts integration in and out of school.

This report is especially timely given that many ESSA funding streams require or favor programs that can show evidence-based success. Within ESSA, different funding streams require varying levels of evidence rigor - evaluated by  a four-tier system that classifies evidence as "strong," "moderate," "promising," and "under evaluation."


The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened it's application for the 2018 Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant awards.  SSEP supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on STEM activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in BWF's home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. The application deadline is  April 18, 2018 .

The  Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is offering funding of up to $500 to design and implement a creative program for your school or library! Public schools, public libraries, and public preschool programs are encouraged to apply.   Previous successful projects have included a public story walk, a multicultural portrait project, a school garden, a bookmaking workshop, and an intergenerational storytelling day.

The Triangle Community Foundation believes that all children can benefit from a camp experience; especially those who may otherwise be unable to attend due to financial constraints or family situations. The Foundation is now accepting applications from organizations with summer camp programs to provide camper scholarships. 

The American Honda Foundation engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. They support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment. Funding priority is youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy. 

This coming May, the New York Life Foundation will make 26 awards to out-of-school time programs serving disadvantaged youth through their Aim High grant program. The Aim High program is part of the New York Life Foundation's ongoing investment in middle school OST programs to help economically disadvantaged eighth-graders reach ninth grade on time. The grant program will fund a total of 26 afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs nationwide, based on a competitive application process. This year, the Aim High grant program will provide $1,350,000 to support 26 awards nationwide.

All out-of-school time (including summer) programs in the United States are eligible to apply for the Marathon Kids Grant.   School-based OST programs are welcome to apply, but OST programs not directly operated by a school or district will be given priority.

Launched in 2015 through a partnership between PHIT America, KIDS in the GAME, and the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, GO! Grants are available for all schools, grades K-12, who wish to add a more robust physical activity component to their programming. These grants offer equipment and registration or activation of a physical activity program for your school. 

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