Sixteen afterschool leaders began participating in the White-Riley-Peterson (WRP) Policy Fellowship this fall. Funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the WRP Fellowship is a 10-month, national program designed to equip graduates with a real-world understanding of policymaking for afterschool and expanded learning. Over the course of a year, WRP Fellows study an intensive policy curriculum, learn from policy experts and benefit from national networking opportunities.

WRP Fellows who complete the program gain expertise that will help them advocate for policies that support afterschool and summer learning in their home states.
The 2019-2020 WRP Policy Fellows are:
  • Anna Almerico, Network Lead, Idaho Out-of-School Network (Boise, ID)
  • Benjamin Baird, Spokane County Program Quality Manager, School's Out Washington (Spokane, WA)
  • Brent Balog, Community Liaison & Outreach Coordinator, Clackamas Workforce Partnership (Portland, OR)
  • Charmaine Davis-Bey, 21st CCLC Education Program Specialist, Ohio Department of Education (Columbus, OH)
  • Robert Dorigo Jones, Policy and Outreach Associate, Michigan's Children (Lansing, MI)
  • Kate Foster, Program Coordinator, Wyoming Afterschool Alliance (Laramie, WY)
  • Tyneisha Gibbs, Director of Expanded Learning Opportunities, NJSACC (Westfield, NJ)
  • Tiyana Glenn, Charlotte NEXT Director, MeckEd (Charlotte, NC)
  • Brandon Hutton, Research Project Coordinator, Kansas Enrichment Network (Lawrence, KS)
  • Jeff McConaughy, Director of Policy and Communications, New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network (Albuquerque, NM)
  • Heather May, AmeriCorps VISTA, Maryland Out of School Time Network (Baltimore, MD)
  • Kate-Marie Roycroft, Director of Public Policy, The Alliance of Massachusetts YMCAs (Boston, MA)
  • Rev. John Unger II, West Virginia State Senator and President of GRaCE Company (Charleston, WV)
  • Zong Vang, Strategy Manager Policy and Network Evaluation, Ignite Afterschool with Sprockets (St. Paul, MN)
  • Shawna Viola, Research and Evaluation Specialist, Connecticut After School Network (Branford, CT)
  • Heather Williams, Program Director, Policy and Outreach, California AfterSchool Network (Sacramento, CA)
The number of Fellows nationwide has grown to 122 in 49 states since the initiative launched in 2012. Projects completed by WRP Fellows have improved afterschool quality standards, led to new legislation in support of afterschool, and supported increased capacity of programs in their home states.

The WRP Policy Fellowship is named for the late William S. White, former chairman of the board of trustees of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; former U.S Secretary of Education, Richard Riley; and Terry Peterson, national board chair of the Afterschool Alliance and senior fellow at the Riley Institute and the College of Charleston

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The Synergy Conference 2020 will convene April 29 - May 1, 2020 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. This year's conference is themed:  FUTURE IN FOCUS.  The conference timeline can be viewed  here . Please note that the Wednesday portion of the conference will consist of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Statewide Meeting only. For those registered attendees that are not a part of a 21st CCLC program, check-in for the Synergy Conference will begin at 8:30am on Thursday, April 30.

The Request for Proposals (RFPs) for workshop presenters and vendors are now open. Workshop strands include Arts & Literacy, Closing Gaps, College & Career Readiness, Mentoring, Organizational Capacity, Public/Private Partnerships, S.T.E.M., and Youth Development.

Descriptions for each workshop strand can be viewed on the workshop and vendor RFPs. Copies of each RFP, deadlines and additional details can be accessed by visiting the  Synergy Conference 2020 page. Proposal submissions are due January 11th.  Early registration for the conference will be open in January.  We hope to see you in Greensboro!

"In education, all should mean all and that in order to understand everyone's experience, you have to hear everyone's experience," "It's important for students with disabilities to have 21st century learner skills because they bring unique perspectives and accessibility is innovation," and "All of our kids can change our world for the better," are just a few of the messages that were shared in a briefing last month co-hosted by the  National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) and the  Alliance for Excellent Education (AEE). The briefing, "Why Now? Why Us? Inclusive 21st Century Learning," kick-started a campaign focused on the value and importance of including students with disabilities in the vision of 21st century learning and what can be done at a local, state, and federal level to support and grow inclusive learning environments.

The briefing is the start of the last phase of work that NCLD initiated in 2018 to better understand the ways in which 21st century learning skills and dispositions-such as critical thinking, problem solving, and communication and collaboration-were being developed in schools, in particular how schools were supporting students with disabilities. Out of this work, NCLD has created  a set of resources that offer guidance on educator practices and policies, as well as additional supports that can further the vision of inclusive 21st century learning.

Afterschool and summer learning programs are essential partners in the work to create an inclusive 21st century learning environment, which set of skills and competencies has  a substantial overlap with social and emotional learning. The  five key strategies NCLD developed to create engaging 21st century learning practices for students with learning disabilities aligns with the strengths of the afterschool field. For example, providing youth voice and choice, offering engaging learning opportunities, and using a holistic set of measurements to assess growth and improvement.

To learn more about NCLD's work on inclusive 21st century learning, visit their " Why Now? Why Us?" webpage, and to help promote the message of inclusion, join NCLD in using #WeWantIn on social media.

Why is it important for students with disabilities to be engaged in 21st Century Learning?
To read the full article, click here

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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.
A new report by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Wallace Foundation, takes a deep dive into the summer months, the opportunities they can provide for youth, and the best ways connect with those youth who have the greatest need for those opportunities. " Shaping Summertime Experiences: Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth" considers the impact of summertime experiences on the four domains of well-being for young people: academic learning; social and emotional development; physical and mental health; and safety. The report highlights the profound impact that the summer learning space can have for youth and offers key recommendations to promote increased access and quality.

Summer learning programs can help to close gaps in developmental and academic outcomesThe achievement gap between students from lower-income and higher-income families has grown by 40 percent in 30 years. By providing space for both structured and unstructured activities and enrichment, the report finds, summer learning programs are positioned to positively impact outcomes for youth, including supporting improved academic performance, promoting the development of social and emotional competencies, and reducing risky behaviors.

A lack of availability of summer experiences can further exacerbate existing inequities. Oftentimes, access to these experiences are dependent on families' financial status. Furthermore, the summer can create additional barriers for families who rely on the consistency of vital resources during the school year, such as healthy meals, health care, academic support, and supervision. The report therefore recommends a specific focus on reaching low-income and underserved communities.

Individual community needs must be on the forefront of planning and execution. By focusing on the importance of social contexts, which create both barriers and opportunities for communities, one can create programming that specifically utilizes the assets and addresses the priorities of the community in which one is working.

Collaboration is an essential aspect of effectively delivering programming. The report takes a systems approach to analyzing the effectiveness of summer learning programs and how to increase access to these programs. This approach emphasizes the connectedness of the different agents at play in children and families' lives and the ways in which partners can work together to contribute to the success of their communities. This means involving partners from both the private and public sectors and increasing investment at all level of government. The report specifically calls out governors and mayors; federal and state government agencies; the U.S. Department of Agriculture; federal, state, and city officials; nongovernmental organizations; and the business community, highlighting recommendations for the role that they can each play in improving availability, access, and equity in summer learning programs.

Data is key in making the case for and understanding how to best implement summer programming. The report also specifically underscores the importance of the collection and use of data, citing the lack of existing effective data systems. It recommends that local governments establish quality management systems (QMS) that can help systematically assess, develop, and improve summertime programming. The report also highlights the need to support the collection of data on children and youth's experiences during the summer months and to share this data across systems when possible.

To read the full article, click here

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Are you a program provider in North Carolina ?
Does your program serve youth before school afterschool , on weekends , during school breaks  or during the  summer
Does your program serve children in kindergarten through 12th grade ?
Register your program in our recently launched mapping database. 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 2019 version of the Power of Afterschool in North Carolina Report is available. The annual report was developed to spotlight data that illustrates the afterschool landscape, both statewide and nationally. Statewide data is reflective of programs registered within the NC CAP mapping database of out-of-school time programs. National data was provided by the National Afterschool Alliance. The report was made possible by the National Conference of State Legislatures and the MOTT Foundation.

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. 

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. 
The Home Depot Foundation offers grants, up to $5,000, to IRS-registered 501c designated organizations and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. The primary goal is to provide grants and volunteer opportunities to support the renovation, refurbishment, retrofitting, accessibility modification, and/or weatherization of existing homes, centers, schools and other similar facilities. 

The New York Life Foundation is seeking applicants for $1,350,000 in grants to middle school afterschool, summer, or expanded learning programs serving disadvantaged middle-school youth. This is the fourth year of the  Foundation's Aim High grant competition, bringing the total amount awarded over the life of the grant program to $4.8 million!   In 2020, 26 awardees will be selected nationally based on their ability to help youth transition successfully to ninth grade. Programs may apply to one of three grant categories.

The NSLA Summer Learning Awards recognize outstanding summer programs, models, digital applications, and systems that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people. The awards are given annually based on an application process that elicits information on a program's history, mission, goals, operations, management, staff development, partnerships, outcomes/results, and sustainability.

The Walmart Community Grant is for community development projects. Primary consideration for the grant program is to support local organizations with programs that align with Walmart and the Foundation's areas of giving which include (1) hunger relief and healthy eating, (2) health and human services, (3) quality of life, (4) education, (5) community and economic development, (6) diversity and inclusion, (7) public safety and (8) environmental sustainability. 

The Westinghouse Charitable Giving Program provides financial support  to communities in one or more strategic areas of giving including (1) Education with a focus on STEM, (2) Environment Sustainability, (3) Community Safety and Vitality.
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. 
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