Youth who regularly participate in high-quality programs develop strong social skills, are excited about learning, improve work habits and grades, improve school day attendance, have higher graduation rates, explore career paths and gain workforce skills. However, the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs recognizes that many factors have the potential to serve as barriers or challenges for programs serving youth, especially those in rural communities. The purpose of the POWER UP Program and mini-grants is to provide programs in pre-determined rural counties with resources and on-going technical support over the course of two years to build program capacity.    

Programs serving youth afterschool, before school and during the summer months that apply and are accepted into NC CAP's POWER UP Program will engage in monthly in-person or virtual sessions focused on a range of topics and program focus areas.  Examples of session topics include asset mapping; grant writing; science, technology, engineering and mathematics (S.T.E.M.); social and emotional learning; literacy; parent and family engagement; staff and volunteer recruitment and retention; program finance; private and public partnerships; and K-12 and higher education engagement.  Additionally, participating programs will be provided two waived registrations for the Synergy Conference over the course of the POWER UP Program. 

At the end of year one, all participating programs will be asked to submit a proposal for
mini-grant funding through the NC Center for Afterschool Programs. All programs who have attended at least 80% of the monthly in-person and virtual sessions will receive $1,000 for their programs. Up to 5 exemplary proposals will receive $5,000 for their programs. The purpose of proposal funding is to support programs in their endeavors to combat a challenge they experience serving youth in a rural county. 

Interested programs must currently serve youth afterschool, before school or during the summer months in one of the following counties: 
Anson, Beaufort, Bertie, Bladen, Caswell, Columbus, Duplin, Edgecombe, Halifax, Hertford, Lenoir, McDowell, Martin,  Nash, Northampton, Person, Richmond, Robeson, Rockingham, Scotland, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington or Wilson.

Applications for NC CAP's POWER UP Program can be submitted hereApplications are due by December 30th. Accepted programs will be notified in January. 
The NC Center for Afterschool Programs is seeking a full-time  Program Coordinator  to support the programmatic and policy efforts of the organization, pertaining to S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). The Program Coordinator will work with the NC CAP Director and key partners to develop, lead, coordinate and drive the NC Network's initiatives. He or she will support the design and delivery of professional development opportunities, advocacy, and shaping of policy that advances out-of-school time learning and brings together state and national afterschool stakeholders.

Primary Job Responsibilities: 
  • Design and coordinate STEM-learning programs, initiatives and strategies for afterschool/out-of school time programs.
  • Support coordination of NC CAP programs and events, including the annual Synergy Conference, Policy and Practice Convenings and Advisory Board Meetings.
  • Contribute to NC CAP communications, including the Afterschool Observer E-Newsletter.
  • Support communication with the NC CAP Advisory Board.
  • Work with NC CAP Director on website and social media marketing and communication efforts.
  • Monitor, document, and provide analysis of state of afterschool in North Carolina.
  • Attend state and national convenings.
  • Increase NC CAP's visibility, and represent NC CAP as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned by the NC CAP Director.
To learn more about this position and for details on how to apply, please click here

DID YOU KNOW that  elected officials, program funders and educators search the statewide Mapping Database of Out-of-School Time Programs for programs in their service area? Is your program registered in the database? If not, you can register you program today.  Program registration in the database is quick and takes less than five minutes.

Lt.  Governor Dan Forest encourages all out-of-school time program providers to register their programs in the statewide Mapping Database so that elected officials, educators and parents can search for programs with ease. Check out his video  here
The Synergy Conference 2019 will convene April 24 - 25 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. This year's conference is themed:
 The conference timeline can be viewed   here . The Request for Proposals (RFPs) for workshop presenters and vendors are now open. We are excited to announce that Mentoring has been added as a new workshop strand. 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 2019 page. Proposal submissions are due January 11th.  Early registration for the conference will be open in January.  We hope to see you in Greensboro!

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.
The Power of Afterschool in North Carolina Report was released at Lights On Afterschool NC in October of 2018. 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.

As part of their commitment to high-quality programs, MeckEd offers professional development opportunities to their partners. Their 2018-2019 professional development offers opportunities for program assessment, feedback, and coaching.  The sessions will be held from 9:30 am - 11:30 am at Grier  Heights Community Center in Charlotte, NC on:

December 5, 2018
PLAYING WITH FIRE: Conflict, Communication, and Your True Colors of Leadership 

January 9, 2019
BEYOND ICEBREAKERS: Facilitating Group and Team Challenges that Work

February 6, 2019
BEYOND RACE: Teaching Social Justice in 2019

March 6, 2019
ROCKSTARS WANTED: Building & Engaging a Dynamic Volunteer Base 

April 3, 2019
PLAYING IN THE SANDBOX: Collaboration For Success

For additional details or to register to attend their professional development series, click here.
"I personally do not have a computer science background, so much of my experience has been learning alongside my students and talking with them about their interests and motivations." Last year's CS Education Week didn't prevent teachers and staff from trying their hand at computer coding with and hour of code their students, as shown by Ms. Victoria Rowe, a teacher at Harriet Tubman Elementary School in Washington DC.

This year's CS Education Week begins December 3rd, and afterschool programs have multiple opportunities to show how computer science education can take place outside of the school day. Join the Afterschool Alliance in celebrating this year's CS Education Week!

One way to celebrate is by participating in  Hour of Code! Hour of Code is an opportunity to engage students through a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify computer coding and show that anyone can learn the basics of code. To date, there are over 130,000 events registered worldwide!'s  how-to guide for afterschool programs provides ideas for activities to engage your students this year. New this year is the  Hour of Code: Dance Party activity, which allows students to use Scratch to code a dance party to tunes from Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande, and others! Some activities are even designed to be completed without the use of a computer, so don't let a lack of technology be a barrier to your students participating in Hour of Code!

Looking for more ways to participate? Take a look at the Afterschool Alliance's resource on computer science in afterschool,  Connecting to computer science: A resource for afterschool practitioners. Here you'll find a collection of organizations with activities and curriculum that work well in afterschool programs, including activities geared towards 21st Century Community Learning Centers from You for Youth. Use your Hour of Code event during CS Education Week as a launching point to offer a more rounded computer science curriculum in your afterschool program.

To read the full article, click  here

Excerpt from: 

The Jr. Seahawk Academy Summer Academy is an educational day program designed specifically for middle-grade students (ages 10-14). The Junior Seahawk Academy's recruits students from economically disadvantaged and underrepresented populations to develop interests in science, technology, engineering, math (STEM), health, and education careers while participating in various fun, hands-on activities that promote learning.This program is for students who are interested in participating in unique and creative activities related to STEM, health fields and general education. 
If you are a parent or know one, you may already be aware that the cost of child care in the United States is exceedingly high. Child Care Aware of America explored this issue in its recently released 2018 report, " The US and the High Cost of Child Care: A review of Prices and Proposed Solutions for a Broken System."

The report includes a map that breaks down state-specific (and some county-specific) costs. It also concludes with policy recommendations, including sustained funding for the Child Care Development Block Grants (CCDBG) and increased funding for the 21 st Century Community Learning Center initiative.

To understand a snapshot of the need for thoughtful policy around quality, affordable childcare,  here are some numbers from the report to keep in mind:

  • 10.6 percent represents the average percent of income spent for just one child for married couples with children under 18; the average percent income for cost of care is 37 percent for a single parent.
  • $9,031 is the top cost for summer care. During the three months when school is out in the summer costs for full-time child care can be as much as $9,031, as they are in Illinois, the most expensive state.
  • 28 states and D.C. currently have annual child care costs that exceed in-state tuition costs for the state's public university.
State of Investment
  • 0.3 percent of US gross domestic product (GDP) is spent on the early childhood education, placing it in the bottom five of least affordable nations within the OECD members.
  • 23 percent of public college education costs are directly paid for by parents in the US, while 60 percent of child care costs are paid for directly by parents.
  • 5 in 6 children are eligible for child care subsidies but do not currently receive them.
To read the full article, click here

Excerpt from: 
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 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 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 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. 

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. 
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