Early Registration is now open for the annual SYNERGY CONFERENCE! We hope you will join us on April 29 - May 1, 2020 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. You can register  here by February 16th for the discounted rate of $200. Regular registration will begin on February 17th at the regular rate of $225.  

Afterschool, before school and summer programs that have never attended the Synergy Conference are being offered a special rate. If your program/organization has never attended or participated in the Synergy Conference, staff can register to attend at the rate of $175. Please send a registration request for this discounted rate to In your email, please include your program/organization name and the names of staff that are registering. 
***Note: This discount is specific to programs that have never been represented at the Synergy Conference. 

The SYNERGY CONFERENCE 2020 has a hotel block at the Sheraton Greensboro at 
Four Seasons for the discounted rate of $147/night.  You can make hotel reservations  here.   Hotel reservations must be made by 5pm on April 7th to get the discounted rate. Please make your hotel reservations as soon as possible to secure your room. 

We hope to see you in Greensboro!
House and Senate appropriators reached an agreement on final subcommittee allocations to avert a shutdown and fund the government past the December 20 deadline.  The final 
bi-partisan bill language specifying funding levels for all government programs provides $1.25 billion for local afterschool and summer learning programs, which will provide quality programming for an additional 28,000 students. This brings afterschool funding to an all-time high and is a testament to the strong 21 st Century Community Learning Center programs across our nation.

Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) is the current chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan House Afterschool Caucus. A longtime and ardent champion of afterschool programs, the Congresswoman announced her retirement from Congress earlier this year.  In her honor, the bill adds her name to the 21 st Community Learning Center Program.

Specific funding levels for other education and programs are listed below:
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers: 21st Century Community Learning Centers is  allocated $1.25 billion, a 2.3 percent increase ($28 million) above the 2019 enacted level. The President's budget proposed to eliminate this program.  The bi-partisan bill also honors Rep. Lowey by adding her name to the program.
  • Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies: $16.310 billion, an increase of $450 million above the 2019 enacted level. Title I provides basic and flexible funding to low-income school districts to improve student outcomes. Schools are able to spend Title I funds on afterschool and summer learning programs.
  • Title II-A Funds for Teacher Professional Development: $2.132 billion, an increase of $76 million over the 2019 enacted level. This is the first time since FY2014 this funding stream has been increased. The president's budget proposed to eliminate this program.
  • Title IV Full Service Community Schools$25 million, an increase of $8 million, to provide comprehensive services and expand evidence-based models that meet the holistic needs of children, families, and communities.
  • Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants: $1.210 billion, an increase of $40 million above the 2019 enacted level. The president's budget proposed to eliminate this program. These funds for school districts established under ESSA support activities that provide students with a well-rounded education, ensure safe and supportive learning environments, and use technology to improve instruction. Allowable uses for the grant include support for afterschool STEM activities. 
  • Child Care Access Means Parents in School: $53 million, an increase of $3 million above the 2019 enacted level.
  • TRIO and GEAR UP$1.090 billion for Federal TRIO programs, an increase of $30 million above the 2019 enacted level. Additionally, $365 million for GEAR UP, an increase of $5 million above the 2019 enacted level.
  • Federal Work Study: $1.180 billion, an increase of $50 million above the 2019 enacted level. Federal Work Study can be used to support college students working in community-based afterschool programs.
  • Education, Innovation, and Research: $190 million, an increase of $60 million above the 2019 enacted level. $65 million of EIR funds are dedicated for STEM education, including a specific prioritization on computer science education. Also for the first time, $65 million in new funds within this program for grants for evidence-based, field-initiated innovations that address student social and emotional learning needs is included. 
  • Career, Technical Education (CTE)$1.283 billion, an increase of $20 million for implementation of the Perkins V CTE legislation that passed last year. 
To read the full article, click here

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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 by 5pm on January 31st.  

Cultural Agility is a pedagogy that teaches individuals to be their authentic cultural selves to engage with the authentic cultural selves of others-a critical first step for individuals in this work. There is no profiling of sub-groups or treating individuals within a group as a monolith, but instead invoking, evoking, and provoking awareness of one's cultural self and how one shows up in societal contexts. Every individual is a unique cultural being (consider the variations between siblings) and every interaction is a cultural interaction. Being comfortable with acknowledging differences and not placing judgement on them supports trust-building and authenticity-essential components of becoming culturally agile and creating equitable spaces for youth, families and colleagues.
From this place, we can turn our attention to dismantling.

Effective Individual Steps to Start Developing Cultural Agility
1. Identify your culture. My definition of culture is how one lives, works, learns and plays (Peake, 2012).
  • Think: Food, holidays, celebrations, values, traditions, religious beliefs, relationships, and habits.
  • Ask: Where did I learn these things? How do they impact how I see myself and how I see and interact with others?
  • Do: Talk with a friend who does something different than you. Explain why you want to discuss this-to learn more about yourself and others.
2. Self-evaluate your default messages.
  • Think: Stereotypes, media messages, children's books/games/toys, messages you heard from adults when you were a child.
  • Ask: Why do I believe this to be true? Are these thoughts based upon lived experiences, or messages I have absorbed without evaluating them?
  • Do: Go to a public place and take a walk. As you pass others, let your mind fill in missing information. Then self-evaluate as to what, how quickly and why your mind made quick conclusions about strangers, without sufficient information.
3. Listen to others by calling them in and not calling them out.
  • Think: Listen to understand, not to respond or defend.
  • Ask: What does this object/person/situation/feeling/thought mean to you? As the listener, we already know what something means to us; talking more at this point defeats listening for understanding. "Tell me more about that" is a helpful listening prompt.
  • Do: State your interpretation of what you heard. This allows for clarification and authentic exchanges, if there is a difference, repeat the above prompts.
According to an  updated report from Fight Crime, Invest in Kids, juvenile crime peaks between the hours of 2 and 6 p.m.-the hours immediately after school. During this time, youth are more likely to be unsupervised and may engage in risky behaviors. The report also emphasizes the ways that afterschool programs can be partners with communities to keep kids safe, not only in providing supervision, but also in creating the space for building protective factors that can help youth make smart choices.

In our  Afterschool & Law Enforcement blog series, we have elevated the value of collaboration between programs and local law enforcement agencies as partners in keeping kids and communities safe. From these kinds of partnerships to mentorship opportunities, to access to academic and emotional supports, there are many ways that afterschool programs are at the forefront of efforts in communities around the country to provide support and services to at-risk youth, which we will be showcasing through this blog series.

One such program focused on this effort is Adult Friends for Youth (AFY), a mentorship program based in Hawaii dedicated to redirecting youth away from destructive behaviors through positive support and community outreach.

The Approach
AFY currently works with more than 300 youth on a weekly basis. One of the central aspects of their programming is  Redirectional Therapy (RT)-a counseling approach that directly addresses the behaviors of high-risk youth by managing disruptive and impulsive behaviors and building competencies around coping, academic, and social and emotional skills. With programming customized to different age groups, at its core AFY is about building trust, mutual respect, and connection.
Focused on advocacy and empowerment, AFY's approach to working with youth through RT includes six program areas:
  • Education, providing supports such as tutoring, design thinking workshops, and college preparation and exploration;
  • Social activities, with the goal of introducing students to new experiences, like having a meal at a nice restaurant;
  • Employment and careers, where students have the opportunity to explore different job pathways;
  • Culture and religion, using food, music, and art to examine students' cultures, appreciate differences, and identify commonalities;
  • Recreation and sports, to promote active lifestyles and build community on common ground; and
  • Community service, with activities including neighborhood clean ups and Christmas caroling.
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.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) is a familiar concept in out-of-school-time (OST) settings.   Building on their commitment to positive youth development, many OST programs are looking for ways to be more intentional and explicit about how they promote social-emotional skills. In this video, learn how a three-tiered approach to SEL implementation can create an intentional learning environment that supports the social-emotional development of students.   Read about the SEL for OST program currently in development by visiting  Committee for Children .

First Steps to Intentional SEL in OST Settings
First Steps to Intentional SEL in OST Settings

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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!

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 Burroughs Wellcome Fund application for the 2020 Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant awards is open. 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 15, 2020 .  

The goals of these grants are to: empower youth by providing hands-on environmental stewardship opportunities; inspire youth and communities to become agents of change for their environment; serve as a catalyst for education that uses the environment as a context for applied and STEM learning. 

Amazon Future Engineer and Georgia Institute of Technology have teamed up with Ciara to provide students the chance create an original remix of her song "SET" using the Python coding language. Create your own loops, beats, and rhythms using real-world code and a real song! 

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.

Youth-led community service projects designed to address childhood hunger.  Projects may take place in schools, colleges/universities, afterschool programs, youth organizations, nonprofits, or faith-based organizations. Projects that engage at least 50, 75, or 100 young people ages 5-25 as volunteers on Global Youth Service Day - April 17-19, 2020. Projects that will continue through summer 2020 are eligible for additional funding of $400. Projects that engage youth not typically asked to serve (youth with disabilities, youth that are struggling in school, youth from low-income or underserved communities, etc.)

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. 
NC CAP | 919.781.6833 | Email | Website