NAA survey findings suggest that, while organizations and programs value SEL and many professionals implement SEL practice, many do not feel knowledgeable talking about SEL.

As the afterschool field continues to emphasize the importance of social and emotional development, it is essential that leaders and staff have resources to help them understand (1) their own social and emotional competencies to inform their practice and (2) how to provide opportunities that promote social and emotional competence building.

NAA and American Institutes for Research (AIR) developed SEL to the Core: Building from Foundational Youth Development to Support Social and Emotional learning as a support for afterschool professionals and leaders.

The guide is designed as a supplement to the NAA Core Knowledge and Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals (NAA CKCs), which present the knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed by out-of-school time (OST) professionals to provide high-quality youth development programming to support the learning and development of children and youth (NAA, 2011).

Being intentional about SEL requires the attention of both leaders and staff wo we've included eight field-tested, research and evidence-based practices for promoting SEL, with the most foundational organizational practices followed by programmatic practices. The section for each practice identifies who should be involved and is supported by the rationale, the aligned NAA CKCs content areas, and a sample of practical and actionable strategies. The who, why, and how are all included.
The 20th annual Lights On Afterschool is three weeks away. On October 24, 2019, America will light up for the nation's biggest event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities.   Lights On Afterschool is an excellent opportunity to show policymakers and elected officials, as well as parents and community members, what takes place in your program when the lights are on - and conversely what learning opportunities students miss out on in communities where the lights are off afterschool.  Here are a few ways to get the word out in support of afterschool programs at your Lights On Afterschool event:
  • Invite local, state, and federal elected officials to your Lights On Afterschool event to meet students and parents, or to speak about their role in policymaking. Use this sample invitation to reach out to your representatives.
  • Engage students in civic education by role playing and acting out meetings with elected officials and explain the role of advocacy in policy decision-making. 
  • Create a fact sheet on your program that explains where your funding comes from and points parents to more information about how they can support afterschool at the local, state, and federal levels. 
  • Have petitions or postcards out and available for parents and community members to make their voices heard in support of afterschool programs. You can also have tablets or laptops set up to allow online action alerts for parents wanting to send an email or tweet to elected officials.
  • Use Facebook live or other social media tools to stream the event so policymakers and the public and see the amazing activities that happen afterschool. Be sure to tag your representatives - you can look up their handles here
Sometimes reaching out to elected officials can be intimating, but if you don't promote the good work you are doing and share your success, it is unlikely others will do it for you. Don't forget to check out the  templates, tools and resources that have been developed to make the process a little easier - and always feel free to reach out to us if we can help! Let's make the 2019 Lights On Afterschool the best yet across North Carolina!
For many middle and high school students, community service is a requirement for graduation-one that afterschool programs often assist with, giving students a chance to give back through volunteering, community beautification efforts, and tutoring younger students. As a result, afterschool programs often see young people going above and beyond the call to improve their communities!

Do you know an exemplary youth volunteer? Nominate them for the  Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!

The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program is the United States' largest youth recognition program based exclusively on volunteer community service. 
Created in 1995 by Prudential and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the program honors middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state and national level.  Thus far, it has recognized more than 130,000 young people who've made a difference - and inspired countless others to consider how they might contribute to their communities.

Nominations run from now until November 5, 2019. To apply, complete the application and the student/parent agreement, then email or print and deliver instructions to your local certifier (school principal or head of a county 4-H organization, Girl Scout council, Americans Red Cross chapter, YMCA, or Affiliate of Points of Light's HandsOn Network).

For details regarding the award, click here
A brief published by  Child Trends reports that 45 percent of children in the United States have experienced at least one   adverse childhood experience (ACE). ACEs refer to a set of experiences, which can include abuse, neglect, and trauma, that are linked with negative health outcomes and behaviors. Child Trends also reports that children of different races and ethnicities have a higher reported percentage of children who have experienced at least one ACE compared to the national average - nationally, 61 percent of black non-Hispanic children and 51 percent of Hispanic children have experienced at least one ACE.

How is Congress working to address this?
Several newly introduced bills on Capitol Hill address childhood trauma, social and emotional learning, and the role that afterschool programs can play in protecting against and addressing trauma.

The  RISE (Resilience Investment, Support, and Expansion) from Trauma Act of 2019 is a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.). This bill that aims to build the trauma-informed workforce in schools, health care settings, social services, first responders, and the justice system, and expand upon the resources available in communities to address trauma. Afterschool programs and agencies focused on early childhood education are listed as some of the eligible entities to receive funding. One part of the bill includes an expansion of the Performance Partnership Pilots for Disconnected Youth, which focuses on youth ages 14-24, to provide support to young children and families who have been exposed to trauma. Local, state, and tribal entities would also be able to combine funding from federal grants to increase the number of services addressing trauma offered to high-risk populations that usually receive services from different programs. The bill includes focuses on other areas such as expanding opportunities for art therapy, implementing hospital-based trauma interventions to prevent hospital readmission, prioritizing AmeriCorps recruitment from communities that have experienced high levels of trauma, and more.

The role of afterschool
Afterschool and summer programs provide children with a safe environment, offer valuable learning opportunities for academic enrichment and social and emotional learning, and provide students with a supportive and caring adult figure. These programs act as key partners in comprehensive and community-based approaches to trauma-informed care, and can play an important role in both protecting against and addressing the trauma that children may have experienced.

Article from: 
STEM is more than Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. STEM is 
hands-on, minds-on FUN.   When we teach STEM, we:
  • Ignite curiosity
  • Reinforce what students learn in the classroom
  • Build critical thinkers who can collaborate
  • Build STEM families and economically vital communities
  • Empower a new generation of innovators and problem solvers.
This month's lesson represents Environmental Science. The lesson includes:
  • Snapshot Overview
  • Fast Facts
  • Lesson
  • STEM To-Go
  • Video Overview 
To view this month's lesson and to download each aspect of the lesson content to utilize in your program, click here. Let us know what you think about this month's STEM lessons on twitter @ncafterschool. 

Physical Science
Check out this lesson here
You are invited to join Summer Nutrition Program sponsors and supporters from across North Carolina for the 2019 SummerPalooza! Summits. The SummerPalooza! Summits are day-long celebrations and planning events developed to increase participation in and expanded awareness of North Carolina's Summer Nutrition Program for children. This year's theme "The Next Level" represents a focus on incorporating technology and innovative strategies to create more sustainable and successful summer programs. There will be three regional SummerPalooza! Summits this fall. These free events will be held across the state as follows: 

GREENVILLE  [Tuesday, October 22 at the Eastern Area Health Education Center]
GREENSBORO  [Thursday, October 24 at The Conference Center at GTCC]
ASHEVILLE  [Tuesday, October 29 at The Crest Center]

The regular session will be from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Click here for more information about activities, speakers, and the agenda. There is no conference fee and lunch will be provided. Pre-registation is required and space is limited, so register now! Please contact McCamy Holloway at or 919.807.3568 for more information.
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 Dudley T. Doughtery Foundation supports programs in arts, community, education, environment, healthcare and peace. Recent awards include music lessons for people with disabilities, childrens theater, learning center, writing education, afterschool and summer activities, literacy programs, arts education, and services for at-risk children and youth. 

The Max and Victoria Dreyfus Foundation awards grants to organizations for whom a small amount of money can make a big difference. The Foundation welcomes requests from museums, cultural and performing arts programs; schools, hospitals, educational and skills training programs, programs for youth, seniors and the handicapped; environmental and wildlife protection    activities    and other community-based organizations and their programs. 

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. 
NC CAP | 919.781.6833 | Email | Website