The 20th annual Lights On Afterschool is next month. 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 the 2019-20 school year, the General Assembly of North Carolina is anticipated to appropriate six million dollars ($6,000,000) from the At-Risk Student Services Alternative School Allotment for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports (ELISS) Competitive Grant Program.  The purpose of the Program is to fund high-quality, independently validated extended learning and integrated student support service programs for at-risk students that raise standards for student academic outcomes.
Nonprofits and nonprofits working in collaboration with local school administrative units may participate in the ELISS program.  Programs must serve one or more of the following student groups:
  1.  At-risk students not performing at grade level as demonstrated by statewide assessments
  2. Students at-risk of dropout
  3. Students at-risk of school displacement due to suspension or expulsion as a result of anti-social behaviors.
Grant participants are eligible to receive grants for up to two years in an amount of up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) each year. Grants must be matched on the basis of three dollars ($3.00) in grant funds for every one dollar ($1.00) in non-grant funds. Matching funds shall not include other State funds. Matching funds may include in-kind contributions. Matching funds may include in-kind contributions for up to fifty percent (50%) of the required match.
Any sub-recipient that currently receives federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) funding, and plans to apply, must be able to differentiate the scope of their 21st CCLC program from their proposed ELISS program.

Technical Assistance Webinars
Nonprofits interested in applying for an Extended Learning and Integrated Student Support (ELISS) competitive grant should attend one of the upcoming Technical Assistance webinars to learn more about the ELISS program purpose, requirements, and application process.

Register for one of the webinars offered today, Thursday, September 5, 2019:

WEBINAR OPTION ONE: Sep 5, 2019 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EDT

WEBINAR OPTION TWO: Sep 5, 2019 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM EDT 


Training on the Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP)
The Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP) is a unified grants application and verification system that consists of two parts: the Planning Tool and the Funding Application. A valid NCID is required to access CCIP. If you do not have one, please click here and register as a "Business" entity (required for nonprofit corporations).

For organizations that have NOT been trained on the system, hands-on training will be offered on September 9th, 18th and 25th, 2019. To register for a training session, click here. Training is offered ONLY for organizations that have not been trained previously. Please note that this training is for how to use CCIP, not what to write for the grant competition.  After attending the hands-on training, you will receive a CCIP Access Request Form.  You will then be made "known" to the system, by submitting NCID usernames (NO password) and roles to NCDPI.  Additional information will be given at training.

Lastly, the RFP Application Guidance Worksheet and Materials are now available and are attached to this email.  Interested applicants should review this document in order to prepare for their grant application Please visit  this website  to find the RFP Application Guidance Materials or email 
When Congress returns in September, the first thing on their agenda will be passing fiscal year 2020 spending bills. The House of Representatives passed all twelve of their spending bills earlier this year. The Senate waited on a budget deal,  now signed into law, and will likely start with the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) appropriations bill the week of September 9. The current fiscal year ends September 30, so Congress will have to act fast to avoid a continuing resolution or government shutdown.

The Senate will have fewer funds to work with than the House did for their LHHS bill, so now is the time to make the case to  Senate appropriators about the importance and value of federal support for afterschool and summer learning programs. The House funded  21st Century Community Learning Centers ( 21st CCLC) at $1.322 billion, a $100 million increase from fiscal year 2019. This money funds local school- and community-based afterschool and summer learning programs through a competitive funding process in each state. Local programs focus on positive youth development and social, emotional and academic supports for students grades Pre-K through 12th.

The  outcomes of 21st CCLC funded afterschool and summer learning programs are unmistakable. Students who regularly participate in 21st Century Community Learning Centers improve their school attendance, class participation and behavior, homework completion, and reading and math achievement scores and grades. Quality afterschool programming prepares students for college and the workforce.

When the Senate returns in September to mark up their LHHS bill, there are a number of other important programs supporting students in and out of school that will be considered in addition to 21st CCLC including:
  • Title IV Full Service Community Schools: The House bill provides $40 million, an increase from $17.5 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: $1.3 billion in the House bill, an increase of $150 million above the 2019 level. These funds for school districts established under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) support activities that provide students with a well-rounded education, ensure safe and supportive learning environments, and use technology to improve instruction.
  • Career, Technical Education (CTE): $1.3 billion, an increase of 3 percent in the House bill, this goes to implementation of the Perkins V CTE legislation that passed last year and focuses on employability skills.
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant: $7.7 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion by the House. In addition to supporting child care for children up to age five, the funds go to after-school programs that focus on health and safety for nearly a million children.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service: $1.14 billion, an increase of $55 million above the 2019 level. These group supports AmeriCorps and VISTA, which are key assets for hundreds of after-school SEL programs.
  • Youth Mentoring Initiative:  $100 million to increase opportunities for youth to have mentors and improve the quality of the mentoring they receive.
How you can share the importance of afterschool programs:
  • Afterschool advocates can contact their senators to share their support for these initiatives.
  • Additionally, programs should consider inviting their elected officials for a site visit while their policymakers are in town when Congress is in recess or during the 20th annual Lights On Afterschool on October 24.
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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.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2019 at 1:00 PM ET
Over the past several decades, research has fundamentally changed our understanding of how adolescents-young people ages 10 to 25-develop, grow, and learn. Changes in brain structure and function that occur during adolescence afford young people a remarkable capacity to learn, adapt to changes, and explore their own creativity. Adolescent brains are specially tailored to meet the needs of this stage of life, allowing them to explore new environments and build new relationships with the world and people around them.

However, just like younger children, adolescents need supportive environments and relationships with adults to thrive. This sensitive period in life requires alignment between the strengths of adolescents, like their increased independence, flexible problem solving skills, and openness to new experiences, with resources available in their environments, including access to positive opportunities outside of school as well as positive social interactions and relationships with peers and adults.

Afterschool is an important opportunity to support adolescents by creating settings and supports that allow them to thrive and make meaningful contributions to the world around them. In this webinar, participants will explore the principles of adolescent development and identify ways that they can be applied in afterschool programs.
  • Nancy E. Hill, Ph.D., Charles Bigelow Professor of Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
  • Emily Backes, JD, MA, Program Officer, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • Dan Gilbert, Sr. Project Manager, SEL Specialist, Afterschool Alliance (Moderator)
You can register for the webinar here
4-H National Youth Science Day (NYSD) is an annual initiative inspiring kids everywhere to take an active interest in STEM topics through hands-on learning. Celebrations begin October 1, with participation across the country in classrooms, clubs, homes, and afterschool spaces.
This year's 4-H NYSD challenge, Game Changers, was developed by Google and West Virginia Extension Service. It teaches kids how to use computer science (CS) to create games, solve problems, and engage with topics they care passionately about. Demand for CS skills across nearly every industry in the workforce is growing steadily, but kids aren't prepared to take advantage of the opportunity.

4-H NYSD is designed to make CS is fun and accessible, helping kids build confidence in their skills while sparking their curiosity to learn more. Through this year's challenge, it is important to convey that having a background in computer science will be beneficial to all kids, regardless of whether they want to work on a farm, in an art studio, or an office.
Game Changers is a three-part challenge, drawing career and real-world connections between computer science and 4-H's non-STEM pillar areas-civic engagement, healthy living and agriculture.
  • Pitch Your Passion is an online activity that allows kids to create an animation advocating for a cause or issue they care about using CS First and Scratch.
  • Program Your Playground is an unplugged activity where kids design their own games of tag and invent playground games to learn concepts like pattern recognition and abstraction.
  • Hack Your Harvest is an unplugged activity where kids learn how to solve and create their own agriculture-themed logic puzzles to learn about automation, optimal efficiency, and programming.
The  challenge kit includes all the materials you need to perform each activity, as well as clear instructions for facilitators, offering both low and no-tech options for events without internet access. Also, because Game Changers is an entry point to CS, teachers and facilitators don't need any prior experience with computer science or coding to guide youth through the challenge.

Learn more about the  2019 4-H National Youth Science Day challenge and make 4-H NYSD a part of your Light On Afterschool event by selecting "I'm celebrating 4-H National Youth Science Day with Lights On Afterschool!" in your registration.  Purchase your kit here!

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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. 

Environmental Science 
Check out this lesson here
Understanding how our youth are faring is an important aspect of not only reinforcing, but also strengthening the supports that afterschool provides. Two separate reports released this summer delved into the state of child well-being across the country, measuring our nation's progress over time.   The Annie E. Casey Foundation's  2019 Kids Count Data Book: State Trends in Child Well-Being provides a detailed overview of national and state trends, while  Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Raising High School Graduation Rates, authored by Civic and the Everyone Graduates Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, investigates the discrepancies in teen graduation.

For the past three decades, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has been tracking the demographic and geographic changes within the youth population-elevating data as a tool to think about how to ensure the happiness and healthiness of all children in our nation. The latest edition of the Kids Count Data Book examines the growth and changes in child population by looking at 16 index measures of child well-being across four domains: health, education, family and community, and economic well-being. By outlining trends in the American childhood experience, the Kids Count Data Book highlights the areas we are on track, and where there is room for growth.

Since 1990, the nation's child population has grown to almost 74 million. Accompanying this growth are a number of developments that the Casey Foundation have identified as promising improvements in the well-being of youth and their families. Looking at changes over the past seven years alone, Kids Count data shows that on a national level, there are more parents with secure employment (73 percent), more children with access to health insurance (95 percent), more teens graduating high school on time (85 percent), fewer teen pregnancies, and fewer children living in poverty (18 percent).

Nonetheless, Kids Count has identified key areas where progress can still be made. Most poignant is the trend of racial inequity that has persisted across domains in their evaluation of child-wellbeing, such that children of color are more likely to remain below the national average despite the social and economic gains they achieve. To put this into perspective, Kids Count data studies the number of eighth-grade public school students who do not meet the National Assessment of Educational Progress's standards of proficiency in math. Between 2009 and 2017, African-American and Latino students showed improvements in math achievement, with percentages of eighth graders not proficient in math dropping down to 87 percent and 80 percent respectively. However, these rates are still far above the national average of 67 percent, and even more so from their White peers, of which only 57 percent are not proficient. This equity gap raises important concerns for a nation in which nearly half of its population (47 percent) are children of color. 

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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 After School Advantage (ASA) Program is a signature education program and flagship community involvement initiative. The program strives to close the "Digital Divide" for disadvantaged children who get left behind because they do not have the means to access computers in today's increasingly digital society.  Its goal is to address the needs of underprivileged/at-risk children ages five to 18 with a meaningful, yet fun, learning experience during the critical after-school hours in a safe environment. It does this by providing qualifying non-profit community agencies and public schools with digital learning centers. Each digital learning center is unique in its design and specific to an organization's custom needs.

  Through ALDI Smart Kids, ALDI Stores partner with organizations that make a positive impact on kids' health and wellness. 
Through the E(2) Energy to Educate Grant Program, Constellation Energy offers students in grades 6-12 opportunities to experience problem-solving of today's and tomorrow's energy challenges. Grant funds support projects designed to enhance students' understanding of science and technology, and inspire them to think differently about energy.

Funding is intended to improve access to music instruction and to give children nationwide greater opportunities to play music early and often. The D'Addario Foundation believes in the transformative power of music to build self-confidence, creativity and discipline and that mentoring and building communities through music can positively affect social change. Programs that align with these beliefs and goals are optimum candidates for grant requests. 

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. 

Wells Fargo makes contributions in areas that we believe are important to the future of our nation's vitality and success. Their first priority is to support programs and organizations whose chief purpose is to benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and families. They look for projects that keep our communities strong, diverse, and vibrant.    They support organizations that promote academic achievement for low- and moderate-income students by:
  • Eliminating the pre-K - 12th grade achievement gap in public education through curriculum-based or school-sponsored programs
  • Facilitating merit-based access to higher education for underrepresented groups
  • Advancing teaching through recruitment, professional development, support, and retention of teachers.
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