JUNE 2020
The NC Center for Afterschool Programs team has closely watched the developing situation around the COVID-19 virus across the state, nation and globe. The health and safety of our afterschool, before school, and summer program professionals and advocates is of paramount importance to us, and we do not want to jeopardize the health or well-being of attendees, vendors, or presenters. For these reasons, the NC CAP team has decided to transition the Synergy Conference 2020 to a virtual platform. Instead of convening in-person at the Koury Convention Center, this year's conference will convene virtually July 28th, 2020 - July 31st, 2020. 

*Note: July 28th and 29th will be for 21st Century Community Learning Center Programs only. 

The registration fee for the virtual Synergy Conference 2020 is $50 per person. You can register for the virtual conference  here. The deadline to register is July 24th, 2020. If you registered for the in-person Synergy Conference 2020, please review the following scenarios below to determine your options. 

Scenario One:
If you have registered and paid the registration fee for the in-person conference, and are  ableto attend the virtual Synergy Conference 2020 in July, please register for the virtual conference  here and select " Registered and Paid for In-Person Conference". 

If you would like to utilize the remaining balance of your registration fee to cover the registration cost of additional individuals, please email Rhonda van Dijk via email at with the subject line " Additional Synergy Registrations" by June 19th, 2020. Please include the names of the additional individual whose registration cost you would like to cover in your email and instruct each individual to register  here

If you would like to request a refund for the remaining balance of your registration, please request a partial refund in writing to Rhonda van Dijk via email at with the subject line " Partial Synergy Refund" by June 19th, 2020.

Scenario Two:
If you have registered and paid the registration fee for the in-person conference, and are unable to attend the virtual Synergy Conference 2020, please request a full refund in writing to Rhonda van Dijk via email at with the subject line "Full Synergy Refund" by June 19th, 2020. 

If you have any other questions regarding payment, please email Rhonda van Dijk at the email address above. 

All lodging reservations at the Koury Convention Center for July 28th, 29th, 30th and 31st has been cancelled on your behalf. 

We look forward to seeing you in July online at the Virtual Synergy Conference 2020! 
As providers in North Carolina and across the nation have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NC CAP team has observed program providers step up and find innovative ways to support youth, families, and communities. As time progresses, there have been ongoing concerns about engaging youth during an atypical summer and NC CAP is here to assist in navigating these uncharted territories. 

To support the hard work of providers statewide, NC CAP and the 50 Statewide Afterschool Networks, under the leadership of the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network, has developed a suite of fun and engaging activities and challenges designed for the summer amid COVID-19. 

Within the Summer Activity Guides, providers can expect 150 activities and challenges that are: 
  • organized by age groups (5-9; 10-12; 13-15; and 16-18)
  • adaptable for in-person and virtual instruction
  • designed to build skills and social-emotional learning 
This resource also includes supplemental materials for professional development and enhancing family engagement. 

For more information and to access the Summer Activity Guides and more strategies for Summer Learning, please visit NC CAP's Summer Learning page. 
As champions for children, program providers are doing everything they can during this time to keep youth safe and continue to serve them. NC CAP wants to continue to support providers during this time. In every way, providers throughout North Carolina and the nation have risen to the challenge in every way. 

In support of your efforts, NC CAP has a new resources to share, Mizzen by Mott.  Mizzen by Mott is a new app built with and for afterschool professionals to provide high-quality, engaging learning content to the afterschool field. 

To meet the needs of this moment, the Mizzen team has added new activity playlists and multi-week modules that can be done at home or in a small-group setting. The app's content focuses on youth learning and well-being and is provided by organizations like Jazz at Lincoln Center, the California Academy of Sciences, After-School All Starts, OregonAsk, and VentureLab. Through support from the Mott Foundation, the app and all of its content is available for free to afterschool providers. 

 To learn more about the Mizzen app, click here

NC CAP would love to hear how the Mizzen app works for you and what other kinds of content you may find helpful as summer approaches. NC CAP will share all information directly with the Mizzen app team. 
For the annual Synergy Conference, NC CAP is seeking to bring youth voices into the conversation about out-of-school time. The Youth Panel will discuss their experience in programs and the impact those programs have had on them. 

Ideal panelist are participants in an out-of-school time program in North Carolina. The Youth Panel will occur during a live session of the virtual Synergy Conference on  Thursday, July 30th2020 a t 10:00am

Each panelist will be provided with a list of questions prior to the conference. Selected youth will be awarded a gift card for their contribution to the virtual Synergy Conference 2020.

If you have any youth that would be a perfect fit for the Youth Panel at Synergy 2020, please click the link below to register students.  Parent permission slips will be required upon selection of the panel. 

Nominations for the Youth Panel will close on June 19th, 2020. 
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, in partnership with the University of North Carolina Institute for the Environment, is launching the Youth Engaged in the Science of Resilience (YES-Resilience) Teen Climate Ambassadors, a free, year-long youth STEM enrichment program for rising 9th-12th grade students. Teen Climate Ambassadors will explore the local impacts of climate change within their community and investigate strategies for increasing community resilience through field experiences, hands-on activities, and experiments using cutting-edge science and technology. In addition, students will be invited to contribute to and/or develop action projects designed to strengthen their community's resilience. 

Programming will occur during virtual and in-person sessions based at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences facilities in Raleigh and Whiteville, starting August 2020 to June 2021.

Teen Climate Ambassadors will be asked to commit to the following: 
  • A virtual orientation and kickoff (August 29th, 2020)
  • At least two of four academic year events (these events will take place on Saturdays, teacher workdays, or non-religious school holidays) 
  • Mandatory monthly webinars and/or group project meetings as scheduled during the school year
  • Summer Institute in June 2021 (3 days)
Applications for the 2020-2021 program are now open! Participants will receive a stipend after successful completion of the program. Female, non-binary, and minority students belonging to groups under-represented in the sciences are especially encouraged to apply. 

To apply, complete the online student application and the online teacher recommendation form by June 15th, 2020. Late applications will not be accepted. 
The NC Center for Afterschool Programs has developed a mapping database to locate child care services and out-of-school-time programming opportunities for youth during the statewide COVID-19 response. 

NC CAP would like to hear how your program is responding to COVID-19, please complete the following: 
  1. Complete the survey.
  2. If your out-of-school time program is still operating during COVID-19, please register your program in the NC COVID-19 Youth Program Mapping Database.
  3. If you have any additional resources that can be shared with other programs, families, and communities throughout NC, please email Sheneika Simmons at
To learn more information about resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, please view the  NC COVID-19 Resource Page .

As we all experience the affects of COVID-19, NC CAP wants to highlight opportunities for program providers to continue advocating, supporting, and serving youth statewide. This list is not exhaustive and NC CAP will continue to share resources and information as they develop. Please feel free to share these resources with youth, families, and communities that you serve.
On May 12th, Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives released the next COVID-19 relief bill, a $3 trillion package that could become the fifth major response and relief legislation and seeks to provide a comprehensive next step in helping the nation respond to the pandemic. The legislation, known as the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act (HEROES Act), is currently only supported by Democrats and has yet to be negotiated with the White House or Republican Senate leadership. The bill is scheduled to be voted on as early as Friday, May 15th, 2020. Senate leadership does not plan to take the bill up immediately and instead has indicated they prefer to monitor the impact of the CARES Act that passed on March 27th, 2020 before taking up another comprehensive, trillion dollar package. 

To learn more about the HEROES Act and its implementation, please click here
Excerpt from: 
For 35 years, the National Youth Leadership Council has transformed classrooms, empowered educators, and captivated students by leading the way in providing high-quality, dynamic service learning content to school districts, classrooms, afterschool programs, and everything in-between. Their programs and services develop young leaders, support educators and advance the field of service learning. 

NYLC, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, developed a series of Engage handbooks designed for youth in elementary, middle, and high school. The handbooks assist providers in bringing service learning to afterschool programs in 15 one-hour sessions. The books begin with an overview of the practice, then engage youth in experiential sessions that highlight youth voice and leadership. Each session begins with an energizer activity tied to the content of the session, and ends with a reflection, that is often in the form of an "exit ticket". By the end of the experience, young people will have acted on issues of importance to them through a deliberative inquiry-based process. 

Learn more about the NYLC En gage Service Learning Curriculum, click here

Check out NC CAP's new   Service Learning Webpage for more service learning strategies and opportunities!
The NC Center for Afterschool Programs is accepting nominations for the 2020 Afterschool Champions. Nominees should demonstrate outstanding work in developing, supporting and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families statewide.

Afterschool Champion Award categories are below, followed by the nomination form. The deadline to submit nomination s is June 15th. Selected award recipients will be recognized at the virtual Synergy Conference 2020 on Thursday, July 30th at noon.

This award spotlights an individual, program, or organization whose life or mission has demonstrated outstanding work in developing, supporting and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families. Nominees should have more than five (5) years of experience.

This award spotlights an individual, program, or organization whose life or mission has demonstrated considerable work in developing, supporting and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families. Nominees should have between two (2) and five (5) years of experience.

A letter of recommendation or support should accompany every nomination. 
**Note: For a program nomination, a letter of support must be from a youth program participant or parent.
The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) is offering summer programs for rising 5th-12th graders. Students will have the opportunity to engage in real-world, project based learning experiences through specialized coursework in areas such as artificial intelligence, biomedical sciences, and engineering. 

This year, the Summer Accelerator courses will be delivered virtually by skilled instructors, who are leaders in their fields and have years of experience in mathematics, the sciences, and the humanities.  Each instructor is committed to the learning experiences of each student, bring their professional experience to the online classroom, and broadening the experience for each student through a blend of asynchronous and real-time, synchronous coursework and collaborative projects. 

Outside of class time, students have the opportunity to participate in virtual extracurricular enrichment programs such as leadership development activities, professional speaker panels, online trivia and escape rooms, and much more!

To view the online course schedule, program details, course descriptions, and pricing, click the links below:
For additional information and to apply to your favorite course, click here
Wakelet for Educators is a free platform that enables educators to create, organize, and share information to students and learning communities with ease. 

Wakelet user, Christy James, has compiled a list of over 40 virtual field trips that can be implemented into any program for engaging, fun experiences from the comfort of their own homes. Field trips include The Louvre in France, The Great Wall of China, Nature Parks, San Diego Zoo, and many more!

To access the Virtual Field Trips on Wakelet, please click here 

To see more STEM opportunities, check out the NC CAP STEM Opportunity Spotlight page. 
NC State University has been selected to participate in the 4-H National Mentoring Program: College Within Reach program for a second consecutive year. They are currently seeking mentors, mentees, and site liaisons to join their program. 

The College Within Reach Program focuses on building relationships, college and workforce preparedness for military-connected youth between the ages of 12 to 17. Participants will be matched with mentors who share common experiences and interests while exploring topics such as college and career readiness, college application processes, academic and career goal setting, and creating sustainable plans leading to long-term success! 

Mentors will meet with mentees virtually or in-person for a minimum of 4 hours a month with goals of establishing meaningful relationships that aid in the positive advancement of college and workforce readiness while also establishing networks of peers and professionals statewide.  If you have any questions about the College Within Reach Program, contact the Program Manager, Cam Rutledge, at or via phone at (503) 757-3775. 

To learn more information about the College Within Reach Program, click here
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs 
(NC CAP) is embarking on exciting new work to expand the amount of STEM opportunities in afterschool programs. High quality afterschool programs have shown to increase student academic performance, behavioral improvements and have been a factor in supporting regular school attendance. To increase these types of opportunities for children and youth throughout the state, it is necessary to develop partnerships and identify resource gaps. The STEM Afterschool Expansion VISTA will increase access to high-quality afterschool programs focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields for youth statewide, particularly those that are growing up in poverty, and establish a community support system that links established afterschool programs with potential partners and STEM resources. This position is based in Raleigh, NC.  
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 Program is a signature education program and flagship community involvement initiative. The program is devoted to providing young people with access to technology in a safe, nurturing afterschool environment, whole promoting opportunities in digital learning centers in varying communities. Applications are accepted on rolling basis.

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. The application deadline is July 15th, 2020.

Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students who are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas: (1) implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs, (2) purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives, and (3) purchasing books, materials, or software for literacy programs.

Good Sports creates opportunities in sports and physical activity for kids through donations of brand new sports equipment, apparel, and footwear. Good Sports are looking for organizations that operates an organized sport, recreational activity, or fitness program that offers consistent and structured opportunity play for large groups of children, ages 3 to 18 years old. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. 

The Kars4Kids Small Grant Program is dedicated to supporting educational initiatives and youth development programs in the country. Kars4Kids provides year-round educational and mentoring opportunities and support to develop youth into productive and engaged members of society.  Areas of interest include youth development, mentoring, and education. Grants range from $500 to $2000. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The National Endowment For the Arts envisions a nation where every student is engaged and empowered through an excellent arts education. Projects through the Arts Education Fund are designed for Pre-K through 12th grade students via direct learning, the educators and artists via professional development, and the schools and communities that support students (collective impact). Funded projects will utilize and test innovative strategies, or scale up proven methodologies, for increasing access to arts education for students. Applications are due July 9th, 2020. 

The Reiman Foundation supports the dedication, imagination, and courage of many organizations, particularly those involved in education, healthcare, arts, and children's initiatives. Applications are reviewed and accepted on a rolling basis. 

Triangle Community Foundation is made up of over 800 philanthropic funds, which are used in a variety of ways to provide support for nonprofit organizations . Grants from the Foundation are made in two ways: (1) from discretionary grant programs and (2) through donor-advised grants. 

The Sparkplug Foundation funds start-up organizations and new projects of established organizations in music, education, and community organizing. Their particular focus is on "the development of democratic movements and communities, especially those that work on issues of local democracy, justice, and sustainable energy. The Sparkplug Foundation has two grant cycles per year, spring and fall. 

Youth Service America (YSA) is offering youth development organizations, community-based organizations, and schools and districts grant funding, capacity-building training, and ongoing support to effectively engage young people in meaningful service and civic participation activities. Applicants should focus on engaging middle and high-school aged youth, especially those from under-served communities. Applications are due June 15th, 2020. 
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