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 January 11th.  Early registration for the conference will be open in January.  We hope to see you in Greensboro!

The NC Center for Afterschool Programs is seeking a full-time   Program Coordinator   to support the programmatic and policy efforts of the organization. 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 resources, initiatives and strategies for afterschool, before school and summer programs.
  • Support coordination of NC CAP programs and events, including the annual Synergy Conference, Policy and Practice Convenings, POWER UP, Webinars and Advisory Board Meetings.
  • Contribute to NC CAP communications, including the Afterschool Observer E-Newsletter and social media.
  • Support communication with the NC CAP Advisory Board.
  • Work with NC CAP Director on website and social media marketing and communication efforts.
  • Support the Network's policy efforts statewide and nationally.
  • 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
The Public School Forum's NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) was thrilled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the annual nationwide event, Lights On Afterschool, with North Carolina First Lady Kristin Cooper and Dr. Terry Peterson, Chairperson of the Board of Directors, After School Alliance and National Education Advisor to the Mott Foundation, on October 15 at the Executive Mansion in downtown Raleigh.

As most schools close around 3pm during the school year and completely in the summers, many community organizations and cultural and environmental groups want to involve young people in high quality afterschool activities, but find it difficult to find ways in which they can contribute their valuable resources to youth after the school day ends.

"That's really the purpose of these events around America," said Dr. Terry Peterson. "It's to keep the lights on afterschool." Peterson explained that young people who participate in quality, engaging afterschool programs and are doing activities like STEM, robotics, and early college learning by partnering with other groups receive what he calls "the afterschool advantage."

"But we don't have enough of these opportunities," said Peterson. "A study in North Carolina found that tens of thousands of parents would enroll their kids in afterschool programs if there were a quality one nearby. And for families and parents who are working, these resources are essential."

Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families and communities. The effort has become a hallmark of the afterschool movement and generates media coverage across the country each year.

The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things-such as science, community service, robotics, Tae Kwon Do and poetry-and discover new skills. The events send a powerful message that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs.  First Lady of North Carolina Kristin Cooper read a proclamation commemorating October 24, 2012 as North Carolina's 20th Lights On Afterschool Day. 

"Lights On Afterschool promotes the importance of quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, families and communities," said First Lady Cooper. "The state of North Carolina is committed to investing in the health and safety of all young people by providing expanded learning opportunities that will help close the achievement gap and prepare young people to be ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow."
When juvenile crime peaks, high-quality afterschool programs fight crime across the United States.
The more than 5,000 law enforcement leaders around the nation who are members of Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, have long known that the hours immediately after school lets out, when parents are likely not available to supervise, are the prime-time for juvenile crime. Over the past 20 years, law enforcement leaders across the country have relied on high-quality afterschool programs to provide supportive, stable, and enriching environments with caring adults that keep children and youth out of trouble and safe, while supporting their academic success, and social and emotional development.

The Prime Time for Juvenile Crime in the United States
To determine when exactly juvenile crime peaks, we analyzed both FBI data and data provided by our law enforcement members on school-day crime rates for youth in 46 states. We found that the majority of states for which we had data (36) had a spike in crime during the after school hours from 2 to 6 p.m., as shown in the map below. In North Carolina, juvenile crime peaks between 2-6 p.m. on school days, with about 29 percent of all juvenile crime on those days occurring during the hours following the last school bell.
Unfortunately, millions of our nation's children each year are unable to reap the benefits of high-quality afterschool programming. Afterschool programming is unavailable for over 19 million children, more than half of whom are low-income, whose parents would enroll them if an afterschool program was available. These young people are missing out on the opportunity to connect with caring adults, develop relationships with peers, explore what interests them, and get additional supports like homework help, healthy snacks and meals, and opportunities for physical activity.
Every day, youth attend afterschool, before school and summer learning programs across North Carolina, engaging in activities like STEM, physical fitness, literacy, and civic education, to name a few. In this episode, we will take a look at the impact that afterschool programs have on the lives of youth, and we'll be joined by the Forum's director of the NC Center for Afterschool Programs, Dr. Sheronda Fleming, as well as two directors of local afterschool programs operating in Hyde and Gaston counties.  On October 19, the Afterschool Matters for North Carolina Episode of the Education Matters Television Show aired on WRAL-TV. 

  • Dr. Sheronda Fleming, Director, NC Center for Afterschool Programs (Bottom)
  • Nancy Leach, Director of Student Services, Hyde County Schools (Top Right)
  • Roxann Jimison, Academy Director, Dream Center Academy, Gaston County (Top Middle)
Guest Host:
  • Tara Lynn, WRAL - TV (Top Left)
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 Earth 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. 

Earth Science
Check out this lesson here
The 2019 version of the Power of Afterschool in North Carolina Report is available. 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.

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 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 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. 

Each year, the North Carolina Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education Center offers awards that recognize individuals and organizations whose extraordinary contributions to science, mathematics, and technology education in North Carolina are helping to advance education in NC.  Categories include K-8 teacher, 9-16  teacher, informal educator, instructional  leader, student leadership as well as awards that recognize businesses and organizations that support STEM education.  Educator and student award recipients receive $1,500.  Recipients of the awards are honored in the spring at the Celebration of Science, Mathematics, and Technology.  

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