The full House Appropriations Committee met for a marathon mark up of the FY2018 education-funding bill on July 19, starting at 9:30 a.m. and lasting late into the evening. The FY2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS) Appropriations Act sets funding levels for all federal education, human services, and health and labor programs-including the  21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative, which provides federal funds leveraged by local school-community partnerships to provide quality afterschool and summer learning programs.

The Committee voted to approve the House LHHS FY2018 spending bill on a party line vote of 28 - 22. The bill includes a $191 million cut to 21st Century Community Learning Centers afterschool funding. The cut brings funding for local afterschool and summer learning programs below the current authorized level to the lowest level of federal afterschool funding since 2007 and means  approximately 192,000 children could lose access to quality afterschool and summer learning programs next year. An  updated table shows how the proposed cut to afterschool will be felt in all 50 states.   This table outlines how the proposed cut to 21st CCLC programs will impact all 50 states. 

For North Carolina, $33,213,126 was allocated during FY2017. This allocation was projected to serve approximately 33,213 children statewide. The proposed state allocation for FY2018 will be $27,871,007 which is projected to serve an estimated 27,871 children across the state. Although, this proposed amount is greater than the President's FY2018 proposal budget allocation of $0, North Carolina would experience a deficit in allocated funding of $5,342,119 from FY2017 to FY2018. This could potentially result in approximately 5,342 children losing access to afterschool and summer learning programming through 21st Century Community Learning Centers. In addition to 21st Community Learning Centers, funding levels for other programs that support afterschool were included in the education spending bill:

Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies $15.46 billion, level with FY2017 funding. 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 

Title II-A Funds for Teacher Professional Development These funds are eliminated in the bill. 

Title IV Full Service Community Schools$10 million, level with FY2017. This funding through the Department of Education helps support community school development and expansion at the local level.

Title IV Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants$500 million is proposed for school districts established under ESSA to 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. This level is significantly lower than the authorized level of $1.65 billion but represents a proposed increase to the FY2017 level of $400 million.

TRIO and GEAR UP$1.01 billion and $350 million respectively. These programs help first-generation college students prepare for, enter, and complete college, and are increased by $60 million for TRIO and $10 million for GEAR UP.

Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)$2.860 billion, an increase of $5 million above FY2017. The Afterschool Alliance supports a significant increase in CCDBG funding to help implement the CCDBG Reauthorization Act of 2014. In addition to supporting child care for children ages birth through five, the CCDBG funds afterschool programs for just under one million school age children.

Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP):   Eliminates all $101 million for this evidence-based program based in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)$1 billion, level with FY2017 and rejecting the proposed elimination of the program in the President's budget. CNCS supports AmeriCorps and VISTA that are a key asset for hundreds of afterschool programs.

The appropriations process is not over as this was just an initial step. Since March, 70,000 parents and advocates nationwide have reached out to Congress in support of federal afterschool funding. As the appropriations process continues, it is imperative that senators and representative hear about the value of federal afterschool funding in supporting local programs from all of us in North Carolina . You can take action now by sending a message to your representatives in support of increases to funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Reach out to your members of Congress today and affirm that North Carolina's youth don't deserve a funding cut.  

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For the 2017-18 school year, the General Assembly of North Carolina appropriated 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 [ Session Law 2017-57]. 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.
The Request for Proposals is currently under development. Please visit this website for announcements and additional information.

The Afterschool Alliance celebrates the passing of  H.R. 2353, Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century. The bill passed the House of Representatives by voice vote on June 22. The two major Career and Technical Associations have  endorsed the bill.

The bill's language borrows substantially from the  CTE bill which passed the House in the 114th Congress and enjoys broad bipartisan support. H.R. 2353 provides much-needed updates to the current law, including an ability to begin pathways for youth earlier (fifth grader rather than seventh), an explicit inclusion of community-based partners as eligible entities for CTE work, and a recognition of the importance of employability skills, science, technology, engineering and math (the field known as STEM), and helping youth engage in non-traditional career fields. The bill would also gradually increase appropriations of the approximately $1 billion legislation by 1.38 percent each year through 2023.

Afterschool and summer program's role in career pathways is a relationship that makes sense on the ground and in the halls of Congress. During the  Afterschool for All Challenge, held in Washington D.C. June 6 and 7, advocates, program providers, students and parents from around the country met with their representatives to talk about afterschool and what programs look like day-to-day. Many conversations focused on innovative ways programs across the country are preparing students for careers, be it wind energy in Wyoming, digital programming in Maryland, or unmanned aerial aircraft in North Dakota.

Advocates and representatives shared a sense that, in addition to the other services programs provide, introducing students to and preparing students for the workforce opportunities and employability skills in demand in their local economies provided strong personal and public benefits. During the House hearing before the bill vote, representatives from across the political spectrum spoke to the importance of updating and reauthorizing this piece of legislation.


The Daniel Center for Math and Science is a program, which meets the deep
education enhancement needs of at-risk and economically disadvantaged children,
primarily in math, science, and technology.    The program design is based on the belief that lasting and meaningful  changes in the academic and social welfare of children require long-term  tutelage. For this reason, their  organization currently consists of two comprehensive components, which engage  children in high-quality education enhancement.   Their afterschool and full-day program (ages 5-12) is a licensed
5-star childcare facility; and their "Smart Is What's Up!" component serves
teenagers, until they are successfully enrolled in a post-high school education
In 2016, the North Carolina General Assembly recognized the role that out-of-school time programs have in encouraging healthier eating and physical activity through House Bill 1030/Session Law 2016-94, Section 12E.2. As a result, the North Carolina Healthy Out-of-School Time Recognition Program (NC HOST) launched in April 2017. NC HOST offers a voluntary recognition for out-of-school time programs that meet a set of standards that are a subset of the National AfterSchool Association Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Standards (HEPA). 

Who is it for?: Any qualified out-of-school time program that wants to be recognized for their healthy eating and physical activity practices can apply for the NC Healthy Out-of-School Time Recognition Program. 

Qualified out-of-school time programs:
  • Operate ten hours or more per weeks on an on-going basis. 
  • Provide regularly scheduled, structured and supervised activities where learning opportunities take place outside the typical school day. 
  • Occur before school, after school, weekends, or during seasonal and track breaks. 
  • Provide multiple activities. 
  • Deliver activities to promote positive youth development which may include but are not limited to the following:
    • academic support; educational enrichment; STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), cultural and social development; recreation; sports; fitness and wellness. 
  • Include private and public programs operating in a variety of settings. 
    • Program settings include public facilities such as schools, libraries, parks and recreation, community centers, colleges and universities, as well as private facilities. 
    • Providers include school districts, municipalities, national not-for-profit organizations, local not-for-profit organizations, faith-based organizations and for-profit agencies.
How do you get it?: Out-of-school time programs that want to be recognized for their healthy eating and physical activity practices can apply for the NC Healthy Out-of-School Time Recognition Program. 

Step 1: Register your program at  Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Once registered:

Step 2: Complete the Healthy Out-of-School Time Assessment for your site. 
  • Compare your results with the NC HOST minimum standards. If your program meets all of these standards, your program is qualified to apply for the NC Healthy Out-of-School Time Recognition Program. 
  • If you have questions about the assessment contact the Alliance for a Healthier Generation Member Engagement and Support Team. 
    • Phone: 1-888-543-4584, Monday - Friday, 9am-7pm EDT
    • Email:

How is it used?: To guide the development of practices, policies and environments supportive of physical activity in NC Afterschool Programs. 


Mark your calendar for the 18th annual Lights On Afterschool.  On October 26, 2017, 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. Led by the National Afterschool Alliance, this annual 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. This event sends a powerful message nationwide that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs. 

Last year, 8,200 events were held nationwide for Lights on Afterschool, making 2016 the brightest year ever. Over one million people joined together to shine a light on the amazing work that afterschool programs are doing to improve the lives of children and families in local communities. It is more important than ever to share those stories across the country. 

Lights On Afterschool affords program providers nationwide with an opportunity to shine a spotlight on their afterschool program's role in in keeping kids active & healthy, inspiring STEM learning, or raising up the voices of young people and parents in their local community. Your program can celebrate Lights On Afterschool by hosting an event. View the Afterschool Alliance's interactive planning timeline to review all of the steps involved in planning a Lights on Afterschool event.  This year's event themes celebrate Youth Voices, Health & Wellness and Afterschool STEM.   Register your event and sign up for Lights On Afterschool updates.  Events that are registered through the Afterschool Alliance as an official Lights On Afterschool celebration will receive an event starter kit, which includes 10 free posters to help promote the event.  Let's make the 2017 Lights On Afterschool the best! 

Any observant educator knows that after-school and summer learning opportunities are critical elements of a great education, helping students to succeed in school, work and life. That is especially true when it comes to science, technology, engineering, and math. Out-of-school learning makes STEM come alive for young people, providing more room for engaging hands-on activities and experimentation. It can also link them to potential career exploration in growing fields, including robotics, computer science, advanced manufacturing, and alternative energy.  

President Donald Trump's proposed  federal budget for fiscal 2018  would eliminate the single largest funding source for these programs: an annual $1.2 billion for after-school programs supported by the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, which enrolls more than 1 million students across rural, urban, and suburban communities in all 50 states. But the damage wouldn't stop there. The budget also proposes slashing other critical supports to STEM learning, such as funding for programs through NASA's office of education and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, as well as professional development for classroom teachers.

The sadder news is that there are already a lack of opportunities for out-of-school STEM learning. Every summer, millions of children  do not have access to programs because there are not enough seats. We need to scale up-not cut back-high-quality after-school and summer learning programs to ensure a spot for every child who wants to participate.

STEM learning opportunities outside of school are particularly important for students who are too often left out and left behind, including those who live in rural communities, low-income children of color, and girls-all of whom already face barriers to pursuing STEM careers. For example, the wealthiest 20 percent of families outspend the poorest 20 percent of families by about $90,000 on their children's enrichment activities outside of school by the time students are 12 years old. This leads to a 6,000-hour deficit and a significant  learning and opportunity gap  between middle-class and low-income children.

In contrast, students who take part in STEM after-school programs report increased interest in science careers and gains in skills such as creativity, perseverance, and experimentation. A  study released this year,  supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and STEM Next confirms this. They looked at the impact of more than 160 after-school programs, surveying nearly 1,600 students in grades 4-12 across 11 states and found that 80 percent of participants  reported a positive gain  in their science-career knowledge. Seventy-eight percent experienced a positive change in their self-reported interest in science; 72 percent reported an increase in their perseverance and critical-thinking skills; and 73 percent reported an increase in "STEM identity"-a personal belief that success in a scientific field is possible.

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The members of Boys & Girls Clubs in Farmville have had quite a busy summer taking part in numerous community based activities.  This Club's daily attendance averages 100 youth in grades K-12 from the Farmville community.  Most, if not all members, who regularly attended this summer, were able to participate in a wide variety of activities in Farmville because of the wonderful community partnerships that are in place.

Thanks to public school partners, once a week, during the month of July, members in grades K-5 were involved in Literacy and STEM based activities at the elementary school under the guidance of the Media Coordinator.  At the middle school, rising 6th graders participated in a transition to middle school camp.  Seventh and eighth graders were involved in math and science enrichment at the middle school.  Both programs were facilitated by a sixth grade teacher.

Farmville is fortunate to have a Pitt Community College (PCC) satellite campus in the heart of town.  High school Boys & Girls Club members were involved in programming at that site.  Programming included a wide range of awareness sessions pertaining to college and career readiness.  Programming was conducted by PCC staff.  The culminating activity was a community Career Fair comprised of business and industries based in Farmville.  This Career Fair was vehicle for the teens to have an awareness of what jobs are available for them locally and the skills needed to do those jobs.  It was also a way for business and industry leaders to interact with the youth right in the community and find potential employees.

The Farmville Library provided Arts & Crafts and Poetry programming to middle and high school members.  The Mediation Center of Eastern North Carolina conducted the program, Girls Empowered, for middle school girls.  The Girls Scouts also have a presence in the Club working with girls ages 6-11.  The Club's middle and high school members also work in the town's community garden.


Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) describes all forms of abuse, neglect or traumatic experiences that individuals experience under the age of 18. Between 1995 and 1997, the landmark CDC Kaiser Permanente ACE study documented the prevalence of traumatic experiences in childhood and examined the relationship between these experiences and reduced health and well-being later in life among over 17,000 people. Among study participants, 28% were physically abused as children; 21% were sexually abused; 27% lived in households where substance abuse occurred; and 13% lived in homes where the mother was treated violently. One in five children experienced traumatic events in three or more categories of ACEs. 

Responses to traumatic experiences affect whether students are able to engage productively in social contexts.  Though students can display remarkable resilience in the face of adversity, experiences of trauma can also shape brain development and behavior in ways that inhibit success in school and lead to negative academic and life outcomes. 

How do ACEs impact children during afterschool and out-of-school time programs?
Research has shown that children who have experienced trauma are more likely to have issues that may be commonly seen in schools and after school programs. These include impaired memory, low verbal/communication skills, difficulties with attention, regulating emotions, executive functions, lower IQ scores, increased internalizing behaviors (such as depression, anxiety, withdrawing), and increased externalizing behaviors (such as aggression, defiance, hyperactivity). If a child shows these symptoms repeatedly, it is important to ask yourself, "What happened to this child?" rather than "What is wrong with this child?"
There are ways to increase a child's resilience even when faced with trauma:
  • Structure and routine help children who have faced trauma have a sense of control knowing what to expect in their day to day as well as feeling a greater sense of stability; changes in schedule, spontaneity, and surprises often cause difficulties for children who have experienced trauma  
  • Relationships are essential to helping these children - children with a strong attachment to a caring adult are more likely to feel both physically and emotionally safe in their environments
  • Self-regulation will help children who are experiencing a wide range of emotions due to trauma or trauma reminders (also called triggers) calm down, feel safe, and find security to be able to play or learn in a growth-promoting way
Children with ACEs who do not have access to after school programs are instead often left to spend hours at home in an environment with little or no supervision and little or no sense of routine or structure. It is hard for a child with trauma to feel safe - physically and emotionally - if they do not have a safe and supportive environment to go to afterschool. A lack of structure or lack of supervision with a caring adult  during this time period each day may illicit fear, anxiety, and impulsive behaviors leading to the fight, flight, or freeze response for many children who have faced trauma.  

Perfect, M. M., Turley, M. R., Carlson, J.S., Yohanna, J., & Pfenninger Saint Gilles, M. (2016). School-related outcomes of traumatic event exposure and traumatic stress symptoms in students: A systematic review of research from 1990 to 2015. School Mental Health, 8(1), pp. 7-43
NBA Math Hoops is a fast-paced basketball board game, curriculum, and community program that allows students to learn fundamental math skills through direct engagement with the real statistics of their favorite NBA and WNBA players. The NBA Math Hoops curriculum is tied to Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Learning Skills, and it has been shown to improve students' basic math skills and understanding of statistics, in addition to their interpersonal skills, driving them to collaborate more effectively with their peers.

With an appreciation and understanding of math, students will become passionate, self-directed learners, and they will have the capacity to control their personal and educational narratives. They will have a better chance of graduating from high school, attending college, and ultimately pursuing meaningful careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. We create Math Champions, one game at a time.

The NBA Math Hoops training in North Carolina allows educators to access the Charlotte Hornets' signature STEM program at  no cost . During the two-hour training session, participants will learn how to play the Math Hoops board game, implement the program's curriculum, and gain access to special incentives and events during the school year. All are sponsored by the Hornets , creating a unique connection between you, your students, and the team!

In 2016, 4th through 8th grade students' math scores experienced a 36.7% growth rate on the program's pre- to post-assessment, and 88% of participating educators reported notable gains in their students' math skills. To date, over 62,000 students have completed more than 35 million math problems through NBA Math Hoops! 

NBA Math  Hoops will be holding trainings throughout North Carolina in October. If you are interested in becoming part of the 2017-2018 NBA Math Hoops Season, please email Colleen Serafini, the Director of Program Partnerships and Outreach, at 
On July 18, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce Education (HEW) convened a hearing entitled "ESSA Implementation: Exploring State and Local Reform Efforts." The hearing focused on what states have done so far to develop their consolidated state accountability plans for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and whether the federal government and the Department of Education (ED) need to do more or less to assist in their development and review.

A recurring theme of the hearing was the pending appropriations debate that would potentially shortchange a number of ESSA and education related programs. The hearing also included a robust conversation on supporting students through afterschool and summer learning programs, and Dr. Gail Pletnick, president of the State Superintendents Association (AASA), emphasized the point that afterschool programs are key investments in supporting student attendance and achievement and engaging students and parents in education.

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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. 

Nordstrom is pleased to donate 1% of all of their Gift Cards sales to qualified nonprofit organizations in the communities they serve. Nordstrom-directed contributions focus on programs and organizations that care for kids and empower youth. 

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. 
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. 
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. 
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