JULY 2022
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) Office of Learning Recovery & Acceleration (OLR) is launching a $36M program for math acceleration and enrichment programs for grades 4-8 on July 1st. Programs can take place before or after school, or on the weekends. Additionally, the allowable uses align with that of the 21st Century Grant. Funds will be allocated to PSUs, and OLR will provide technical guidance support to PSUs as they develop their programs. How can you help? Do you have, or have you seen an engaging program for mathematics (grades 4-8)? Do you provide or know of an engaging math resource that is aligned to grades 4-8 standards? If so, tell the Office of Learning Recovery & Acceleration about it by completing this survey.
The Dimensions of Success Program Planning Tool (DoS-PPT) is a free resource for facilitators of out-of-school and in-school STEM learning programs. The planning tool provides a brief introduction to each dimension of the DoS framework, sample videos, and examples to guide the use of DoS when preparing activity plans for youth. During this training, participants will:
  • Develop a high-level understanding of the DoS Framework, dimensions of quality
  • Learn how to plan high-quality STEM learning experiences using the DoS Program Planning Tool
  • Work with the newly revised DoS Program Planning Tool to identify and plan for high-quality program and activity planning practices

The training dates are August 2nd and 4th, 2022 from 2 pm to 3:30 pm EST.

Register here today to participate in this FREE opportunity!
Over the past three years, the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement has been on a journey to uncover and understand the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that family-facing professionals bring to forming strong family, school, and community partnerships. They are bringing what they have learned together into the Family Engagement Core Competencies: A Body of Knowledge, Skills, and Dispositions for Family-Facing Professionals (Family Engagement Core Competencies).

The purpose of the Family Engagement Core Competencies is to create a nationally agreed-upon and unifying set of professional competencies for the family engagement field. While there are a number of standards documents that stress the importance of family-facing professionals having family engagement competencies, these standards are typically aligned to roles within specific fields and organizations (e.g. educators, school counselors, administrators, parent associations, etc) or to particular points in children's development, most frequently the early childhood years.

To their knowledge, there is currently no one set of competencies for family-facing professionals to practice family engagement in education across the developmental spectrum, particularly one that is grounded in an equity and social justice orientation. The goal of the Family Engagement Core Competencies is not to replace or supplant the existing work that has come before it, but rather, to enhance, unify, and amplify it.

The Family Engagement Core Competencies are important for a number of reasons:
  • Without an underlying set of guiding competencies, preparation, and continuous learning of family engagement becomes haphazard and siloed. There needs to be a strong set of competencies - a north star - which preparation and professional learning strive to reach.
  • Family-facing professionals are often not well-prepared for family engagement. Family-facing professionals frequently report that they receive little support in their pre-service or professional learning to engage families. The Family Engagement Core Competencies will help shape a scope and sequence for more comprehensive learning and training.
  • Family engagement is a matter of equity. The role of systemic racism, implicit bias, and income inequality in shaping educational and opportunity disparities are more pronounced than ever before and require a guidepost to ensure mutual reciprocal relationships among families, communities, and institutions to rebuild trust and equity in our society.
  • Family-facing professionals need a new set of tools and strategies to engage families. The watershed moment of the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world, one in which education will never be the same as it was before. The Family Engagement Core Competencies offer a new way of preparing educators and retooling them with an understanding of equity, health, and family well-being.

To learn more about the Family Engagement Core Competencies, please click here.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs is proud to announce the launch of a new cohort of the Afterschool Advocacy Ambassadorship. Components of the North Carolina Advocacy Ambassadorship include:

  • Identification and recruitment of OST program providers and stakeholders to participate in the Ambassadorship;
  • Monthly [virtual or in-person] meetings to discuss advocacy strategies and best practices and to identify advocacy priorities for out-of-school time programs in North Carolina;
  • Identification and cultivation of new champions who have access to key decision-makers statewide; and
  • Quarterly meetings with state and local elected officials to discuss the "State of Afterschool" for North Carolina, including the statewide Lights On Afterschool Celebration in October of 2022.

This Ambassadorship is open to afterschool and summer program providers statewide that are currently engaging in afterschool advocacy efforts or want to learn how to advocate for afterschool. North Carolina Afterschool Advocates that apply and are accepted into the Afterschool Advocacy Ambassadorship will engage in monthly virtual sessions focused on a range of Program Advocacy Topics.

Applications for the Afterschool Advocacy Ambassadorship can be submitted here.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs is a part of the Million Girls Moonshot, helping out-of-school time programs as they increase the quality of STEM learning opportunities for all young people, especially underserved and underrepresented youth. The following engineering activities can be shared with programs and families for additional STEM learning.

  • Afterschool Science PLUS - Download the Building with Wonderful Junk and take the challenge! Build a bridge or a platform that meets a set of requirements and test it. Challenge the kids to add to the activity (For example, build a bridge that will hold students up 6 inches from the floor).
  • Design Squad: Invent It, Build It: Making the world a better place - Research tells us that when kids think their activity helps others it increases engagement. Activities encourage kids to think of themselves as inventors, discuss inventing and engineering, and dispel the stereotype that engineering is boring.
  • 4 Great Outdoor Activities to Do With Kids this Summer - These easy activities are designed to be suitable for a COVID-conscious environment. Young children play outdoor games, plant a garden, make ice cream, and participate in a scavenger hunt.
  • Engineering Ocean Currents - This is a fun and interactive activity that is designed to enhance students understanding of the engineering design process.

To learn more, click here.
Afterschool programs are engaging children and youth in safe and supportive settings, where they can learn mental health and well-being skills that help them recover and thrive. In this video, afterschool students share how their programs help them build confidence, discover their passion, and give back to their community.

The toolkit is designed to provide summer program providers with tools and tips to engage parents and caregivers in supporting literacy over the summer months, particularly parents with young children (Pre-K to 3rd Grade). This is even more important following two years of the pandemic.

The Summer Learning Toolkit includes:
  • An orientation slideshow for program staff to understand the value of summer learning
  • Talking points for program staff to effectively communicate with parents about summer learning
  • A template to create a Summer Learning Action Plan so staff can continue to share the message all summer long
  • Blogs for newsletters and websites
  • Social media posts with photos and graphics (English and Spanish)
  • Text messages (English and Spanish)
  • Automated phone scripts (English and Spanish)
  • A sticker template for Summer Learning Week

Join NSLA in celebrating National Summer Learning Week from July 11-15, 2022.

To learn more, click here.
If you've been following the Afterschool Alliance's COVID work, you know they have been working to track how and where federal COVID relief funding has been tapped to support young people with comprehensive afterschool and summer enrichment programs. Three major funding bills - the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (2020), the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act (2020), and the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act (2021) - provided billions of dollars to states and localities to support communities, families, and youth. The American Rescue Plan, in particular, directed significant funds to state education agencies and school districts to be used to support students' well-being and learning acceleration, naming comprehensive afterschool and summer enrichment and learning programs as evidence-based strategies to employ. State education agencies were directed to set aside funds for afterschool and summer, and school districts were given guidance to do so.

The Afterschool Alliance is pleased to unveil a new map illustrating where funds have been invested in comprehensive afterschool and summer enrichment programs. Thus far, they have gathered more than 100 examples and have representation from every state. For now, most cover state education agencies' use of funds, as those funds flowed first and had specific guidelines for investing in afterschool and summer. However, the larger portion of funds available to support afterschool and summer programs lies at the school district level and has yet to be expended in total.

To learn more, click here.
Every person who works with young people is committed to helping them thrive. On athletic fields, in afterschool programs, in libraries, in faith-based institutions, youth-serving professionals and volunteers are making a difference every day. Through the Power of Us Workforce Survey, youth-serving professionals and volunteers can contribute to a national effort to explore, define, and elevate their profession. Take the survey today!

To take the survey, click here.
NC Educators, PBS-NC wants to hear from you! Join them at the station, on August 1st, 2022 from 10 am to 1 pm, as they kick off the school year! They would like to invite you to be a part of their Teacher Advisory Focus Group. This is for teachers (including specialists and resource teachers) from Pre K-12th grade. What to expect that day:
  • Insight into their education plan for the year
  • Opportunities to share what is important to you and your students
  • Offer feedback to PBS-NC
  • Connect with colleagues from across NC and grade bands
  • Tour the station
  • Lunch provided.
To sign up, click here.
The Mizzen By Mott app delivers inspiring and engaging activities that spark learning in young people. Supported by the Mott Foundation, Mizzen is available at no cost to afterschool professionals!

Summer is here and we're taking a deep dive into youth media making with PBS NewsHour's Student Reporting Labs (SRL) curriculum.

That's right, PBS NewsHour. Back in 2009, they launched SR: as a way to reimagine public media for teens. It took off. Starting in six pilot sites, SRL is now in 170 schools in 46 states. Today, the award-winning curriculum is available to the out-of-school time field through Mizzen. SRL's content in Mizzen. SRL's content in Mizzen brings you lessons, resources, and tools to help students research and report on stories that matter most to them and their communities.

Along the way, young people will develop media literacy and communication skills, including listening, asking questions, writing scripts, teamwork, and public speaking - all through the power of student journalism.

To view the Start-Up Guide, click here.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) 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 Allen Foundation, Inc.'s priorities and policies are: (1) to make grants to fund relevant nutritional research; (2) to support programs for the education and training of mothers during pregnancy and after the birth of their children; (3) to assist in the training of persons to work as educators and demonstrators of good nutritional practices; (4) to encourage the dissemination of information regarding healthful nutritional practices and habits; and (5) in limited situations to make grants to help solve immediate emergency hunger and malnutrition problems. Applications are due January 15th, 2023.

Centene is offering general operating grants of up to $500,000 to organizations that fall within one or more of the following areas of focus: Health, Education, Children, and the Arts. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Discover is offering grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations working in the areas of education and literacy. Funding, donations, and sponsorships are intended to support programs and initiatives that meet the needs of various communities across the country, with a particular focus on communities where Discover employees live and work. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Dogwood Health Trust seeks to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. They are interested in projects that address one or more of their strategic priorities: Housing, Education, Economic Opportunity, and Health and Wellness and that align with their overarching commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also have interests in projects related to improving broadband access to support education and healthcare bridging rural divides, and addressing racial equity issues. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The NC GlaxoSmithKline Traditional Grants provides grants of $25,000 and above to organizations to help meet the educational and health needs of today's society and future generations. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Duke Energy Foundation is committed to making strategic investments to build powerful communities where nature and wildlife thrive, youth can excel, and a talented workforce drives economic prosperity for all. These grants support programs that prevent summer reading loss, while also advancing energy, engineering, and environmental education. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Saxena Family Foundation is a privately funded, 501(c)(3) registered non-profit charitable foundation headquartered in Austin, TX. The Foundation awards grants and supports programs that have a particular focus on STEM education and around empowering women in the United States and in India. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The United Company Foundation will provide up to $400,000 to support charitable organizations and philanthropic ministries providing assistance with food, shelter, clothing, education, youth programs, the arts, health, wellness, and improvising the quality of life in a community. Applications are due on August 31st, 2022.
North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs |