JULY 2021
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) is a statewide network dedicated to increasing access to high-quality afterschool and expanded learning programs for all children and youth in North Carolina, helping them succeed in and out of school. NC CAP's work includes research and best practices in the afterschool and expanded learning environment; convening key stakeholders (statewide and regional); advocating for policies to support afterschool and expanded learning, and professional development and technical support for afterschool programs.

NC CAP is currently seeking dynamic and dedicated individuals to join our Advisory Board. If selected, members will serve a two-year term with a mid-term review.

You are encouraged to apply for the NC CAP Advisory Board if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
  • Leader within out-of-school time programs or partnering agencies focused on NC CAP's priority areas (youth development, STEM, literacy, nutrition & physical activity, equity & access)
  • Interested in Implementing impactful statewide programs and initiatives
  • Energetic and entrepreneurial business person, who is not already overextended with other commitments, eager to put their enthusiasm for changing the world to work for NC's children
  • Community leader and philanthropist willing to engage their peers to ensure access to high-quality programs for all youth
  • Astute governmental or state agency advocate that can assist in navigating the political landscape of policy development, funding, and legislation
  • Scholars and academics that want to put their expertise in NC CAP's priority areas

If you hold yourself to high expectations, then the NC CAP Advisory Board will be a very rewarding experience. NC CAP is seeking passionate individuals who will:
  • Attend four (4) quarterly (in-person or virtual) Advisory Board meetings annually
  • Actively engage in NC CAP events and communications
  • Support planning of events including the annual Synergy Conference
  • Advocate for NC CAP's mission and vision locally and statewide

Interested candidates can complete the application HERE. The deadline to apply is July 21st, 2021 at 5 pm. Applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. Selected individuals will be notified by early August for an interview.
The General Assembly of North Carolina utilized Session Law 2021-3 House Bill 196 to appropriate fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) from the Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) funds for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports (ELISS) Competitive Grant Program for the 2032-2022 period. On May 13th, 2021, the NC State Board of Education approved the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) to launch the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports (ELISS) Grant Competition for the 2021-2022 school year.

The purpose of the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program (ELISS) is to fund high-quality, independently, validated extended learning and integrated student support service programs for at-risk students whose learning has been negatively affected by COVID-19 impacts.

Nonprofit corporations and nonprofit corporations working in collaboration with local school administrative units are eligible to apply for the ELISS grant to implement new or existing eligible programs for at-risk students. This does restrict stand-alone applications from local school administrative units, charter schools, lab schools, or other governmental or educational agencies.

Programs must serve one or more of the following groups:
  1. At-risk students not performing at grade level as demonstrated by statewide assessments or not on track to meet year-end expectations, as demonstrated by existing indicators, including teacher identification,
  2. Students at-risk of dropout, and/or
  3. Students at risk of school displacement due to suspension or expulsion as a result of antisocial 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. ELISS 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 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 must be able to differentiate their 21st CCLC program from their proposed ELISS program.

If your nonprofit organization is interested in applying for the 2021-2022 ELISS Grant Competition Program, please complete the electronic Notice of Intent to Apply form no later than 5:00 pm on June 11th, 2021. Please note that submission of this notice is not a prerequisite for the application of ELISS grant funds, nor does it obligate the organization to submit an application. NC DPI hosted a technical assistance webinar to support grantees and training on navigating the web-based grants management system, the North Carolina Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP), the recordings can be found here. For questions regarding the NC DPI ELISS Grant Competition, please contact Jennifer Smith at

Applications are due August 11th, 2021 at noon.

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) is pleased to announce the opportunity for nonprofit organizations within the state to submit an External Organization Profile (EOP) for possible inclusion on a posted list of vendors experienced in providing services in out-of-school time programs for children. The agency is required under Section 4203(a)(11) of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Title IV, Part B, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC), to provide a list of prescreened external organizations. The term "external organization" is defined under Section 4201(b)(4) of ESSA, as a nonprofit organization with a record of success in running or working with before and after school (or summer recess) programs and activities; or in the case of a community where there is no such organization; a nonprofit organization in the community that enters into a written agreement or partnership with an organization with a record of success to receive mentoring and guidance in running or working with before and after school (or summer recess) programs and activities.

To meet the requirements for the minimum record of success, any organization submitting an EOP must meet the following criteria:
  • Currently operates as a nonprofit in good standing in North Carolina; and
  • Is not currently on the suspension or debarment list for the State or Federal government; and
  • Have a minimum of five years of experience operating or delivering services to out-of-school time programs in North Carolina.

If your organization meets the criteria above, it is eligible to complete and submit an EOP by Friday, July 16, 2021, at 5:00 pm. The next opportunity to submit a profile will not occur until June 2022. Once the profiles have been screened, NC DPI will post the prescreened list on the 21st CCLC website by July 31, 2021.

Completed applications must be submitted by mail. To learn more, visit the links below.
Have you asked the youth in your program what they aspire to be when they grow up? Many of them name careers such as engineer, athlete, chef, or firefighter. It is seldom that we hear, "I want to be an afterschool or summer program provider". Yet, there are amazingly passionate professionals in the out-of-school time field across North Carolina including YOU. NC CAP wants to hear the story of how YOU, one of NC's out-of-school time professionals, entered the field of out-of-school time, why YOU continue to serve youth and families in this capacity, and your hopes for the future. 

NC CAP is launching "The Journey" series to spotlight out-of-school time professionals statewide and the career pathways that have landed them in the out-of-school time field. Every professional has a unique story. If you are interested in sharing your story, NC CAP and other professionals across North Carolina would love to hear it.

If you are interested in submitting a video for "The Journey" Series, please complete this interest form. After your interest form is submitted, you will receive a link via email to record your video.
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.

These activities are designed to be sustainable in a COVID-conscious environment. Young children play outdoor games, plant a garden, make ice cream, and participate in a scavenger hunt.

In this team building activity, youth work together to lift an object by using a set of strings attached to a center ring. Each student grabs a few strings and must work together to raise the item in the center. The task requires concentration and communication. It also introduces the value of teamwork.

Project Green Schools has selected a sampling of activities from their larger program to give youth a way to apply environmental education to community issues. Join the coastal cleanup challenge, the upcycle challenge, the scavenger hunt, or other activities as a group or individually.

This is a series of discussions with math experts for parents. Good ideas about how to adapt to the current situation, take advantage of informal situations, and move forward during the summer. Ideas and tips like, "The Top 10 Ways to Experience Math this Summer".
NC CAP would like to invite STEM-invested individuals to participate in the upcoming Summer Convenings. For the Summer Convenings, we will host small focus groups on various dates and times to develop a strategic plan and identify resources and partners based on the Fall Convening's SWOT Analysis trends. In addition, NC CAP will utilize the information obtained at these convenings to develop the Top 5 Issues within North Carolina's STEM Pipeline publication. This publication will serve as a resource to support program providers and other vital stakeholders in their STEM advocacy efforts.

If you would like to participate in a convening, please click here to view the various dates and times. Please RSVP for the virtual convenings by July 9th, 2021. Participants should register for ONE convening. If your organization wants multiple individuals to participate, please register them separately. The Zoom information will be provided to the registered participants in the upcoming weeks. Please feel free to invite your colleagues and other STEM-invested individuals to participate in a convening. 
In addition to education and child care funds, the American Rescue Plan that became law in March 2021 provides $350 billion for the eligible state, local, territorial, and Tribal governments to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and bring back jobs. Under the jurisdiction of the US Department of the Treasury, the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds provide a substantial infusion of resources to help turn the tide on the pandemic, address its economic fallout and lay the foundation for a strong and equitable recovery.

Recent guidance on these Recovery Funds makes clear that allowable uses include addressing educational disparities such as "evidence-based educational services and practices to address the academic needs of students, including tutoring, summer, afterschool, and other extended learning and enrichment programs; and evidence-based practices to address the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students..." This webinar will walk through the funding opportunities at the state and local level as well as provide examples of how funds are being used to support enrichment and learning opportunities for young people.

This webinar will take place on Wednesday, July 7th, 2021 at 2 pm EST. To register, click here.
Afterschool and summer learning programs are critical allies to help kids recover. A new website,, serves as a resource for local and state education agencies on using American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to support students' academic, social, and emotional growth by partnering with community-based afterschool and summer programs.

The site includes:
  • information on funding by state and district;
  • evidence-based practices for quality programs;
  • timeline on ESSER funding disbursements and state plan requirements; and
  • examples of partnerships from around the country.

Afterschool and summer learning programs should consider sharing this site as a reference with local and state education leaders in your conversation about the use of ARP funds. There is also an
ARP webpage for the out-of-school time field and programs, which includes an overview of funding opportunities, resources to make the case to local education leaders, and tips for reaching out.

Help Kids Recover is a campaign of the Afterschool Alliance, After-School All-Stars, Boys & Girls Club of America, Children Funding Project, Girl Scouts of the USA, Girls Inc., Horizons National, National 4-H Council, National Afterschool Association, National Recreation and Parks Association, National Summer Learning Association, YMCA of the USA, and youth development and out-of-school time experts to help connect education leaders with community partners around the shared goal of supporting students.

To learn more about Help Kids Recover, click here.

The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs is launching an Afterschool Advocacy Ambassadorship. Components of the North Carolina Afterschool 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 2021.

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 deadline for applications has been extended to July 9th. Space is limited. Accepted advocates will be notified by July 12th. The introductory Ambassadorship Meeting will be on July 21st at 10:00 am.
Mizzen by Mott is an app that helps afterschool programs support youth. Get hands-on activities that foster well-being and learning in arts, STEM, storytelling, music, yoga, and youth voices.

Afterschool programs around the country are hard at work, doing all they can to support youth and families during this difficult time. As resources to these efforts, state networks have been looking for vetted, high-quality learning content that afterschool programs can use to support young people - wherever they are. The Mizzen by mott app can help. The enhanced content focuses on students' well-being; SEL; and engagement in STEM, arts, literacy, entrepreneurship, and youth voice.

With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the app and all of its content are free to afterschool providers. Download the app today from your preferred app store, click here to visit the Mizzen website.
The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights released a new report responding to the President's Executive Order on Supporting the Reopening and Continuing Operation of Schools and Early Childhood Education Providers. The report highlights how COVID-19 threatens to deepen divides in educational opportunity across the nation's classrooms and campuses if the pandemic's disparate impacts are not adequately addressed. The report explores how the impacts of the pandemic are falling disproportionately on students who went into the pandemic with the fewest educational opportunities, many of whom are from marginalized and underserved communities. Observations from the report include impacts of the pandemic on both K-12 and postsecondary education students, including how COVID-19 has deepened pre-pandemic disparities in access and opportunities facing students of color, multilingual learners, students with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ students with significant impacts on their learning. The report also discusses how many students have lost access to mental health services during the pandemic, with early research show disparities in negative mental health impacts based on students' race, ethnicity, LGBTQ+ identity, and other factors.

To read the report, click here.
The Future Pathways Toolkit is a toolkit designed to support out-of-school time professionals infuse career and college awareness, exploration, and planning into their programs. Within the toolkit, there are tons of resources including the JFF Possible Futures curriculum. The interactive Possible Futures curriculum helps students in grades 6 through 10 engage in career exploration. Through three units, students learn about STEM occupations, develop essential 21st-century skills, and consider how to positively contribute to their communities. Every lesson within the curriculum is customizable and applies to in-school, out-of-school, and extended learning settings.

To access the toolkit, click here.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers free summer meals to kids across North Carolina. The program is similar to the School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, except meals are free to all kids that come to a registered summer meals site. The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) manages the program in North Carolina.

To find free, healthy meals, you can:
  • Text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 to receive a text with the three drive-thru or pick-up sites with meals for kids closest to you.
  • Use the Site Finder Map with meal sites across the state.
  • Check your local school district's website, social media, and other communications for the most up-to-date information. Contact sites to verify the information.

To learn more about Summer Meals, 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. 
AstraZeneca US is proud to present the ACT on Health Equity: Community Solutions Challenge to support community-based non-profit organizations in bringing innovative health, wellbeing, and STEM programming to communities across the U.S. Organizations selected must present innovative solutions that positively impact the health of underserved communities and may receive a one-year charitable contribution of up to $25,000. Applications are due July 16th, 2021.

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust works to help rural communities thrive, and that starts with supporting children's social and emotional well-being, especially those impacted by toxic stress. To address this, the Trust plans to support community engagement, awareness, and system change efforts that directly engage communities most impacted by trauma and toxic stress in Robeson, Columbus, and Bladen counties. Applications are due on July 20, 2021.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) recognizes the need to support efforts that can jointly improve STEM student outcomes and align education and outreach efforts with Naval Science and Technology's current and future workforce needs. Projects that improve the capacity of education systems and communities to create impactful STEM educational experiences for students. Applications are due March 30th, 2022.

The Walmart Local Community Grants can support nonprofit organizations with programs that benefit communities within the service area they are requesting funds. All proposals should fall within Walmart's focus areas: community, sustainability, and career opportunity. Local community grants range from $250 to $5,000. Applications are due December 31st, 2021.

The William T. Grant Scholars Program supports career development for promising early-career researchers. The program funds five-year research and mentoring plans that significantly expand junior researcher's expertise in new disciplines, methods, and content areas. Applications are due July 7th, 2021.

YSA will award Afterschool Grants of up to $500 each to support youth-led service or service-learning opportunities in up to 60 afterschool programs. Applications are due July 30th, 2021.

YSA will award Fall Semester of Service Grants of $1,000 to $5,000 each to support K-12 educators to engage their students in semester-long service-learning activities with their classrooms or afterschool programs. Grants are open to public, private, or charter K-12 schools in the United States. Applications are due July 9th, 2021.

For decades, ZSR has supported positive changes to state-level systems and structures to ensure that North Carolina is a place where all people can thrive. This commitment is rooted in and driven by their mission and their core values. Over the years, their grantees have made significant gains for all North Carolinians, but still, have much to do together. Applications are due July 22nd, 2021.
North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs |