Experiences, environments and engagement are at the core of positive youth development. Afterschool professionals with competency in these areas run the quality programs that research shows benefit youth. Leaders and their teams should join NAA's 2018 Virtual Convention featuring experts from the NAA Community (including top rated workshop presenters from the in-person convention) to become inspired, connected, and equipped to provide valuable opportunities for young people.

Virtual Convention is designed to be:
  • Convenient. Listen to sessions whenever and wherever-even on mobile devices!
  • Comprehensive. Get relevant, apply-today information and techniques for your program.
  • Concise. Recorded workshops easily fit in your schedule! Don't worry-you'll still get the interactivity that you've come to expect from our great workshops-we've just had to be even more creative!
  • Effortless. Log on, listen, think, reflect, and participate in the discussions and live events.
Additional details:
The convention is conducted entirely online - all you need is an internet connection. As a convention participant you engage at your convenience, through a website where you can access: 
  • Recorded workshops - available on demand while the convention is in session. 
  • A discussion thread related to each workshop. Post your comments and questions, and interaction with presenters and other participants. 
  • Resource Library. Download and print or save handouts from all of the workshops as well as related resource documents. 
  • Virtual vendor booths in the Exhibit Hall.  
  • Networking opportunities. Post a professional profile and find others with similar professional interests and specialties. 
Training certificates are awarded for eight hours of participation in the Virtual Convention which included the following content. Participation includes interaction with presentation + videos, hands-on activities, reflection, planning, and sharing.

NC CAP has sponsored the NAA Virtual Convention for North Carolina and all programs registered in the statewide mapping database can attend the convention FREE of charge. If you are interested in participating in the NAA Virtual Convention and your program is not registered in the mapping database, you can register your program here. Programs in the mapping database will receive a separate email with a link to register for the Virtual Convening with the registration fee waived on Friday, November 2nd. 

Afterschool programs can take on the  GeoChallenge  where young people have the opportunity to be change makers in their communities and across the nation.  The GeoChallenge is an annual themed and standards-based competition from the National Geographic Society that challenges student groups in grades five through eight across the United States to develop a creative solution to a real-world problem. Participants must register to receive the program materials.  Registration  is now live!

Students form teams-between four and six people-and respond to a problem, challenge, or critical issue by using research, collaboration, creativity, and communication to create and present real-world solutions, just like National Geographic Explorers. Teams with the best projects can advance to the regional and national levels.




2. Download the Program Guide: Tackling Plastic!

Team Guide is divided into four phases:
ENGAGE, THINK, ACT, and IMPACT. The helpful guide offers tips and suggestions for how your afterschool program can guide and encourage your team(s) in each phase of their project work.

November 8 at 1:00 - 1:45 pm ET and December 5 at 1:00 - 1:45 pm ET
GeoChallenge staff and experienced coaches will help afterschool programs participate and prepare their submissions. Sessions are for afterschool educators (no students, please) and are conducted via Zoom. You must register for the GeoChallenge to get the unique code to participate in the webinar. Sessions will be recorded. 

The GeoChallenge can take as much or as little time as your program can commit. A typical afterschool program might plan for 12-15 hours over 2-3 weeks. 
At the Coach's website there are structured activities with estimated times for execution and many videos and tips to use in your program. For example: The Tremendous Travels of Trash is a 60-minute activity for ages for 11-14 that explores: What pollutants and trash can the water that goes down a drain contain? 

Afterschool programs serving kids of all ages are welcome to take the GeoChallenge, but to compete, teams of 4-6 students must be in grades 5-8 (ages 10+). 

The Power of Afterschool in North Carolina Report was released at Lights On Afterschool NC in October of 2018. 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.

As part of their commitment to high-quality programs, MeckEd offers professional development opportunities to their partners. Their 2018-2019 professional development offers opportunities for program assessment, feedback, and coaching.  The sessions will be held from 9:30 am - 11:30 am at Grier  Heights Community Center in Charlotte, NC on:

November 4, 2018 (New Date)
MORE THAN PIZZA TOPPINGS: Authentically Engaging in Youth Adult Partnerships

December 5, 2018
PLAYING WITH FIRE: Conflict, Communication, and Your True Colors of Leadership 

January 9, 2019
BEYOND ICEBREAKERS: Facilitating Group and Team Challenges that Work

February 6, 2019
BEYOND RACE: Teaching Social Justice in 2019

March 6, 2019
ROCKSTARS WANTED: Building & Engaging a Dynamic Volunteer Base 

April 3, 2019
PLAYING IN THE SANDBOX: Collaboration For Success

For additional details or to register to attend their professional development series, click here.
For many middle and high school students, community service is a requirement for graduation-one that afterschool programs often assist with, giving students a chance to give back through volunteering, community beautification efforts, and tutoring younger students. As a result, afterschool programs often see young people going above and beyond the call to improve their communities!

Do you know an exemplary youth volunteer? Nominate them for the  Prudential Spirit of Community Awards!

State Honorees: Two students in each state and the District of Columbia will be named State Honorees and receive $1,000, an engraved silver medallion, and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. with a parent or guardian for a recognition event from April 28 to May 1, 2018.

America's top youth volunteers: In D.C., a national selection committee will name 10 of the 102 State Honorees as America's top youth volunteers of the year. Winners will receive additional awards of $5,000, gold medallions, trophies for their nominating schools or organizations, and $5,000 grants from The Prudential Foundation for nonprofit charitable organizations of their choice.

Distinguished finalists will receive bronze medallions and runners-up will receive Certificates of Excellence; local honorees will receive Certificates of Achievement.

Nominations run from now until November 6, 2018. To apply, complete the application and the student/parent agreement, then email or print and deliver instructions to your local certifier (school principal or head of a county 4-H organization, Girl Scout council, Americans Red Cross chapter, YMCA, or Affiliate of Points of Light's HandsOn Network).

For details regarding the award, click  here


This hands-on training is specifically designed for  educators, advocates,  m anagers, supervisors, providers  and more that are looking to RAISE THEIR GAME. The fast paced, interactive showcase will present professionals with an  unprecedented mix of cutting edge tools, methods, and media resources that can be immediately implemented. From staff development examples to soft-skill learning... from social media utilities to motivational techniques... the SouthEastern LEAD Showcase promises to transform your expectations of what dynamic training should look like.  Presented in partnership by THREE Education and OST training agencies - Leading To Change, SchermCo, and Dreambuilders Communications.
Just in time for  Lights On Afterschool, the only national rally celebrating afterschool, a new national poll  is out that shows strong public support for afterschool. Nearly 9 in 10 adults (89 percent) agree that afterschool programs are important to their community, with bipartisan and nationwide support for afterschool programs cutting across party lines as well as geographic regions. Among Democrats, 94 percent agree that afterschool is important to their community, and among Republicans, 86 percent agree. Support is highest in the West at 92 percent, followed by the Midwest and Northeast (90 percent), and the South (87 percent).  

Additionally, the poll reveals  continued widespread support for public investment in the afterschool field, with 2 in 3 adults saying that they want their federal, state, and local leaders to provide funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Public support for investment in afterschool becomes more evident when presented with the possibility of the elimination of funds for programs. The survey found that 7 in 10 adults are opposed to eliminating federal funds for afterschool programs, with more than half of adults in strong opposition (52 percent).

When asked about the effect an elected official's support for public funding for afterschool and summer learning programs would have on their vote, 59 percent of adults say that they are more likely to vote for an individual who supported funding for afterschool and summer learning programs. Among parents, this number jumps 8 percentage points to 67 percent. 

The poll echoes findings from a  National Recreation and Park Association survey released earlier this month. In it, 93 percent of Americans agreed that "increasing the availability of affordable out-of-school time programs at local parks, recreation centers and libraries to families of all income levels should be a goal of their local government." From baby boomers to millennials, agreement that availability of out-of-school time programs should be a local government priority was above 90 percent (millennials- 97 percent, baby boomers- 92 percent).

To read the full article, click here

Excerpt from: 
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 Dudley T. Doughtery Foundation supports programs in arts, community, education, environment, healthcare and peace. Recent awards include music lessons for people with disabilities, childrens theater, learning center, writing education, afterschool and summer activities, literacy programs, arts education, and services for at-risk children and youth. 

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. 

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. 

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. 
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