APRIL 2019
Thank you to everyone that registered for the upcoming Synergy Conference. In a few short weeks, we look forward to hosting you at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, North Carolina. The Synergy Conference is the premiere afterschool and expanded learning conference in North Carolina. We are excited about the conference agenda which is full of engaging keynote speakers, workshops, networking opportunities, vendors and more. 

Late Registration is still open for the annual SYNERGY CONFERENCE! We hope you will join us on April 24-25, 2019 at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. You can register here by April 10th at the rate of $250. 

If you are attending the Synergy Conference an have not yet secured a hotel room with the conference block at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons, you can still secure a room directly from the hotel here.  The conference rate of $145/night is no longer available and rooms will be available at the hotels current best available rate. 

Check out the SYNERGY CONFERENCE 2019 page periodically for additional conference details. 

We can't wait to see you in Greensboro!
For friends of afterschool, the last week of March has been a busy one in Washington, D.C., with both the House and the Senate holding education appropriations hearings and letters of support for 21st Century Community Learning Center afterschool and summer learning programs submitted to appropriators.

On Tuesday, March 26, while afterschool advocates nationwide were celebrating #3to6Day on social media, promoting many amazing afterschool success stories, the House Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies held a hearing on the Department of Education's Budget Request for FY2020. The hearing comes on the heels of the release of the president's FY2020 budget proposal that seeks to cut education funding by more than 10 percent and eliminates 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Secretary of Education DeVos was the only witness for the hearing and received a less than warm welcome from Democrats, who took issue with a budget proposal that includes drastic cuts to funding for the Department of Education when additional investments are needed. Republicans noted some support for the proposal, but also raised concerns about cuts to the TRIO program and asked for explanations related to funding for mental health programs and how a would-be Pell grant expansion would work.

With regard to support for afterschool and summer learning programs, in their opening statements both Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and full Appropriations Committee Chair Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) cited their displeasure with the proposed elimination of the 21 s t Century Community Learning Centers initiative. Chair Lowey's first question for the Secretary was about the proposed Community Learning Centers elimination, citing the Department of Education's own most recent report on the program that found that half of students in Community Learning Centers-funded afterschool programs improved math and reading grades, more than two-thirds (68 percent) improved homework completion and class participation, and three out of five improved classroom behavior. Mrs. Lowey also talked about the success of Community Learning Centers programs in her district in New York that are helping young people develop the skills they need to succeed in school and later in life.

In defense of the proposed cuts, Secretary DeVos said the federal dollars are not getting to the best programs and cited 2017 data about student gains in reading and math that were inconsistent with other data. She then emphasized that afterschool programs are effective in general and that the proposed elimination is not a dismissal of afterschool, but a reprioritization of funding for other programs. She suggested afterschool could be funded at the state and local level or through philanthropy. While we agree that there is a role for state, local, parental, and philanthropic investments, the federal investment is absolutely critical to help ensure that children in low-income communities that lack other resources still have access to quality afterschool and summer programs that help them avoid risky behaviors, inspire learning and help working families.

To read the full article, click  here.

Article from: 
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
So many young people miss opportunities when they think "I'm not a science or a math person." We want to change this perspective one positive STEM experience at a time. 
NC CAP wants ALL people to be STEM people, which is why we created free STEM lesson plans for out-of-school time providers. 
  1.  All of the background is included in each activity. You don't have to be a scientist to teach or learn STEM.
  2.  All ages, from K-12, have activities, suggested adaptations, and resources.
  3. All activities are correlated to NC Essential Standards in Science.
  4.  All program settings are incorporated, whether it is in classroom, in playgrounds, in gyms or in nature.
  5. All people are valued, with teacher notes in each lesson to include people who have Sensory Integration Issues.
  6. All families can participate. Our STEM To-Go activities connect children, schools, out-of-school time programs, and families through STEM adventures at home. Check back soon for our STEM TO GO sheets in Spanish!
  7.  All lessons include technology, with interactive websites and tech adventures for kids.
This month's lessons represent Life Science and Physical Science. Each lesson includes:
  • Snapshot Overview
  • Fast Facts
  • Lesson
  • STEM To-Go
  • Video Overview 
To view this month's lessons 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. 

Life Science 
Check out this lesson here

Physical Science
Check out this lesson here

This year's conference is themed " DOING THE M.O.S.T.: MAXIMIZING OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME".  You can purchase an official conference t-shirt with the Doing The M.O.S.T. logo celebrating the many ways afterschool, before school and summer programs engage youth and families.  Doing The M.O.S.T. t-shirts are available in adult and youth sizes and are $10 if ordered using the link below before April 14th.  Pre-ordered shirts will be available for pick-up at the Synergy Conference during registration. A limited number of shirts will be available for purchase at the Synergy Conference for $15. 

North Carolina Campus Compact is currently soliciting host sites for their AmeriCorps  VISTA program, the NC Afterschool Corps. The NC Afterschool Corps strengthens afterschool programming in select communities by building the capacity of afterschool and expanded learning programs that serve low-income children, while developing these programs' connection to local colleges and universities.

What the VISTA member will do?
The full-time AmeriCorps  VISTA member will be placed at your organization for 1 year, with an option to renew the placement for up to 2 additional years (3 years total). The  VISTA member will assist your organization with volunteer recruitment and training and with fundraising and grant-writing. Our project also includes a curricular element called "Design for Change" which can be easily incorporated into your existing afterschool curriculum as either a short, one-time event or a longer-term project. The  VISTA will also lead that piece.
Host sites can be a college/university or a community-based organization. Community-based organizations must partner with a local college/university.

What does it cost an organization to host a VISTA?
Host sites must pay an annual administrative fee of $5000. We also ask host sites to provide housing support for the member in the range of $200/month. You must also reimburse the  VISTA member for service-related travel required to carry out assigned duties. These would be the primary direct costs to your organization. The administrative fee and housing fees can be paid in installments. You can also explore sharing the fee and housing costs with your partner organization. See the list of NC Campus Compact member institutions.
Through this project your organization would obtain a full-time AmeriCorps service member for 12 months for just under $8,000. (The member's living stipend and health benefits are paid by AmeriCorps.)

Next Steps
If you are interested in serving as a host site, visit this link to learn more: . The proposal deadline is April 5. Host site preference will be given to organizations who are members of NC CAP.  If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Leslie Garvin ( [email protected] ) or call (336) 278-7278.

It's often said that a budget is a statement of priorities and last week a majority of President Trump's priorities were laid out through his FY2020 budget proposal. Due to the partial government shutdown earlier this year, it was a full week before all of the details, specifically those of the National Science Foundation (NSF), were laid clear for the public to see. We wrote about the Trump administration's  five-year STEM education strategy when it was released this past December, but despite the plan's "call to action" for federal agencies to make STEM education and engagement a greater emphasis of their work, the president's budget presented mixed signals for STEM education, especially for federal agencies like NASA, NOAA, and NSF.

The president's budget again has proposed to eliminate the 21 st Century Community Learning Centers (21 st CCLC) program, which provides afterschool and summer learning programs to 1.7 million children across the country. Many of these federally funded afterschool and summer programs are where students experience the innovative and engaging STEM learning opportunities that help connect real world experiences to what they learn during the school day. Additionally, the president's budget proposes the elimination of Title IV Part A (Student Support and Academic Enrichment) and Title II (professional development for teachers) that would impact the availability and quality of afterschool STEM programs for students, respectively.

So how did the president's budget fair when it came to STEM education, particularly in afterschool and summer?  

Science STEM Education and Engagement sees cuts in budget proposal
Consistent with last year's budget, the president's proposal calls for the elimination of NASA's STEM Engagement office ($110 million) and NOAA's grants and education office ($276 million), along with a near elimination of the Institute of Museum and Library Services ($219 million). These proposals are of particular concern to the afterschool field due to the pending partnerships each are undertaking with the Department of Education to provide STEM opportunities in Community Learning Center programs. These efforts are a great example of the inter-agency collaboration that was called for in the federal five-year STEM strategy, and eliminating these offices and agencies would severely impact the scaling of these partnerships.

The NC Center for Afterschool Programs [NC CAP] developed a statewide, searchable database for out-of-school time programs that serve K-12 youth before school, after school, summers, weekends and during school breaks. Programs that take place in schools, school-age child care centers, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, universities, libraries, museums, camps, and other locations can register their programs in the statewide mapping database. You can utilize this database to search for information on program locations, activities, number and grades of youth served.  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! 

Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is a joint effort of community partners, afterschool programs, youth and child development workers and individuals who have committed to declaring the last full week of April each year as a time to recognize and appreciate those who work with youth during out-of-school hours.   The NC Center for Afterschool Programs is joining with the   National AfterSchool Association  to celebrate the professionals that are at the heart of afterschool programs during "Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week" April 22-26, 2019.

We are joining the effort because we believe Afterschool professionals make a difference in the lives of young people. We encourage you to join us in thanking the your colleagues and other afterschool professionals in your life. Here are some ideas on how you can show your appreciation: 
  • Declare on social media: "I believe Afterschool professionals make a difference in the lives of young people. #heartofafterschool"
  • Give a hand-written card from you and/or your child to the afterschool professional in your life.
  • Send an email to an afterschool professional's supervisor describing why that person is appreciated.
  • Make treats for the staff at your afterschool program.For more resources and information check out
Watch this video to learn about what Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is all about:

Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week 2019
CONGRATULATIONS to the Christine W. Avery Learning Center . Your program was randomly selected from the Mapping Database. The registration fee will be waived for a member of your staff to attend the Synergy Conference 2019 free of charge. Please email [email protected] to register your staff member for this year's conference. 

For schools and communities interested in implementing SEL interventions, a new report offers guidance on how to do just that! The Wallace Foundation and RAND recently released " Investing in Evidence Based Social and Emotional Learning," a companion guide to a 2017 RAND evidence review of SEL programs intended to better inform providers and policymakers on how the programs could be used under ESSA. This report builds off of that review by providing more targeted guidance about best practices for implementation. It identifies five steps that communities can take to effect change, while emphasizing the importance of taking into account local factors of equity, coherence, and capacity.

Steps for Promoting Effective Investments in SEL:
  1. Identify local needs: The first step for any successful intervention implementation is to recognize the specific needs of a community--to discern the specific areas an intervention will target and any potential limiting factors. This guide offers several suggestions on how to best select a needs assessment, what data to focus on, and how to analyze and make sense of that data once it has been collected.
  2. Select relevant, evidence-based interventions: Decision makers then need to move from data to decisions and prioritize the needs in their communities to select an SEL intervention that makes the most sense for youth, staff, and stakeholders. The report recommends important considerations to direct your focus, shares examples from the field on how to make sense of multiple data measures, and includes helpful resources for selecting relevant SEL interventions.
  3. Plan for Implementation: Once a specific intervention has been identified, those involved will need to develop a plan for high-quality execution; the study recommends the creation of a logic model, which makes the connection between specific activities and targeted outcomes, and provides clear explanation and additional resources for developing your own logic model.
  4. Implement: Practitioners should continually monitor implementation and track relevant data to see how well outcomes and goals are being met. The guide includes explanations of appropriate measures and gauges, and refers to helpful resources to monitor the implementation plan.
  5. Examine and reflect: Providers and decision makers should evaluate the effectiveness of their intervention at different stages throughout implementation. This resource not only outlines effective ways to make sense of collected data, but also offers insight into best practices in sharing out results and next steps once outcomes have been interpreted. Most importantly: leaders should revisit this process of needs-assessment and examination regularly to ensure that their approaches continue to be successful and adapt to the changing needs of the communities in which they work.
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 Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened it's application for the 2019 Student STEM Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant awards.  SSEP supports diverse programs with a common goal: to enable primary and secondary students to participate in creative, hands-on STEM activities for K-12 students and pursue inquiry-based exploration in BWF's home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. The application deadline is   April 16, 2019 . 

Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students who are below grade level or having trouble reading are eligible to apply. Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas: (1) implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs, (2) purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives, (3) purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs.

The M. Jack and Dorothy Stephens Fund was established through an estate gift to Triangle Community Foundation in 2012 to address the needs of disadvantaged people in the communities of southern Wake County. The Foundation invites 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, religious congregations, and governmental agencies to apply. Organizations must: (1) be based in or predominantly serving the communities in southern Wake County (defined as Garner, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, and Apex, (2) address the needs of disadvantaged people, and (3) meet the Foundation's non-discrimination policy. 

K-12 schools are eligible to enroll in the sweepstakes and vote daily for their school, from not until the deadline on April 27. Enter daily for your chance to win $10,000 for STEM at your school. This is your chance to get the STEM technology and resources you need to "fab" your lab.

The Sparkplug Foundation funds start-up organizations and new projects of established organizations in music, education, and community organizing. Their particular focus is on "the development of democratic movements and communities, especially those that work on issues of local democracy, justice, and sustainable energy. 
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