The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs has a new website. 
Visit our new website at for updates and resources. 

Look no further! Adding to the research conversation discussing the value of afterschool and summer learning programs, the Afterschool Alliance has released two new fact sheets that provide a sampling of evaluation findings demonstrating the positive impact programs have on students, with subjects ranging from helping students become more engaged in learning to improving students' foundational skills, such as communication and decision-making skills. 

The two fact sheets include different sets of information meant to complement one another. " What does the research say about 21st Century Community Learning Centers ?" focuses specifically on findings from evaluations of Community Learning Centers programs, including statewide evaluations from a number of states across the country, such as California, Texas, and West Virginia. On the other hand, " What does the research say about afterschool?" includes student outcomes from evaluations of afterschool programs more broadly, comprising evaluations of Community Learning Centers programs as well as referencing meta-analyses (an approach that looks at multiple studies and their data) and national-level studies.

You can read the full "What does the research say about 21st Century Community Learning Centers?" article 
here .
You can read the full "What does the research say about afterschool?" article here.


As November ends, Congress has just 12 days before the expiration of the continuing resolution that is currently funding the government on December 8. While there is little time left before this deadline, negotiations continue between House and Senate leadership from both parties with the goal of striking a deal that will raise defense and non-defense spending caps paving the way for a FY 2018 omnibus spending bill.    

Earlier this month Senate Appropriations Committee chair Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) issued an  official statement regarding the committee's responsibility to fund the government, urging leadership and the White House to make a spending deal as soon as possible. However there are a number of barriers preventing a deal, including final agreement on top level defense and non-defense spending levels, whether to include a bipartisan healthcare subsidy package, funding for the border wall, an agreement on DACA, and other issues.

If Congress does not reach a spending deal this week, they are likely to pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR), which would temporarily allow the government to remain open and operating at last year's funding levels. Many members of Congress want to complete the FY 2018 spending package before the end of the calendar year, while other members - particularly members of the House Republican Study Committee - do not want to be pushed to vote on a final bill while also trying to pass a tax cut bill and another supplemental disaster relief bill by December 31, preferring that the next CR reach into the new year. Even without an extension, the present short-term CR could extend into late December or possibly into January or February, providing additional time to reach a deal. If Congress does not pass a temporary continuing resolution, the government will shut down.

If leadership can broker a spending deal, appropriators will then negotiate individual funding levels for each government program. 21 st Century Community Learning Center (21 st CCLC) funding was set at $1.192 billion by the Senate earlier this fall; however  the House has proposed $1.1 billion for Community Learning Centers. While final spending levels will most likely fall within that range, the lower level of $1.1 billion would mean almost 100,000 youth could lose access to programming.

NC Afterschool Champions can weigh in with Congress  here about the importance of federal afterschool funding that provides support for local school and community based organizations that serve almost 1.8 million children.  
The SYNERGY CONFERENCE 2018 will convene April 25-27 at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, NC. Proposals for workshop presenters and vendors are now open to the public. The Request For Proposals (RFPs), deadlines and additional details can be accessed by going to Come be a part of the state's only convening for afterschool and expanded learning opportunities. 

Everything starts with a vision and a dream. As a child, we begin to color the canvas of our life and everything we do has a color and it affects us in ways we don't even realize. Str8t Progress was a vision and a dream, because we thought back to when we were children and how much fun we had in our afterschool program. We thought about our friends, the activities we did, the adults that loved on us, how we found our niche, how we learned our times tables, how we laughed and cried together and realized that programs like this are becoming extinct. 

Str8t Progress is our way of giving back to our community by making each child better. We focus on character building more than often because we know that without character their journey won't be far.   

This year our focus is reading because of the huge distractions of technology our children have began to lose interest in a good book. So this year our motto is read, read, read! We have excited our readers by rewarding them every Friday according to the books they've read during the week and needless to say everyone is looking for a book before Friday. 

We offer homework assistance, mild tutoring, hearty meals and snacks, physical activities, arts and crafts, and big hugs. Homework and reading are also our number one priority among teaching character and showing love. 

While Kinston has been rated second in the state for crime, poverty stricken areas are not too far behind. So we've partnered with our schools to establish this program to give our children a better chance at success. We service grades K-8. We provide transportation to the program and the parents pick up. Our hours of service are from 3:00 pm to 6:00pm. We operate daily Monday through Friday. We love each and every child as if they were our own in hopes that we will be the beautiful colors in their canvas as they begin their life's painting. 
For out-of-school time program leaders looking to get students outside more, it might seem counterintuitive to introduce digital media into their programming. After all, don't kids already spend too much time in front of screens? Why use digital media when what you really want to do is get kids outdoors?

PLUM LANDING, the innovative PBS KIDS multimedia project that encourages children to explore the outdoors, has an answer to that question: Because digital media can actually enhance kids' exploration of nature! The trick is creating media that actively engages kids, and harnesses the unique power of technology to inspire, teach, foster engagement, and turn it towards outdoor learning experiences.

WGBH, a leader in developing educational media for children, developed PLUM LANDING to help kids learn about the environment and inspire them to become caretakers of the planet. The project includes hands-on outdoor learning activities, games, videos, apps, and an online drawing tool and gallery where kids can share their ideas about nature-all designed to promote children's active investigation of the world around them. Building on the success  of the program, WGBH has just released the  PLUM LANDING Explore Outdoors Toolkit , a new set of materials designed to help kids and families in urban environments get outside, get moving, and get into nature. 

WGBH drew on its 20 years of experience discovering and developing effective approaches to hands-on science learning in out-of-school time settings to make the resources as accessible as possible for informal educators.  There are three options for educators who work with kids in afterschool settings: one-hour afterschool sessions, week-long afterschool clubs, and week-long afterschool camps. In each case, an activity begins with an optional animated video that introduces a science concept. Then children participate in a hands-on, outdoor exploration that blends physical activity and fun with science learning. Activities are one hour long and focus on a specific environmental topic or question aligned to the  Next Generation Science Standards .

You can read the full article here.

The National AfterSchool Association is the voice of the afterschool profession; the national membership organization for you, people who work with and on behalf of children and youth during out of school time. NAA, like NC CAP, is on a mission to promote development, provide education, and encourage advocacy for the out-of-school-time community to further the afterschool profession.
Together we are building the capacity of the field and the knowledge and competency of the afterschool community - be it children and youth who attend the programs, entry and developing staff who work directly with children and youth, leaders at all levels who play a variety of key roles, and mastery level professionals who provide research and thought leadership.
Would you like to be engaged with a national community comprised of afterschool and youth development professionals from across the nation?
If so, there are currently two membership levels for individuals:
  • Executive Level -  Your $99 annual contribution (that amounts to $8.25 per month) provides benefits designed specifically to meet the needs of current and emerging afterschool leaders AND supports the overall development of the afterschool profession.
  • Ambassador Level - A free starter membership provides benefits designed for entry and developing afterschool professionals.

U.S. policymakers have prioritized boosting student interest in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM) to prepare the nation's youth for an increasingly STEM-focused workforce. High-quality STEM afterschool programs are helping to fill this growing need. The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Noyce Foundation (now STEM Next) played a critical role in helping states across the country to develop systems of support for these quality afterschool STEM programs so that they can share research and best practices.

To support this effort, we at The PEAR Institute (Partnerships in Education and Resilience) at McLean Hospital and Harvard University partnered with Dr. Todd Little and IMMAP (Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis & Policy) at Texas Tech University to conduct one of the first large-scale evaluations to measure the impact of afterschool programs on students' STEM-related attitudes, social-emotional skills, and 21st-century skills. Our report was made possible through a collaboration of researchers, practitioners, funders, and 11 statewide afterschool networks.

Nearly 1,600 students (grades 4-12), who were enrolled in one of 160 afterschool STEM programs selected to be representative of the U.S. as a whole, participated in this evaluation during the spring of 2016. The main question driving our research was to better understand if recent investments in quality STEM afterschool programming had any connection to improved student outcomes.

While the evaluation found variations across states, in general, participation in STEM-focused afterschool programs led to major, positive changes in students' attitudes toward science (see figure). More than 70 percent of students reported positive gains in areas such as STEM interest, STEM identity, STEM career interest and career knowledge, and 21st-century skills, including perseverance and critical thinking. The evaluation was also able to answer our question about the connection between program quality and student outcomes: students participating in higher-quality STEM programs reported more positive gains than students participating in lower-quality STEM programs. Importantly, all programs excelled in one or more dimensions that we use to define quality.

The evaluation data supports the notion that investing in STEM program quality produces a greater return on investment from the perspective of students, and our future work will continue to drill down into the specific factors that make the most impact. We are happy to have data that policymakers can confidently use for decision making in the future.

To read the full evaluation, click here

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CMAST Youth Programs provides a variety of programs for young people who are interested in Marine and Environmental Sciences and Technology. 

Some of our Programs include: 

Sea Wolf 4H Club for youth age 13-18 within the club we have a Science Communications Team, ROV Competition team and an Envirothon Team 

Sea Scout Ship Sea Wolf (1810) a Scouting program for young people age 14-20

Coastal Teen Science Cafe- held the first Thursday of each month for your 13-18 which is a free dinner with a local scientist. 

North Carolina Youth Ocean Conservation Summit- an annual summit for teenagers to learn about and solve ocean related issues. This year it will be held on February 24th at Duke Marine Lab. 

Coastal Carolina MATE ROV Regional Competition. Underwater Robot Competition for Elementary-College, We also offer youth STEM academies during the school year and Youth Marine Science and Technology camps in the summer.
Voices for Healthy Kids®, an initiative of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Heart Association, recently released an Out of School Time (OST) Campaign Toolkit. The toolkit is designed to empower OST advocates to take action in their communities and improve health of children in OST programs. Some features of the toolkit are new graphics, social media samples, fact sheets, messaging guides, and other resources. The toolkit can be downloaded here.

While you are downloading all the wonderful resources from the new toolkit, be sure to check out the open call for proposals to advance healthy eating and physical activity in your state. This round of funding is specifically limited to proposals in the areas of the school health (physical activity/physical education, junk food marketing, wellness, ESSA, school food, and water), early care and education, and out-of-school-time policy levers. Applications must support the Voices for Healthy Kids OST Policy Lever: Pursue policy changes that require out-of-school time programs to integrate national healthy eating and physical activity (HEPA) standards into recognition programs, accreditation programs, certifications, and rating systems.

The deadline for submission is fast approaching; all applications must be submitted by  December 8, 2017 at 5 p.m. PST. Visit the  grant portal to learn more!

Last but not least, be sure to join the movement! As the only online national network of people focusing on helping kids grow up at a healthy weight, the Voices for Healthy Kids Action Center (formerly is the place where leaders and organizations connect with hundreds of thousands of health and wellness supporters in advocacy efforts and policy implementation. The action center offers two pathways to membership; you can sign up as  an individual leader or you can create  an organization profile

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The American Honda Foundation engages in grant making that reflects the basic tenets, beliefs and philosophies of Honda companies, which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative. They support youth education with a specific focus on the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects in addition to the environment. Funding priority is youth education, specifically in the areas of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, the environment, job training and literacy. 

The Kids 'N Community Foundation accepts grant proposals from non-profit organizations that specialize in working with children. Grants from the Foundation support the on-going work of operating organizations that help needy children in the areas of health, education, and underserved populations. The High-Impact GOAL Grants provide funding to non-profit children's organization in the amount of $50,000 over a three-year commitment. 
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. 
NC CAP | 919.781.6833 | Email | Website