JUNE 2019
This July, the NC Center for Afterschool Programs will host three Regional Convenings in various locations across the state. Each of the convenings will be held at Community Colleges that offer School-Age Career Certificates or Degree Programs. Specific dates and host community colleges are as follows:

July 23: Central Piedmont Community College [Charlotte, NC]
July 24: Edgecombe Community College [Tarboro, NC]
July 25: Durham Technical Community College [Durham, NC]

Policy & Practice Regional Convenings will provide an opportunity for attendees to engage in meaningful dialogue pertaining to the 2019 Roadmap of Need. The annual Roadmap of Need uses data on economic development, education, health and youth behavior & safety to take a whole child needs assessment of what youth living in each of North Carolina's 100 counties must have in order to thrive in school and in life. In addition to dialogue centered on the recently released Roadmap, attendees will be afforded an opportunity to explore a range of enrichment activities   presented by partnering organizations that can be utilized in programs.  Details regarding each convening's practical program enrichment spotlight is forthcoming. Lunch will be provided at each convening and attendees can register free of charge. Space is limited so secure your spot by registering today!

The agenda for each of the Regional Convenings will be as follows: 
8:30 am: Registration/Coffee
9 am: Welcome/Roadmap of Need Dialogue
10 am: Program Enrichment #1
11 am: Program Enrichment #2
12 pm: Lunch
12:30 pm: Adjournment 

 The deadline to register is Friday, July 19th. 
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.

Here are three easy ways to find and advertise free summer meals sites near you:
  1. Text "FoodNC" to 877-877
  2. Call toll free 1.866.3Hungry (1.866.348.6479) or 1.877.8Hambre (1.877.842.6273)
  3. Visit the USDA's Summer Meal Site Finder at 
FREE: Meals are free to children and teens ages 18 and younger who come to a summer meals site.
SAVE MONEY: Free summer meals will help families save money and stretch their already tight food budgets.
NUTRITIOUS: Food served at summer meal sites follows USDA nutrition guidelines and are paid for by the USDA.
SAFE: Summer meal sites are safe places for kids and teens to go, such as schools, churches, and community centers.
FUN: Many sites offer educational and recreational activities that kids of all ages can participate in so they can eat, hang out with friends and take part in activities offered.
NO ID, NO REGISTRATION: Parents don't need to apply to the program to get a free summer meal for their kids. Children simply need to come to a summer meals site in their community, and enjoy a healthy meal without the hassle of having to fill out an application or enroll in a program. No ID or registration needed.
The Synergy Conference 2019 in Greensboro, NC was a huge success. This year's conference, "Doing the M.O.S.T.: Maximizing Out-of-School Time", featured workshops in Arts & Literacy, Closing Gaps, College & Career Readiness, Mentoring, Organizational Capacity, Public/Private Partnerships, S.T.E.M., and Youth Development. 


The video of conference highlights and workshop materials  can be found  here .  

We can't wait until next year! Plans for Synergy 2020 are underway and details will be forthcoming... Hope to see you next year! 
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET
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 2019 Roadmap of Need was released at the Synergy Conference in April and is an annual in-depth needs assessment for youth across the state of North Carolina. 

First published by the Public School Forum of North Carolina and NC CAP in 2010, the Roadmap of Need uses data on health, youth behavior and safety, education, and economic development to take a whole child needs assessment of what young people living in each of North Carolina's 100 counties must have in order to thrive in school and in life.

According to the report, the five top counties where young people have the greatest likelihood for success are Orange, Wake, Union, Henderson and Moore. The bottom five counties where young people are most at risk are Northampton, Vance, Robeson, Edgecombe, and Washington. The makeup of the top five this year sees Henderson and Moore counties displacing Cabarrus and Dare; while Anson, Halifax and Warren counties moved out of the bottom five this year.

"Nearly ten years after first publishing the Roadmap of Need, the fact that our state is now divided into 'two North Carolinas' is a reality that we continue to grapple with," said Keith Poston, president and executive director of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. "Our state is one where the zip code in which you live matters too much, leaving so many of our children with access only to underfunded schools, few high quality out-of-school programs and limited options for healthy activities."

At first glance, the Roadmap points to counties in eastern North Carolina as those most at risk. However, the nature of county-wide indicators often masks the variation occurring within counties, particularly our most populous urban counties where neighborhoods that alone would be viewed as thriving on the Roadmap indicators exist in close proximity to neighborhoods with many young people in need.

Over the past several years, the Roadmap has been a key resource for afterschool providers and other education organizations when communicating with policymakers, funders, and citizens about the importance of their services, and to target areas for increased investment. School administrators, central office staff, nonprofits, community leaders, and parent advocates also use the Roadmap to demonstrate to others the needs faced by their communities. Public education advocates have brought Roadmap data to the attention of school board members, county commissioners, and members of the General Assembly in order to inform their efforts to create state and local policies that address significant community needs.
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.
This month's lesson represents Environmental Science. The lesson includes:
  • Snapshot Overview
  • Fast Facts
  • Lesson
  • STEM To-Go
  • Video Overview 
To view this month's lesson 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. 

Earth Science 
Check out this lesson here
As Mental Health Awareness Month draws to a close, we here at the Afterschool Alliance thought it was important to take a step back and look at all of the ways that afterschool programs, systems, and staff around the country are supporting the holistic development of our youth. Over the course of the month we've gone into the weeds on how afterschool and summer programs can provide critical supports to youth as they face the  opioid crisis and the  teen vaping crisis. We've talked about how vital it is to  foster partnerships and involve entire communities in the effort to address substance abuse and mental health challenges that the youth that we serve must confront all too often. We've touched upon how  physical activity can help with mental health, how some communities are working to  address the adverse childhood experiences of youth, and the kinds of  supports and  self-care practices that youth development professionals need in order to help youth through difficult times.

With all that already on the table, we wanted to take a moment to look at how all of these issues - mental health, substance misuse, adverse childhood experiences, and trauma-informed care - are connected. While many of these issues are being brought up in the same types of conversations around the country, it's important to recognize the interrelatedness of these different topics and identify the connective tissue that may allow the youth development field to address these issues in a coherent and informed way. For the purposes of the youth development field, I would posit that that connective tissue is often SEL.

The US Department of Health and Human Services defines mental health as including "our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices." For those of you who are familiar with the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning's Core SEL Competencies, the overlap between this definition and SEL is clear; they both explicitly call out the importance of social awareness and relationships, the ability to make responsible decisions, and the capacity to identify and manage emotions. This is not to say that there is a perfect overlap: while this broad definition of mental health is clearly conceptually aligned with SEL, it would be foolhardy to say that SEL is always the solution to specific mental health issues such as anxiety disorders, depression, or other psychiatric conditions, which also fall under the mental health domain.

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! 

Rural areas encompass more than 70 percent of land nationwide and are home to about 15 percent of the population. These "wide open spaces" are a quintessential part of American life and are home to industries that are vital to the economy, but they also face unique challenges in providing high-quality educational experiences. In a recent  National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) brief  we highlight these challenges in the context of afterschool opportunities. Rural providers often have difficulty finding sustainable funding, qualified staff, transportation, facilities, and high-quality programming. While urban providers may face similar obstacles, identifying new partners or resources is even more difficult when the well is shallower to begin with. These barriers make program availability a core issue; in a  2016 report , the Afterschool Alliance found that rural students participated in afterschool programs at only half the rate of their urban counterparts.

The good news is that while rural areas have unique challenges, they also have unique community resources that can be tapped for afterschool. For example, rural students are more likely to participate in 4-H programs, which provide a range of program offerings including  opportunities for science, engineering, technology, and math (STEM) exploration . Meeting the needs of a dispersed population can be difficult, but creative solutions like the  Think Make Create labs  in Nebraska bring project-based afterschool programs to students in a mobile trailer. In rural Pennsylvania, the  Schools & Homes In Education  (SHINE) afterschool program provides wraparound services to students and parents, as well as a STEM-focused afterschool curriculum administered by their community college partner.

To read the full article, click here

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 After School Advantage (ASA) Program is a signature education program and flagship community involvement initiative. The program strives to close the "Digital Divide" for disadvantaged children who get left behind because they do not have the means to access computers in today's increasingly digital society.  Its goal is to address the needs of underprivileged/at-risk children ages five to 18 with a meaningful, yet fun, learning experience during the critical after-school hours in a safe environment. It does this by providing qualifying non-profit community agencies and public schools with digital learning centers. Each digital learning center is unique in its design and specific to an organization's custom needs.

In collaboration with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), Crayola offers up to 20 grants for schools to help Creative Leadership teams identify and deliver innovative programs that inspire educators to increase art-infused education. The applications will only be accepted from principals who are members of NAESP.  

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 Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation supports nonprofits helping people & places move out of poverty & achieve greater social & economic justice. They look for promising work that aligns with the Foundation's mission and demonstrates the following characteristics: 
Connections with low-wealth people
Clear analysis and strategies 
Networks, alliances and resources 
Long-term view
Strategic and opportunistic

The TD Charitable Foundation funds only charitable, non-profit organizations, public schools and other qualified local government entities  that serve residents of communities with TD Bank's geographical footprint.  In regards to education, TD Charitable Foundation focuses on reading, writing, math and financial literacy for all ages, pre- and afterschool programs that reinforce basic learning skills, English as a second language, tutoring and mentorship, and education-focused youth development programs and initiatives. 

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. 

Wells Fargo makes contributions in areas that we believe are important to the future of our nation's vitality and success. Their first priority is to support programs and organizations whose chief purpose is to benefit low- and moderate-income individuals and families. They look for projects that keep our communities strong, diverse, and vibrant.    They support organizations that promote academic achievement for low- and moderate-income students by:
  • Eliminating the pre-K - 12th grade achievement gap in public education through curriculum-based or school-sponsored programs
  • Facilitating merit-based access to higher education for underrepresented groups
  • Advancing teaching through recruitment, professional development, support, and retention of teachers.
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