MAY 2019
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. We hope that all of this year's attendees enjoyed the engaging keynote speakers, dynamic range of workshop topics and opportunities to network with other program providers from across the state. 

We would be remiss if we didn't take the time to acknowledge and thank everyone that made this year's conference a success.   Thank you to all of our sponsors for making the conference possible! We couldn't have done it without you. Thank you to our amazing keynote speakers who inspired us and challenged us to persevere in our efforts to build tomorrow's leaders. Thank you to the amazing vendors who shared invaluable resources with our conference attendees that can be utilized within programs statewide.Thank you to our workshop presenters who offered an extensive array of workshop sessions throughout the duration of the conference.   Your expertise and passion is unrivaled. Last, but certainly not least, thank you to all of our attendees who traveled from near and far to attend. Thank you for everything that you do through your programs to maximize out-of-school time by supporting, inspiring and preparing our youth for their futures. 

Workshop presentation 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! 
To build awareness of research and promising practices in the field of school-age child care, the National Center on Afterschool and Summer Enrichment (NCASE) has shared Adverse Childhood Experiences and the School Age Population: Implications for Child Care Policy and Out-of-School Time Programs.

This research explores the effect of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) have on youth, trauma-informed practices, and healing-centered engagement, and the role out-of-school time plays in supporting children who are dealing with ACEs.

ACEs are defined by Child Trends as "potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on health and well-being. These experiences range from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse to parental divorce or the incarceration of a parent or guardian."

The impact of ACEs on the development of children and youth become a growing concern in recent years. Though research links social determinants such as poverty and racism as potential contributing factors, ACEs can influence the lives of children from any culture or socio-economic background.

The Effect of ACEs on School-Age Children
ACEs include physical abuse and neglect; sexual abuse; emotional abuse and neglect; intimate partner violence, substance abuse, mental illness and violent treatment of a mother within a household; parental separation or divorce; and an incarcerated household member.

School-age children experience gradual, yet complex development during both early and middle childhood. Though brain development is robust during this time, coping with and/or surviving trauma or unsettling, scary experiences with a brain not yet capable of interpreting, processing, and understanding these experiences can result in poor decisions, short attention span, and lack of communication.

Research asserts that, when affected by trauma, the school-age child's brain adapts in ways to support its survival. Adaptations can manifest as behavior problems and are characterized by flight, fight, or freeze-the stress response framework.

Flight: Withdrawal, escaping, running away, self-isolation, avoidance.
Fight: Hyperactivity, verbal aggression, oppositional behavior, limit-testing, physical aggression, "bouncing off the walls."
Freeze: Subdued demeanor, watchfulness, looking dazed, daydreaming, forgetfulness, shutting down emotionally.

The Role of Out-of-School Time

OST programs are able to promote positive youth development and protect school-age children, in large part due to structured activities and high-quality interactions, both adult-to-youth and youth-to-youth. OST programs can assist and enhance the lives of children who are dealing with ACEs by providing support in these areas:

Social and Emotional Development: Programs that produce positive effects have at least one element of social and emotional-focused programming and/or have professional development for staff related to social and emotional skills.

Safe Zones: OST programs can provide a safe-haven, supervised time, instruction, and promotion of new skills, and offer opportunities for positive adult interaction and peer interaction.

Family Engagement: OST programs that work to create an interconnectedness of supports for all program participants, inclusive of the family, acknowledge that engagement of the family unit is crucial to the success of the youth participant.

Academics: Participants receive academic instruction for remediation, enrichment, or enhancement purposes within an afterschool or summer learning program environment.

To read the full article, click  here.
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. 

Environmental Science 
Check out this lesson here
With spring in full swing and the temperature starting to warm up in many parts of the country, we have just completed our webinar series focused on summer learning program preparation. The series was co-hosted by the Afterschool Alliance, National AfterSchool Association (NAA), and National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and focused on two recent releases made possible by the generous support of  The Wallace Foundation: " Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success, 2nd Ed." and  the Summer Learning Toolkit. In case you missed it, here's a recap of what we covered!

The first webinar of the series took a comprehensive look at the report, "Getting to Work on Summer Learning: Recommended Practices for Success," which was based on the evaluation of five districts' summer programs and explored the effectiveness of voluntary, district-led summer learning programs offered at no cost to low-income, urban, elementary students; Jennifer McCombs from the RAND Corporation talked through main takeaways from the report, including some of the challenges that programs face and factors they need to consider when developing a summer program. She highlighted some of the key recommendations from the report for programs around:
  • Planning and management;
  • Student recruitment and retention;
  • Teacher selection; and
  • Positive site climate.

In the second part of our webinar series, we took a closer look at staffing and professional development to examine how to hire and train the best possible staff that suits the specific climate, culture, and goals of your summer program. The Learning Agenda gave an overview of the research highlighted in the toolkit that speaks to the important role staffing and professional development plays and offered samples of and guidance on staffing models and job descriptions; samples and tip sheets related to high-quality professional development; and other relevant professional development materials, including staffing MOUs, examples to help hire staff, and examples of staff handbooks.

With the focus based off of a survey of attendees of the first webinars in the series, the final chapter in our Summer Learning Toolkit series took a deeper dive into resources and best practices around creating a warm and welcoming site environment that best allows kids to thrive and equips your staff with the training and tools necessary to be supported in carrying out this mission. The Learning Agenda walked us through the Site Climate section of the toolkit, underscoring specific sample tip sheets and strategies, including staff handbooks, site leadership guidance, and training agendas. We also heard from Kelly Bauman, the Director of Expanded Learning in the Rochester City School District; Rochester is also a part of the Summer Learning Project that helped inform the creation of the Toolkit. Kelly gave a clear summary of the ways that their program, ROC Summer, has been able to provide safe, engaging, high-quality summer learning programming by incorporating specific and intentional routines, student supports, staffing models, and other methods outlined in the Summer Learning Toolkit to promote a positive environment for youth and staff.

Here's some tools you can use!
Over the summer students can lose academic gains made during the school
year, and research shows that summer learning losses can accumulate each
year, influencing reading proficiency.  While students tend to progress at
the same rate during the school year, over the summer more than 80 percent of children from economically disadvantaged families lose reading

That is why the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation has updated our Summer Learning Toolkit for 2019, created especially for providers of summer programs!  The easy-to-use tools can help program staff understand the importance of summer learning so they can communicate effectively with parents.  The toolkit comes with a short presentation and talking points, Facebook posts, text messages, a fact sheet, a template for Summer Learning Week stickers and more!

The tools can be found and downloaded here and are available in both English and Spanish. On that same page, you'll find a webinar recording from 2018 about the toolkit.
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! 

North Carolina College Access Directory
The North Carolina Student Education Assistance Authority in cooperation with Mapping Your Future has created a directory of college planning and success services in the state. The database collects and displays information about the programs and resources and encourages awareness, communication, and collaboration.

Resources, Awareness, and Collaboration 
This directory serves as a resource for anyone looking for FAFSA completion or other college preparation assistance. In addition, organizations can use the directory to create awareness of their programs to individuals needing assistance and to find other organizations wanting to collaborate on services. 

Contact Marcia Weston for more information at [email protected]
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. 

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.

Community and service are integrated into everything our company does. Through the Duke Energy Foundation, we provide philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where our customers live and work. The Foundation annually provides more than $30 million in charitable grants, with a focus on three areas: K to career, the environment and community impact.  

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. 

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