MAY 2020
The Public School Forum of North Carolina has named Dr. Mary Ann Wolf as its new President and Executive Director. On June 15, 2020, Dr. Wolf will succeed Interim President and Executive Director, Dr. Michael D. Priddy.  Dr. Wolf has more than 20 years of experience in educational policy and leadership. As a Senior Director at North Carolina State University's Friday Institute for Educational Innovation, Dr. Wolf led the Professional Learning and Leading Collaborative (PLLC), where she worked directly with schools and districts statewide to improve equity and build capacity for innovation. 

During her tenure at the Friday Institute, Dr. Wolf empowered her team to develop programs and opportunities for educators and administrators that emphasize innovative practices in education, with the ultimate goal of meeting the needs of all students. Most recently, Dr. Wolf and her team led the development and implementation of a Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) MOOC-ED, which now includes a forum on SEL from a Distance, with over 10,000 participants to date. Dr. Wolf has worked to develop a diverse portfolio of funders and attracted new grant opportunities to support this invaluable work at the Friday Institute. 

Prior to her position at the Friday Institute, Dr. Wolf served as the Executive Director of the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) in Washington, D.C., where she led a national and non-partisan non-profit focused on innovation with members from the fifty state departments of education. Under her leadership, SETDA conducted research and engaged business partners, researchers, district and state education leaders, and policymakers to identify challenges, opportunities, and recommendations to support schools and students. This work included a focus on topics such as equitable access to broadband internet, professional learning and assessment; as well as providing input to legislation and policies. 

Dr. Wolf has an extensive background in conducting and designing research and implementing research-based practices, as well as having a significant impact on the development of policy proposals at local, state, and national levels. Dr. Wolf served as the lead author of the book, Leading Personalized and Digital Learning: A Framework for Implementing School Change, which focuses on tangible practices of principals and puts forth a framework for leading change. 

Dr. Wolf serves as the current chair of the non-partisan, elected Chapel Hill-Carrboro School Board. After teaching fifth grade in Henrico, Virginia, Dr. Wolf received her Ph.D. in Education, Administration, and Supervision from The Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She received a Master's of Education from George Washington University and a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and Marketing from Georgetown University. Dr. Wolf currently lives in Chapel Hill with her husband, Brian, and her three children, Marin, Matthew, and Andrew, who attend public schools in North Carolina. 
The Student STEM Enrichment Program (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 expiration in BWF's home state of North Carolina. These awards provide up to $60,000 per year for three years. Since the program's inception in 1996, BWF has awarded 201 grants totaling $33.7 million to 103 organizations that reach more than 43,000 North Carolina Students. 

Unfortunately, BWF has made the difficult decision to close the 2020 grant cycle with considerations for the recent announcement from Governor Cooper, in which all North Carolina Public Schools are closed for the remainder of the school year. The current deadline, June 1st, presents conflicts with the upcoming 2021 grant cycle that begins in December 2020. Alongside the conflicts with scheduling, the COVID-19 precautions are greatly impacting active SSEP awardees statewide. The decision to close the 2020 grant cycle will give the BWF the opportunity to address issues and concerns with cancelled and postponed programming, as well as alternate methods of STEM enrichment and exposure. 

Those interested in this opportunity are encouraged to apply for the 2021 award, which opens with a call for proposals in December, 2020.

To view the message from the Program Officer, Alfred Mays, click  here

To learn more information about the Student STEM Enrichment Program and the application process, click here
The North Carolina Department of Instruction welcomes Dr. Latricia "Tricia" Townsend as the Director of Federal Programs. Dr. Townsend joins NC DPI from the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation at North Carolina State University, where she served as the Director of Evaluation Programs for the Research and Evaluation Team. She led a strong team of professionals focused on education innovation and she has extensive experience in leadership development, grant management, and work focused on improving educational outcomes for students. She has 24 years of experience in the field of education. Her primary research interests include program evaluation, STEM education in formal and informal spaces, and the digital divide. Dr. Townsend currently serves as an associate teaching professor in the College of Education at North Carolina State University, where she has taught research methods courses for the past five years. 

Before coming to the Friday Institute in 2008, Dr. Townsend served as a Science Content Specialist with Technical Outreach to Public Schools (TOPS) at the Center for Urban Affairs and Community Services at North Carolina State University, where she aided in the development of statewide standardized science assessments. She also worked as a research chemist for the Dow Corning Corporation in Midland, Michigan for two years before becoming a science and math teacher. She taught Chemistry, as well as Algebra I and II for nearly ten years with both Saginaw City Schools and Wake County Public Schools. 

Dr. Townsend received a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Chemistry with a concentration in Polymer Chemistry at North Carolina State University, followed by teacher licensure from Saginaw Valley State University. She earned a Master of School Administration and a Doctorate in Educational Administration and Supervision from North Carolina State University. 

On a personal note, Dr. Townsend is an avid reader and a nature lover who enjoys yoga and meditation. She has been married to John Townsend for 25 years and they have three children - twin girls, Sydney and Taylor, and a son, William. 
The NC Center for Afterschool Programs has developed a mapping database to locate child care services and out-of-school-time programming opportunities for youth during the statewide COVID-19 response. 

NC CAP would like to hear how your program is responding to COVID-19, please complete the following: 
  1. Complete the survey.
  2. If your out-of-school time program is still operating during COVID-19, please register your program in the NC COVID-19 Youth Program Mapping Database.
  3. If you have any additional resources that can be shared with other programs, families, and communities throughout NC, please email Sheneika Simmons at
To learn more information about resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, please view the  NC COVID-19 Resource Page .

As we all experience the affects of COVID-19, NC CAP wants to highlight opportunities for program providers to continue advocating, supporting, and serving youth statewide. This list is not exhaustive and NC CAP will continue to share resources and information as they develop. Please feel free to share these resources with youth, families, and communities that you serve.
While the CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, the $30.75 Billion Education Stabilization Fund authorized by the legislation is still in the early stages of the implementation process led by the US Department of Education. Four grant programs were created through the CARES Act under the umbrella of the Education Stabilization Fund: the Education Stabilization Fund Discretionary Grants; Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund; Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund; and Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund. 

T he Department of Education set up a website for the Fund and announced the application process for the $3 billion Governor's Emergency Education Relief Fund. Under the law, the Department has thirty days from March 27, 2020, to publish an application for both the Governor's Fund and the $13.5 billion Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund. Once a state education agency or Governor's Office has submitted an application, the Department has thirty days to deny or approve the application. The funds need to be spent by September 2021. 

Hopefully, states and school districts will begin to see funds from both of these relief programs by May or June. As a reminder, allowable uses for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund includes anything already in ESSA (including 21st CCLC), IDEA, Perkins-CTE, and the McKinney Vento Homeless Youth Act, as well as the following activities outlined in the CARES Act: 
  • Planning and implementing activities related to summer learning and supplemental afterschool programs, including "providing classroom instruction or online learning during the summer months and addressing the needs of low-income students, students with disabilities, English learners, migrant students, students experiencing homelessness, and children in foster care."
  • Planning and coordinating meals.
  • Online learning and other educational services.
  • Purchasing technology.
  • Mental health support.
To learn more about the CARES Act and its implementation, please click here
Excerpt from: 
The NC Center for Afterschool Programs is accepting nominations for the 2020 Afterschool Champions. Nominees should demonstrate outstanding work in developing, supporting and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families statewide.

Afterschool Champion Award categories are below, followed by the nomination form. The deadline to submit nomination s is June 15th. Selected award recipients will be recognized during the lunch and award ceremony at the Synergy Conference 2020 on Thursday, July 30th.

This award spotlights an individual, program, or organization whose life or mission has demonstrated outstanding work in developing, supporting and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families. Nominees should have more than five (5) years of experience.

This award spotlights an individual, program, or organization whose life or mission has demonstrated considerable work in developing, supporting and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families. Nominees should have between two (2) and five (5) years of experience.

A letter of recommendation or support should accompany every nomination. 
**Note: For a program nomination, a letter of support must be from a youth program participant or parent.
The 2020 Roadmap of Need is an annual in-depth needs assessment for youth across North Carolina. First published by the Public School Forum of North Carolina and the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs in 2010, the Roadmap of Need uses data on health, youth behavior & safety, education, & 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.

According to the 2020 report, the five top counties where young people have the greatest likelihood for success are Orange, Wake, Union, Dare and Watauga. The bottom five counties where young people are most at risk are Robeson, Halifax, Vance, Washington and Scotland. The makeup of the top five this year sees Dare and Watauga counties displacing Henderson and Moore counties; while Northampton and Edgecombe counties moved out of the bottom five this year.

"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 Dr. Michael D. Priddy, Interim Executive Director and President of the Public School Forum of NC. "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. 
NC State University has been selected to participate in the 4-H National Mentoring Program: College Within Reach program for a second consecutive year. They are currently seeking mentors, mentees, and site liaisons to join their program. 

The College Within Reach Program focuses on building relationships, college and workforce preparedness for military-connected youth between the ages of 12 to 17. Participants will be matched with mentors who share common experiences and interests while exploring topics such as college and career readiness, college application processes, academic and career goal setting, and creating sustainable plans leading to long-term success! 

Mentors will meet with mentees for a minimum of 4 hours a month with goals of establishing meaningful relationships that aid in the positive advancement of college and workforce readiness while also establishing networks of peers and professionals statewide.  If you have any questions about the College Within Reach Program, contact the Program Manager, Cam Rutledge, at or via phone at (503) 757-3775. 

To learn more information about the College Within Reach Program, click here
For 35 years, the National Youth Leadership Council has transformed classrooms, empowered educators, and captivated students by leading the way in providing high-quality, dynamic service learning content to school districts, classrooms, afterschool programs, and everything in-between. Their programs and services develop young leaders, support educators and advance the field of service learning. 

NYLC, with support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, developed a series of Engage handbooks designed for youth in elementary, middle, and high school. The handbooks assist providers in bringing service learning to afterschool programs in 15 one-hour sessions. The books begin with an overview of the practice, then engage youth in experiential sessions that highlight youth voice and leadership. Each session begins with an energizer activity tied to the content of the session, and ends with a reflection, that is often in the form of an "exit ticket". By the end of the experience, young people will have acted on issues of importance to them through a deliberative inquiry-based process. 

Learn more about the NYLC En gage Service Learning Curriculum, click here

Check out NC CAP's new   Service Learning Webpage for more service learning strategies and opportunities!
NC CAP has two new STEM Lessons, Eggscellent Osmosis and Milk Makes Me Sick. Both lessons are designed for grades 6-12, but can be utilized with younger grades with additional scaffolding and preparation. 

The Eggscellent Osmosis lesson evaluates the effects of water intoxication on the body. Students will conduct their own research, create and test their own hypotheses, and design their own lab using a variety of materials. Using an egg to simulate a human cell, students will work in groups to analyze the effects of "cells" ingesting various liquids. 

The Milk Makes Me Sick lesson examines the chemical reaction the body has when someone is lactose intolerant. Students will review core knowledge about chemical reactions, specifically the enzyme of lactase. Then, students will engage in a hands on lab to view the impact of the chemical reaction and explain why some people are lactose intolerant. 

Each lesson contains video guidance to assist program providers and educators. Each video will encompass an overview of the lesson and address potential misunderstandings with the lesson for adults and students. Both lessons can be completed at home with adult assistance. All materials for the lessons are budget friendly and can be purchased online or at local grocery stores.

To learn more about implementing the NC CAP STEM lessons in your program, email Sheneika Simmons at 

To access the STEM lessons, please click here  

Please subscribe to the NC CAP Youtube Channel for more videos and resources!
As champions for children, program providers are doing everything they can during this time to keep youth safe and continue to serve them. NC CAP wants to continue to support providers during this time. In every way, providers throughout North Carolina and the nation have risen to the challenge in every way. 

In support of your efforts, NC CAP has a new resources to share, Mizzen by Mott.  Mizzen by Mott is a new app built with and for afterschool professionals to provide high-quality, engaging learning content to the afterschool field. 

To meet the needs of this moment, the Mizzen team has added new activity playlists and multi-week modules that can be done at home or in a small-group setting. The app's content focuses on youth learning and well-being and is provided by organizations like Jazz at Lincoln Center, the California Academy of Sciences, After-School All Starts, OregonAsk, and VentureLab. Through support from the Mott Foundation, the app and all of its content is available for free to afterschool providers. 

 To learn more about the Mizzen app, click here

NC CAP would love to hear how the Mizzen app works for you and what other kinds of content you may find helpful as summer approaches. NC CAP will share all information directly with the Mizzen app team. 
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs 
(NC CAP) is embarking on exciting new work to expand the amount of STEM opportunities in afterschool programs. High quality afterschool programs have shown to increase student academic performance, behavioral improvements and have been a factor in supporting regular school attendance. To increase these types of opportunities for children and youth throughout the state, it is necessary to develop partnerships and identify resource gaps. The STEM Afterschool Expansion VISTA will increase access to high-quality afterschool programs focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields for youth statewide, particularly those that are growing up in poverty, and establish a community support system that links established afterschool programs with potential partners and STEM resources. This position is based in Raleigh, NC.  
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 Program is a signature education program and flagship community involvement initiative. The program is devoted to providing young people with access to technology in a safe, nurturing afterschool environment, whole promoting opportunities in digital learning centers in varying communities. 

The goals of these grants are to: empower youth by providing hands-on environmental stewardship opportunities; inspire youth and communities to become agents of change for their environment; serve as a catalyst for education that uses the environment as a context for applied and STEM learning. The application deadline is July 15th, 2020.

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, and (3) purchasing books, materials, or software for literacy programs.

Schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations who help students that 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 application deadline is May 21st, 2020. 

The Kars4Kids Small Grant Program is dedicated to supporting educational initiatives and youth development programs in the country. Kars4Kids provides year-round educational and mentoring opportunities and support to develop youth into productive and engaged members of society.  Areas of interest include youth development, mentoring, and education. Grants range from $500 to $2000. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Triangle Community Foundation is made up of over 800 philanthropic funds, which are used in a variety of ways to provide support for nonprofit organizations . Grants from the Foundation are made in two ways: (1) from discretionary grant programs and (2) through donor-advised grants. 

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. The Sparkplug Foundation has two grant cycles per year, spring and fall. 
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. 
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