MARCH 2018

Regular Registration is now open for the annual SYNERGY CONFERENCE! We hope you will join us on April 25-27, 2018 at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, NC.  You can register here before March 23rd at the regular rate of $225. 

The SYNERGY CONFERENCE is the premiere afterschool and expanded learning conference in North Carolina.  This year's conference is themed:

We will continue the SYNERGY CONFERENCE  trend of engaging keynotes, a plethora of workshop opportunities, and networking with providers across the state. Featured speakers and events this year include: 
The First Lady of North Carolina, Kristin Cooper
Girls on the Run International Founder, Molly Barker
Representative Graig Meyer (D-Durham, Orange)
Award Ceremony recognizing Afterschool Champions in NC 
Screening of "Resilience," a film about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) 

This year, we have a full slate of workshops with topics within each of our workshop strands. Wo rkshop strands include the following:

The SYNERGY CONFERENCE hotel block at the Hilton Greenville is full. We have secured additional hotel blocks at the Holiday Inn Greenville and the Hampton Inn Greenville for $129/night, which includes breakfast. You can make hotel reservations at the Holiday Inn here.  To reserve a room at the Hampton Inn Greenville, click here. Please make your hotel reservations as soon as possible, to secure this rate, as space is limited. 

Check out the SYNERGY CONFERENCE page on the NC CAP website periodically for the conference schedule and additional details. 

We hope to see you in Greenville!
On February 12, the Trump administration released their  fiscal year 2019 full budget proposal just days  after Congress approved topline spending levels for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. The full budget represents the president's vision for how Congress should spend federal funds for the upcoming fiscal year that begins October 1, 2018 (FY19).

The budget proposal comes in stark contrast to the strong bipartisan support for afterschool displayed in Congress. Just in 2015, the Community Learning Centers initiative was reauthorized in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In 2017, bipartisan support in Congress in the FY17 omnibus spending bill lincreased funding by an  included a $25 million increase to Community Learning Centers funding to meet the large need for these programs from working parents, students and communities across the country.

The budget proposal attempts to justify the proposed elimination of Community Learning Centers by claiming that a lack of evidence exists that links the program to increased student achievement. In fact,   more than a decade of data and evaluations provide compelling evidence that Community Learning Center afterschool programs yield positive outcomes for participating children in academicsbehavior,  school day attendance, and more.  Last fall yet another study was released by the  nonpartisan Rand Corporation , concluding afterschool and summer learning programs provide measurable benefits to youth and families on outcomes directly related to program content and demonstrably improve academic outcomes. While the effectiveness of Community Learning Centers funding is clear, the impact of program elimination is clearly devastating, with   thousands of students from pre-K to 12th grade in all 50 states  at risk of losing access to programming. 

In addition to the elimination of Community Learning Centers, the president's full budget proposal would slash funding for dozens of programs that are vital for children and families. Overall, the president's budget requests $59.9 billion for the Department of Education, a $7.1 billion or 10.5-percent decrease from the 2017 enacted level. However, after the passage of last week's budget deal, the White House added some funds to the agency's spending plan, now proposing a $3.8 billion cut, which is a 5.6 percent decrease compared to the FY 2017 enacted level (final FY 2018 spending bills are still being written).  
  • Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): $2.5 billion is proposed for FY19, down from $2.9 billion currently. Note that Congress just agreed to double funding to almost $6 billion as part of the FY18 and FY19 bipartisan budget deal passed last Friday.
  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): Funding is set at $31 million, down from $766 million, with AmeriCorps VISTA funded at only $5 million (down from $92 million) and State and Local AmeriCorps funded at $2 million (down from $386 million currently).
  • Full Service Community Schools: The 2019 budget will eliminate funding for this program, currently funded at $10 million.
  • Title I: The budget allocates $14.6 billion, down from $15.4 billion currently.
  • Title II: Funding for educator professional development proposed for elimination for second straight year.
  • Title IV Part A Student Support Academic Enrichment Grants: This grant will be eliminated, down from $400 million in 2017.
  • Youth Mentoring Initiative: The budget allocates $58 million for mentoring, down from $80 million in 2017.
  • Perkins/Career Technical Education: $1.1 billion in funding proposed for CTE, level with current year.
  • Additional cuts to the National Science Foundation and NASA will also affect educational programming.
  • School Climate Transformation proposed at 43 million for grants to help school districts implement multi-tiered, evidence-based strategies to prevent opioid misuse and address associated behavioral and academic challenges through interventions such as trauma counseling, violence prevention, and targeted academic support.
  • Promotes Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education. Consistent with the 2017 Presidential Memorandum on STEM education, the budget provides a path forward to direct at least $200 million to STEM education.
The response from the afterschool field and the public to the proposed elimination of Community Learning Centers last year was loud and swift. In calendar year 2017, advocates reached out with almost 80,000 calls and emails to Congress in support of Community Learning Centers. To make sure our allies in Congress stand strong for afterschool funding, we need to continue to tell them loud and clear: Americans support afterschool and summer learning programs! Add your voice and take action now.

To read the full article, click here

Excerpt from: 

The North Carolina Healthy Out-Of-School Time Recognition Program (NC HOST) offers a voluntary recognition for out-of-school time program that provide foods, beverages and physical activities that promote lifelong health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Out-of-school time programs that meet a set of standards are eligible for NC HOST recognition. 

The NC HOST Standards are a subset of the National AfterSchool Association's Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards as outlined in the Healthy Out-of-School Time Framework. Standards used for NC HOST were chosen from the best available evidence of programs, policies, and practices shown to positively impact healthy eating and physical activity behaviors among youth.  The NC HOST Standards can be downloaded here

To determine if your program qualifies for NC HOST recognition, read each Standard and select:
  • "Always" if your program fully demonstrates the practice in the standard; fully demonstrating means that the practice is something your program regularly demonstrates and is integrated into the program's structure, so it is sustained over time. 
  • "Sometimes" if your program partially demonstrates the practice in the standard; partially demonstrating means that the program's efforts could be improved in that area. 
  • "Never" if your program does not demonstrate the practice in the standard. 
  • "Not Applicable" if your program is not able to demonstrate the practice in the standard because of the program's current structure or composition. 
NC HOST recognition will be awarded at a Bronze, Silver or Gold Level. 
  • Bronze denotes programs that meet a minimum number of required standards. 
  • Silver denotes programs that meet all of the minimum standards and demonstrate progress in meeting additional standards. 
  • Gold denotes programs that consistently meet all standards. 
Programs that meet the NC HOST Standards will be recognized at the Synergy Conference. More details about the NC HOST Recognition process will be available on the Eat Smart, Move More NC website soon. 
Opioid addiction plagues our country, deeply impacting adults and children alike. We at the Afterschool Alliance believe that afterschool has a huge part to play in mitigating this crisis through preventative measures.

On Wednesday, February 27, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to discuss youth opioid prevention. The briefing was co-sponsored by Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.V.), representing two of the states most impacted by the epidemic.

Sen. Capito gave opening remarks, emphasizing the need for an "all-hands-on-deck approach" to the opioid problem. Earlier that day, she, Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), had introduced legislation called the  Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) 2.0. The bipartisan legislation would increase funding authorization levels for CARA programs created in 2016 as well as add new efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.

Additionally, Sen. Capito introduced and highlighted the preventative work going on in afterschool programs in her home state of West Virginia.

Drug awareness and education is not enough. We need young people to build skills and resilience to avoid the use and misuse of drugs. These skills, sometimes called "social-emotional skills" or "character development," include emotional regulation, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making. In afterschool programs children can build skills and practice failure with an adult mentor there to support them. This work should be incorporated in classrooms, labs, art rooms, music rooms, gyms, and just about anywhere.

To read the full article, click here

At CITIZEN SCHOOLS, adolescents work side by side with experts to explore new fields, learn new skills, and build a foundation for their future. We serve adolescents in low-income communities at a critical point in their development - as they search for their pathway into the adult world. Every semester Citizen Schools students participate in 10-week apprenticeships taught by Citizen Teachers, who are volunteers from the community, local universities, and businesses. This semester in Durham, students participate in Electrical Engineering, Wed Design, Mobile App Design, Graphic Novels, Environmental Studies, Mock Trial, Mathematic Mysteries, and Science Experiments.

As the prominence of social and emotional learning (SEL) to support students' development in school and beyond continues to grow in education circles, challenges implementing SEL programming have also arisen. The latest issue brief in a series supported by The Wallace Foundation, Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies, offers a valuable approach to lower barriers that programs may face when looking to incorporate SEL programming.

The issue brief delves into the approach of identifying "evidence-based prevention kernels," which are low-cost, targeted strategies at a specific behavior. The authors of the brief posit that kernels have a stronger impact and are more feasible to implement than comprehensive programs, "potentially increasing initial uptake, impact, and sustainability over time." For instance, one example authors give of a kernel is the practice of the "turtle technique," where an adult uses the turtle metaphor to instruct a student to breathe in deeply to help calm down. This kernel maps to the SEL domain of managing emotions and behavior, as the technique can help reduce aggression.

What's innovative about this issue brief is its focus on creating an accessible approach to SEL practice and recognizing afterschool and summer learning programs need flexibility in order to effectively incorporate SEL practices into their programming. By illustrating the way in which kernels can help programs tailor strategies and activities to best address the needs and goals of their students, the brief is a great example of using research to inform practice.

In addition to reading the full brief, you can take a look at  Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out, a guide that provides an in-depth look at 25 leading SEL programs and is what  Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies drew from to identify the kernels of practice.

To read the Kernels of Practice for SEL: Low-Cost, Low-Burden Strategies, click here
To read the Navigating Social and Emotional Learning from the Inside Out, click here

Excerpt from: 
On February 13, the House of Representatives unanimously passed the "Building Blocks of STEM Act." The bipartisan legislation ( H.R. 3397), sponsored by Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) and cosponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-Calif.), directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education research focused on early childhood (under the age of 11). H.R. 3397 also includes provisions championed by Research and Technology Subcommittee Chairwoman Barbara Comstock (R-Va.) that award grants to encourage young girls' participation in computer science, and updates the NSF Noyce Teacher Scholarship program to include informatics.

This legislation, which combined a number of bipartisan STEM education bills, includes the "Girls Who Code Act" and instructs the National Science Foundation, (NSF) when awarding grants under the Discovery Research PreK-12 program, to consider age distribution in order to more equitably allocate funding for research studies with a focus on early childhood education. The bill also supports girls in STEM education and computer science by instructing NSF to accelerate research efforts to increase understanding of the factors that contribute to the participation of young girls in STEM activities. This includes research on effective teacher training and professional development. Among the allowable uses of research grant funds is investigating the role of informal and out-of-school STEM learning opportunities on girls' perception of and participation in STEM activities.

According to the bill's authors, studies have found that children who engage in scientific activities from an early age develop positive attitudes toward science and are more likely to pursue STEM careers later. The legislation has the potential to build upon the momentum at the National Science Foundation behind a desire to better understand and support informal STEM education in settings like afterschool and summer learning programs. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it reportedly could move later this year.

Excerpt from: 

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund has opened it's application for the 2018 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 18, 2018 .

The Ezra Jack Keats Foundation is offering funding of up to $500 to design and implement a creative program for your school or library! Public schools, public libraries, and public preschool programs are encouraged to apply.   Previous successful projects have included a public story walk, a multicultural portrait project, a school garden, a bookmaking workshop, and an inter-generational storytelling day.

The M. Jack and Dorothy Stephens Fund was established at Triangle Community Foundation in 2012 to address the needs of disadvantaged people in the communities of southern Wake County. Grantees will be selected based on (1) community need and the organization's strategic position to meed that need, and (2) the organization's financial stability and the feasibility of the proposal.  

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. 
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