April 2021
Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week!

This month is extra special since it is Afterschool Professionals Appreciation week. Join us in thanking all Afterschool Professionals who make a positive impact on the lives of young people. During the week of April 19-23, show us how you're celebrating by using the hashtag: #HeartOfAfterschool

To elevate the field of afterschool professionals, we'd like to highlight one of the strongest contributors towards the success of the field of afterschool. Dr. Deborah Lowe Vandell is chancellor’s professor and founding dean emerita of education at the University of California, Irvine. Her research focuses on early child care and afterschool programs and how they effect children’s social, behavioral and academic development. In a recent study, Vandell found that higher quality early-care and out-of-school time were related to different aspects of behavioral development.

"We found that consistent participation in afterschool was important for building children’s social competence — including feeling more confident about meeting new people and interacting with peers and adults — which bodes well for students’ future success in school and in the workplace. These benefits were not associated with ECE experiences, suggesting that afterschool programs serve a unique role in this respect." Research such as this that is able to demonstrate the qualitative reality we experience has helped elevate the field and gain recognition for all those who continue to support youth in finding individual success. To read more about Dr. Vandell's study, click here.

Last month marked the one year date of the onslaught of COVID-19. It has drastically changed our world, as well as affected the way in which we support youth. We are so proud of the work you have all done to continue supporting youth and families. It takes enormous courage and strength to rigorously pivot to keep the well-being of youth afloat.

We thank you all for what you do!
Afterschool and Summer Programs Support Safe & Healthy Spaces

Did you know that over 70% of Oregon parents say that afterschool programs reduce the likelihood that youth will engage in risky behavior? By focusing on the whole child, youth are given more opportunities to explore their interests and are consequently set on a path towards a brighter future.
Word of the Month: Mental Health

It is no secret that the topics of Social Emotional Learning, Trauma Informed Care, WSCC Model Approach and "regulation", have all been common language used throughout the past year. What do these terms all have in common? Centering the conversation around mental health.

Mental Health: "Mental health includes 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 healthy choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. Although the terms are often used interchangeably, poor mental health and mental illness are not the same things. A person can experience poor mental health and not be diagnosed with a mental illness. Likewise, a person diagnosed with a mental illness can experience periods of physical, mental, and social well-being."(CDC)

*Check out our website's updated glossary to see more terms on the ABC'S Of ELOs

It is ever important to maintain mindfulness and awareness of the ways in which collective and individual trauma have impacted both adults and youth. Resources for mental health awareness and strategies:

Upcoming Trainings

Asset-Based Mental Health Support Cohort


Weekly trainings April 14th-May 12th

This 5 consecutive week series will provide time and space for afterschool professionals to explore and apply strategies from the breadth of mental health resources. The series will incorporate asset-based approaches from 40 Developmental Assets and Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) frameworks that emphasize strategies most applicable to afterschool & summer programs. 
This cohort model will encourage participants to share real life challenges as they deepen their understanding and participate in a space where they apply strategies and incorporate practices within organizational systems. Participants will examine how out-of-school time programs work to support students' social-emotional health outcomes over the students' lives, particularly incorporating culturally-responsive practices that recognize not everyone deals with Mental Health in the same ways.

Series cost is $150, scholarships available for licensed child care staff.
Find out more from our Flyer.
Stay up to date with OregonASK's Training Calendar on our website.
Local Training Opportunity for Older Youth or Adults:
Portland Community College is providing an opportunity to build a model boat, and work in a supportive environment to address Math anxieties, barriers to success in STEM, and applications of Math concepts (emphasis on MTH 60 & 65). You'll get support along the way from Peter Crim, Executive Director of the Wind & Oar Boat School, PCC Math faculty, and a group of PCC & PSU students serving as Peer Facilitators.
National Training & Resources: Summer, STEM, and Equity
from National Summer Learning Association
Summer is coming, and it is important to take this time to improve the quality and experience of program experience. This webinar is geared toward summer program teachers, staff, and administrators and discuss all of the tools needed to “fine tune your engine.”
Register HERE, attend April 7th.

STEM identity is critical to STEM persistence and how role models are critical to STEM identity.This webinar will explore three strategies for connecting to and preparing role models to work with youth.

The third in a three-part series, this webinar focuses on STEM role models for afterschool networks and programs, presented by the National Girls Collaborative.
Register HERE for the third session taking place March 11th.
Hear from a panel of former museum education staff on how they were able to transition their experience and skills in informal STEM education to careers outside the field. This webinar also includes an executive recruiter who will be joining to discuss what you can do to market yourself for success.
Register HERE, attend April 28th.

Well equipped staff are the starting place for providing BIPOC youth a safe space to explore summer and expanded learning. The time is now for organizations to align actions with words towards becoming antiracist and equipping program staff to do the same. This webinar discussion examining how organizations can best equip summer program staff with tools & training on race, equity and inclusion in order to meet student needs and maximize program impact this summer.
Register HERE, attend April 28th.
National Policy Updates
The Oregon Department of Human Services in partnership with Early Learning Division (ELD) is extending the $0 copay for Employment Related Daycare (ERDC) through at least June 2021. An updated note about distanced learning: If a child is not attending school due to health or COVID-19 reasons, ODHS child care policy will continue to provide until the child's school transitions fully back to in-person learning.

Child Care Development Fund
The Office of Child Care (OCC) is pleased to announce that the Planned Use of Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations (CRRSA) Act 2021 Funds Reports submitted by states have been posted on this OCC webpage. Tribal and territory reports will be posted in the coming weeks as well, and all reports are expected to be available on that OCC webpage by mid-April. See here.

American Rescue Plan
The American Rescue Plan provides $500 to support OST learning. A brief summary:
  • $8.45B available from SEAs, including: 
  • $1.22B set-aside for summer enrichment
  • $1.22B set-aside for afterschool programs
  • 5%, approximately, $6.1B, for learning recovery, which can include afterschool/summer/ELT
  • $22B provided to LEAs for learning recovery strategies, including afterschool and summer enrichment
  • $39 billion for child care, which can include school-age care, which will flow to state child care agencies 
  • $1 billion for Corporation for National and Community Service through AmeriCorps for AmeriCorps positions to help address learning recovery and other purposes
  • $350 billion for state and local governments that can be used in part for child care and other purposes
Read the full review here.
State Policy

Friday, March 19th, marked the first bill deadline of the 2021 Oregon Legislative session. All of the priority concepts on the 2021 Children's Agenda met Friday's deadline. However, a few bills on the Agenda, SB 238: Address School Resource Officers and SB 254: Protect Children from Vaccine-Preventable Diseases, are not moving forward. 

HB 5042 is the legislative bill that would allocate funds for the Governor's proposed $250 million investment in Summer. If you take a look, Section 89 lists "In addition to and not in lieu of any other appropriation...out of the General Fund, the amount of $41,200,000 for a grant to the Oregon Community Foundation for summer enrichment programs for students in kindergarten to grade 12 and to provide parent-child summer programming for children up to age five.

SB 49 & 50 & 757 are due for work sessions carried forward to the Committee on Human Services, Mental Health & Recovery for the week of April 5th.

To stay up to date on other statewide policy work, you can subscribe to Oregon partners such as Oregon Children's Agenda or Oregon School Board Association, to keep posted on specific bills.
Don't forget Mizzen by Mott

Searching for curriculum and educational criteria to implement can be time consuming and exhaustive. Help expedite your program's planning process by utilizing Mizzen's resources. The app inspires, engages and sparks learning in young people. Supported by the Mott Foundation, Mizzen is available at no cost to afterschool professionals! Get the App HERE!
Leading the Way with One of Oregon's Next Generation Leaders!
Stephanie Balke started and managed many Oregon ECCF sites where she has become a hero within the Champions organization. Throughout her work over the years, she sought out new opportunities, trainings, and funding materials. Her strong passion in leadership helps her strive for excellence wherever she focuses her work on. Stephanie has years of experience in education and in the public school system which have aided her successful work in focusing on the implementation of equity, diversity, and inclusion--all to help each child feel safe.

According to her nominator, "Stephanie took advantage of taking a Master's class in SEL - and sharing the learning by creating a training and sharing what she learned not only in our district but making it available and herself available to anyone who could benefit from learning about and using SEL practices. She drives her own personal professional development and helps industry peers reach their potential by helping to raise them up in knowledge and their successes. She joined OregonASK - answered the call to pilot the Mizzen project to help be an impactful evaluator so others will be successful. She went on to serve as a webinar guest facilitator on sharing real use of the Mizzen app more than once."

In March, Stephanie published an article for the National Afterschool Association. She calls into importance the beneficial ways to help build a quality program amidst this time of uncertainty. See her featured article here.

Congratulations Stephanie on being recognized for your hard work and dedication!
OregonASK Connecting with Oregon Health Sciences University

This year was the first year of partnership between OregonASK and the OHSU Dietetic Internship. This partnership enabled 2 interns to complete a community-based rotation at OregonASK and continue to work together for the remainder of the year. The interns were able to create health and wellness activity guides that will be used at Summer Meal sites throughout Oregon. There are four activity guides, each broken up by age groups 5-9, 10-12, 13-15, and 16-18 with seven activities in each age group. The units focus on nutrition, physical education, social-emotional, and environmental health with a science exploration lens. We are so proud of all the hard work done by our interns and look forward to a continued, fruitful partnership!
Seeking to hire profound professionals? Search no further!
OregonASK Launching Job Board Page

We acknowledge it can be painstaking to be constantly searching for new hires. We are excited to announce that we have added a Job Listings page to our website. Programs can fill out a short questionnaire to post their latest listings. As an organization, our goal is to enhance, support, and expand the fluidity of the work of our partners. We hope this addition to our website assists your hiring process . See the Listings page, plus more, HERE.
2021 Save the Dates!

April 15th: Two Weeks Ready Workgroup Meeting

April 26th: Million Girls Moonshot Strategic Team Meeting

May 14th: OregonASK Partner Meeting RSVP HERE
OregonASK Expanded Learning Partnership
Wilsonville, OR 97070
Want to stay up to date on OASK events as well as general OST information?