The Y4Y Insider
Let's Fly Away
April 2020
Let's Fly Away
If school closures, social distancing and concerns about COVID-19 make you want to “fly away” to a calmer, safer place, you’re in good company! Rest assured that the U.S. Department of Education’s Y4Y Technical Assistance (TA) Team is here for you as you explore new ways to support your cherished students and their families. Consider using some of this time to complete Y4Y’s new Creating a Positive Learning Environment course and earn a certificate of completion. You may look forward to the time when, once again, birds of a feather can flock together , but keep in mind that we expand our horizons by opening ourselves to new experiences and new people. Tradition is important too, and two brothers in Guinea soared when they created a new alphabet for an ancient and imperiled language. In a suddenly virtual world, public speaking comes with a whole new set of challenges. If public speaking makes your students want to take flight, Y4Y has tips and a totally revamped Literacy course to help you calm those nerves. Put some spring in your step by reading up on ideas around exercise and wellness that you can pass on to your students as you inspire them to stretch their little wings at home.
Upcoming Y4Y Virtual Series: Save the Dates

Feeling isolated? Connect with colleagues for professional development that will energize and empower you for whatever comes next! Y4Y offers certificates of completion for the following webinars. We hope to see you at as many as you can attend!

Literacy for Frontline Staff: Three-Part Virtual Series
April 21-23, 1 p.m. ET

Students’ ability to read, write, speak and listen effectively is critical to their success in school and beyond. These literacy skills lay the foundation for other academic and 21 st century skills. In this three-part webinar series, the Y4Y TA Team will share strategies for supporting frontline staff in assessing and improving 21 st CCLC literacy initiatives. Site leaders and other participants will improve their understanding of the key components of literacy and take away research-based literacy activities geared toward building 21 st century skills like collaboration and critical thinking.

Register soon!

Watch for registration to open soon for these series:

April 27-30: College and Career Readiness: Elementary, Middle, High School, and Engaging Families

May 4-7: Intentional Program Design

May 11-14: Project-Based Learning

May 18-21: Literacy : An In-Depth Expedition 
Tech Tip: Navigating the Y4Y Website

In this final installment of a continuing series, The Y4Y Insider walks you through the “ STEM Initiatives ” tab.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) is collaborating with other federal agencies to provide exciting learning opportunities for students in 21 st  CCLC programs. Check out the NASA, Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and National Park Service (NPS) portals. You’ll find hands-on project ideas and resources your program can use to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to life.
 
NASA:  In coordination with ED, NASA has developed several Engineering Design Challenges.   Here   you’ll find activity guides and professional learning resources for each challenge from 2019-20, so you can try these projects in your own program.
 
IMLS:  In coordination with ED, in 2017-18, IMLS developed   STEM-rich making and tinkering activities . Activity guides and professional learning resources are included. Try these projects in your own program.
 
NOAA:   In coordination with ED, NOAA designed several Watershed Project activities. Here   you’ll find the overview of the NOAA–21 st CCLC Watershed Projects from the   2017 pilot project , including several resources.
 
NPS:   In coordination with ED, NPS has developed a Hands on the Land Citizen Science Project: Place-Based STEM Learning program. By partnering with national parks, 21 st CCLC sites and students were able to participate in engaging citizen science projects. You’ll see an overview of the upcoming opportunity. Check the   Archives section for overviews of the work completed in 2017-18 as well as professional learning resources.

Now that you’ve familiarized yourself with the layout of the Y4Y website, watch this summer for exciting improvements to the site, such as enhanced navigation and more personalized course interaction.
State Coordinators Corner

Y4Y is honored to be part of your state’s continued commitment to 21 st CCLC programming at this challenging time. In keeping with measures set forth in this ED Fact Shee t, we know your grantees are looking for professional development opportunities. Here are some steps Y4Y has taken to accommodate the social distancing required to keep everyone healthy and to make the best of a troubling time by giving your program directors, site coordinators and even frontline staff easily accessed opportunities to expand their own learning and deepen their practice.

  • State-specific in-person trainings are being converted to thematic virtual learning series that are open to a national audience. Attendees will receive certificates of attendance. A calendar of events for April and May is available for download via the Y4Y Discussion Board for the April events, and additional events may be offered into the summer. Stay tuned!
  • Sessions held in early April included Supporting Staff and Families During School Closure and Designing a Professional Learning Path for Staff. Your grantees can view the archived version of both webinars for an introduction to Y4Y resources and their many uses. Note: Those who view the archived webinars won’t get a certificate of completion.
  • Discussion Boards are a great place to home in on the resources highlighted in these series of Y4Y presentations, and to connect with peers around the country.
  • Consider reaching out to your grantees and suggesting Y4Y virtual professional development courses as a way to keep supporting their staff. Y4Y has added a pop-up feature to remind learners to log in first so their progress can be tracked. This will help ensure that they receive a certificate of completion!
  • Your grantees can be oriented to the Y4Y website with a simple guide that walks them through signing up, using the site, and obtaining certificates of completion.

Please stay in touch and share with us how the U.S. Department of Education’s Y4Y TA Team can continue to support 21 st CCLC programs your state.
Voices From the Field

Looking for ideas to keep the students in your program connected and engaged during school closures, when you can’t meet in person? Check ED’s COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel .

Also, sample the great ideas shared by over 1,000 21 st CCLC professionals who attended Y4Y’s April 1 webinar, Supporting Staff and Families During School Closure. Many thanks to those who participated!

Virtual Hangouts:

  • Staff group workouts
  • Dance party or challenge
  • Netflix watch party (check out their educational syncing feature with chat function)
  • Glee club
  • Talent show
  • Karaoke party
  • Story time with costumes or stuffed animal companions

Social Media:

  • Circulate fun TikTok trends like “Here I am, mathing with my dog.”
  • Pose a singing challenge – students can upload their video submission and vote.
  • Publish a calendar of birthdays (first names only) so students can flood each other with wishes.
  • Aid families in securing free Wi-Fi through a local provider.
  • Host spirit week themes with photo submissions, such as Muddy Monday, Taco Tuesday and so forth.

Other Activities:

  • Bear Hunt: Engage the neighborhood in placing bears strategically in windows and challenge students to find them all on a socially safe walk.
  • Each day or week you can vary what’s placed in windows.
  • Design indoor or outdoor scavenger hunts. It doesn’t have to be “collect,” but just “spot” each item.
  • Give directions on how to make a mindfulness jar.
  • In rural areas where internet access is limited, drop off packets of educational and fun activities, or basic art supplies (which is an acceptable expenditure for 21st CCLC funds).
  • Place calls and send postcards to students and families.

Be sure to check out more ideas on Y4Y’s Supporting Staff and Families During School Closure Discussion Board , including sample STEAMeR materials from webinar guest speaker Johanna Friedel, project director for the Afterschool Centers on Education in the Greenville Independent School District in Texas.
Creative Program Ideas
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports month . Your 21 st CCLC professionals are the perfect messengers to encourage kids to stretch those little wings at home
May 9 is International World Migratory Bird Day . Investigate what flocks might be expected to migrate across your region of the country and share this link to bird webcams (note the special “birds” tab) with your families.
May 10 is Clean Up Your Room Day. Parents will be delighted when you share the news.
May 18 marks the 40-year anniversary of the eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s. What a great opportunity to talk about mountains and islands formed by volcanos, and see how peaceful they are most of the time. Families could try the age-old volcano experiment at home.

Caption This Image!
Thanks for playing! Here's our winner for the 21 st CCLC-inspired caption for last month’s image:

"We are not simply cogs in a wheel...we are the doers of tomorrow."

Great job, Jess in Colorado!
Your turn! Submit your program-inspired caption ideas for this image from the Y4Y Social and Emotional Learning course. Responses will be published in next month’s issue. 
Featured Download
The downloadable zip file includes a video, podcasts, tools, resource links and FAQs with strategies for helping students who are experiencing trauma.