The Y4Y Insider
Needle in the Haystack
March 2020
Dear 21 st  CCLC friends,
 
The U.S. Department of Education’s Y4Y Technical Assistance Team is sensitive to the unique challenges and decisions 21 st  CCLC programs currently face in light of COVID-19. We're here for you! We’ll be expanding Y4Y’s virtual learning opportunities to help you connect with colleagues, share ideas, gain new skills and knowledge, and support the students and families you serve--now and in the months to come. Watch your email for your personal invitation to join in.
 
Meanwhile,  Y4Y’s online professional development resources  remain available 24/7. Also, the U.S. Department of Education has launched a  COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information and resources web page  for schools and school personnel to provide updates, guidance and resources for everyday disease prevention strategies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) resource page  has ideas for helping elementary, middle, and high schoolers cope with emergencies, with a downloadable activity sheet and coloring page for young children. Scholastic has  online "learn at home" resources  across subject areas for Pre-K and grades 1-2, 3-5, and 6+. Foundations, Inc. has compiled  links to free online K-12 learning resources  from various sources. Consider sharing these ideas and resources with families.  

Stay safe, and thanks for all you do!
 
With warmest regards,
 
The Y4Y TA Team
Needle in the Haystack
Y4Y knows you have a lot on your mind at present. Make self care and deep breaths a priority each day. Then, when things settle into the temporary "normal" and you have time to think about looking forward, consider how this time might be used to explore new horizons in 21 st CCLC programs. In the age of information, you’re bombarded with options. Trying to find the best resources for your 21 st CCLC program can seem lik e searching for a needle in a haystack! That’s why The Y4Y Insider strives to serve up the latest and greatest Y4Y content in easily digested nuggets. Take, for example, our new course on literacy. Our blog answers the question “Where in the world is 21st CCLC literacy training?” It doesn’t take a microscope to find good summer STEM programming ideas from Y4Y, and a synopsis of Y4Y’s newly archived webinar series on the subject offers a million of them (give or take). If the stresses of tax season have you searching for “money smart” ideas , look no farther! You can build student and adult financial literacy with Y4Y’s course and resources or Click & Go on this important and timely subject.
Upcoming Y4Y Virtual Series

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 U.S. Department of Education’s Y4Y Technical Assistance (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!
Tech Tip: Navigating the Y4Y Website

In this continuing series, the Insider walks you through the “Resources” tab at Y4Y.ed.gov .

Just as the first drop-down menu item (“Overview of Y4Y Resources” under the Resources tab) indicates, this section of the Y4Y site helps you link directly to materials imbedded in Y4Y courses, Click & Go’s, webinars, and other elements listed under the Learn tab.

  • Tools are developed for every course. A tool may be a reference list, a relevant template, or a sample document, to name a few examples. For each course topic, you can download and customize tools from one of four categories: Learn, Assess and Reflect, Plan and Implement, and Train. The Featured Y4Y Tools menu item is a small list of selected tools that will be most critical to your program.
  • Learn More Library is like an address book for all the resources outside of the Y4Y website that our TA Team thinks will help you on each of our course topics — so they, too, are organized by course. Drug and Alcohol Prevention is a separate library of off-site resources because although Y4Y does not yet offer any interactive learning platform on this subject, the Y4Y TA Team knows these are important references that you might want to access.
  • Summer Learning Initiative is a dedicated menu item on the Resources tab that houses all things summer, although there are many cross-over principles and practices between afterschool and summer 21st CCLC programming, so this is just a place to start.
  • Professionalization Resources directs you to institutions of higher education around the country that offer additional professional development and advancement opportunities that may be of interest to 21st CCLC educators.
  • Conferences offers archived training materials that Y4Y’s TA Team has offered at past conferences.
  • 21st CCLC Design Elements is where you can download logos for your program to demonstrate that you’re part of the formidable 21st CCLC family.

Next month’s issue will feature an explanation of the Y4Y website’s “STEM Initiatives” tab. Prepare to be amazed by the diverse activity ideas you’ll see there!
State Coordinators Corner

It was great to see so many of you at last month’s Beyond School Hours event. Y4Y strongly respects the decision of the National AfterSchool Association (NAA) to convert plans for its upcoming Convention 2020 in Washington, D.C. to a virtual event, and will stay in touch with you all on how the Y4Y workshops will be taking shape. 
Voices From the Field

Showing Appreciation for Program Staff

Y4Y recently caught up with one of our favorite advisors, Johanna Friedel, project director for the Afterschool Centers on Education (ACE) in the Greenville Independent School District (ISD) in Texas. We asked Ms. Friedel to share some best practices surrounding staff appreciation. Here’s a quick synopsis. You can see her full interview on Y4Y 's Voices From the Field p age.
 
There are so many dimensions to showing staff appreciation. Here are some avenues I like to take advantage of:
  • Training is first and foremost. Professional training for afterschool personnel is critical for creating a professional environment and for showing respect and appreciation for the afterschool professional. Staff is paid for their time, it’s an opportunity to showcase their knowledge and accomplishments, and I like to offer giveaways.
  • Grow leaders by empowering staff, then show off those leadership skills to community stakeholders and on social media.
  • Develop a formal award program for staff.

The Greenville ISD ACE program is a great feeder for school-day employment, so we attract excellent beginner educators and have a good retention rate. I believe in fiercely protecting staff — this is the big stuff — and can offer a long list of small gestures that also go a long way toward helping staff feel appreciated.
Creative Program Ideas
Don’t let the Coronavirus worry your students. Share with them that children are faring well even when infected. You can also give them power over spreading germs with a simple game. At the beginning of each day, students each get 10 pennies. If they’re caught touching their face, they lose a penny to the “sick” jar. At the end of the week, see who has won the “richest” student award.
April 3 is National Find a Rainbow Day. This might be a literal rainbow search after April showers, or a figurative one: something beautiful after a storm, or the beauty of diversity.
April 7 is World Health Day . Compare and contrast health challenges based on where you live. A child in a third-world country may not have clean water to drink. A child in the U.S. might face bullying and depression from social media. The key is that all health issues matter.
April 12 is International Day of Human Space Flight. Each year, new messages from space explorers to future generations are released. Have students look for common themes.
April 13 is National Scrabble Day. Bring out that Scrabble board, or consider another word game to celebrate the role of fun in learning!
April 15 is Tax Day. Explore with students about where tax dollars are used .
April 20-24 is Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week . How will your program join with the community to recognize and celebrate your staff?
Caption This Image!
Thanks for playing! Here are some great 21 st CCLC-inspired captions for last month’s image:

  • The real stars of our 21st CCLC show? Our terrific staff, of course! [Great one, Carla from WV!]
  • Have you ever noticed that 21st CCLC folks don't seem to know quite what to do with themselves when there are no students around? [Funny, Julie from NC!]
Your turn! Submit your program-inspired caption ideas for this image from the Y4Y Creating a Positive Learning Environment course. Responses will be published in next month’s issue. 
Featured Download
Check out Y4Y’s new Strategies for Creating a Positive Learning Environment tool. Your students and staff will dig the vibe!