The Y4Y Insider
Gratitude: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
May 2020
Gratitude: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
How are you holding up? This isn’t the way we imagined the school year would end, is it? Normally we’d have an impossibly long checklist of “things to do by Memorial Day.” But “normal” means something different this week, this month, this year, and we’re all in the process of resetting ourselves. Some basic human emotions guide us now, including, remarkably, gratitude. Gratitude is an incredible fallback that shines a light in the darkness. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Aesop noted that gratitude turns what we have into enough . See Y4Y’s Social and Emotional Learning course to explore how emotional states affect learning. Last month, the U.S. Department of Education’s Y4Y Technical Assistance Team offered a webinar series, Literacy for Frontline Staff , that was full of reasons to be grateful for the role of language and literacy in keeping humans connected. A constant companion of gratitude is giving, and Y4Y's resources on citizen science will keep your students thinking, giving, learning and being . Whatever you’re doing (or not doing) these days, be sur e to give yourself the gift of time . Self-care is crucial in times of uncertainty.
Upcoming Y4Y Virtual Series and Webinars:
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: An In-Depth Expedition (Four-Part Series)
May 18-21, 1-2:30 p.m. ET

It's not too late to join in! Learn to develop high-quality, engaging literacy activities for students of all ages and their adult family members. Strengthen your literacy efforts through partnerships and collaboration. Hear from experienced practitioners. By the end of the week, you’ll be ready to embark on your own literacy journey!
  • Monday, May 18: Planning Your Journey: Literacy Components 
  • Tuesday, May 19: Excursions and Adventures: Explicit vs Embedded Activities
  • Wednesday, May 20: Who's Coming Along?: Leveraging Partnerships
  • Thursday, May 21: Enjoy the Amazing Journey! Successful Literacy in Action

STEM in Summer Learning
May 27, 1-2:30 p.m. ET

Back by popular demand! Summer’s almost here and, after a hectic end to the school year, STEM summer programming can inspire students to learn through engaging, real-life and relevant activities. This is an abridged version of the popular three-part STEM in Summer Learning series. In a single session, you’ll get a nine-step process for designing a STEM-based summer learning program, best practices for delivering that program and tools to make planning easier.

Human Resources (Four-Part Series)
June 1 - 4, daily 1–2:30 p.m. ET

Join the Y4Y team as we discuss four critical processes that keep your program running – identifying, recruiting, training, and retaining staff. Hear from program leaders out in the field about how they’ve successfully staffed their sites and utilize Y4Y resources to improve your human resources procedures.

Archived Webinars

Please note: A certificate of attendance is available only to those who participate in the live events. Certificates will not be issued to those who view the recordings.

Are you ready to take your program to the next level? Want to meet the needs and wants of your students and families? Join our team to investigate the intentional program design process! Walk through the steps to discover: the needs of your students and families, create engaging activities that can move the needle on student outcomes, and ensure your activities achieve success. An intentionally designed program will solve the mystery of how to increase student engagement and outcomes!

In this three-part webinar series, we 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.

Is first grade too early to think about college and career readiness? How can well-designed out-of-school time experiences help middle schoolers explore career possibilities, see how their interests and abilities connect to those possibilities, and gain life skills? What are three important things high school students might not know about college if no one in their family has a college degree? How can 21 st  CCLC programs engage and support diverse families in preparing their children for success beyond high school graduation? This four-part webinar series focuses on developing postsecondary awareness, exploration and preparation. Find out how you can provide learning opportunities that motivate and prepare your students for successful careers .

Tech Tip

Is your team holding virtual meetings right now? Did you know that all Y4Y courses contain PowerPoint Trainings To Go that lend themselves well to Zoom and other virtual meeting platforms? Check out the full list of Trainings To Go and find one that’s right for your team today!
State Coordinators Corner

Y4Y appreciates that you're doing everything in your power to keep the 21 st CCLC programs in your state strong through adversity. This is an ideal time to remind program leaders and staff to take full advantage of Y4Y’s free resources, including the webinars described in this newsletter and online courses available 24/7 .

New courses include Social and Emotional Learning , Literacy , and Creating a Positive Learning Environment . Don't forget about Introduction to 21 st CCLC and Managing Your 21 st CCLC Program, which cover essential information.

Retain program staff and help them grow by promoting these impactful professional development opportunities. A certificate of completion is provided for each course, and a certificate of participation is provided for each live webinar in each series. Reminder: Archived Y4Y webinars are available 24/7, but no certificates are offered for viewing recorded webinars.
Voices From the Field

April’s Y4Y webinar series, “Literacy for Frontline Staff,” enjoyed a great audience of 21 st CCLC practitioners. Thanks for your enthusiastic participation and for sharing some of your own literacy activities and resources (costs may be associated with resources which are endorsed by attendees of the webinar). Here are a just a few: 

Literacy Engagement and Activity Ideas
  • Plan a field trip to the library and help students sign up for a library card.
  • Start a program library with donated books from the community, and allow students to check them out.
  • Pair older students with younger ones for read-aloud activities to improve the older students’ fluency and the younger students’ listening skills.
  • Develop comic strips.
  • Do scavenger hunts that involve reading and problem solving.
  • Create escape rooms that involve reading and problem solving.
  • Check with librarians to learn what’s the latest “hot” item in your target age group or reading level.
  • Start a virtual book club.
  • With literacy and other goal setting, have students place their wildest dream at the top of a “staircase” and think about what’s needed to take each step. Remind students it’s OK if they fall down a few steps sometimes! The trick is to keep climbing.
  • Publish books that students have written and illustrated themselves.
  • Write a review of a movie or TV show (especially during quarantine).
  • Simply have students tell a story.
  • Host a “Rock and Rhyme” event live or virtually where students read a poem they wrote or perform a song they composed. (Poetry is a nice change of pace for struggling readers.)
  • Publish a class/program book of stories or poems.
  • Create and write about a “new animal” after reading Dr. Seuss’s “If I Ran the Zoo.”
  • Remember to offer alternative literacy options for students who are extremely anxious about reading aloud.
  • Stage a courtroom for the case of Goldilocks vs. The Three Bears.

Literacy Resources

Sphero : STEAM-based educational tools

Readworks : Free tools for K-12 reading comprehension instruction

Learning A-Z : Free virtual resources to support literacy learning

Student Center Activities from the Florida Center for Reading Research
Creative Program Ideas
June 1 is the Global Day of Parents . What a great opportunity to recognize that no two families are alike . Whatever the makeup in your students’ household, they can practice gratitude and introspection about the adults in their lives.
June 15 is National Nature Photography Day . Have students search online for interesting nature photos, or (if they can practice social distancing) encourage them to head out into their own backyards or on a neighborhood adventure with phones in hand to capture and compare photos of plants, animals, insects, landscapes or anything else nature has to offer.
June 17 is Eat Your Vegetables Day. Plan a virtual field trip around harvesting, a cooking activity around healthy eating, a virtual challenge to try a "new-to-you" vegetable, or a STEM activity around the role of vitamins and minerals in our bodies that only vegetables can provide.
June 26 marks the 75 th anniversary of the United Nations , first begun by 50 nations. Students can explore the benefits that have come from living more globally. Our current circumstances surely remind us that around the world, we are one.
Caption This Image!
Thanks for playing! Here are the winning captions for last month’s image from Y4Y's Social and Emotional Learning course:

  • "One small step for students, one giant leap for education." Dave from New Jersey
  • "How parents-turned-homeschool-teachers see actual teachers." Carla from West Virginia
  • "Taking imagination to the next power!" Nancy from Florida
  • "This looks like a job for Captain Comfort!" Sean from Maryland
  • "Trying times? Afterschool educators to the rescue!" Sarah from Texas
Your turn! Submit your program-inspired caption ideas for this image from the Y4Y Human Resources course. Responses will be published in next month’s issue. 
Featured Download
Customize this PowerPoint presentation to provide professional learning on building relationships with students. This tool is perfect for virtual training.