Using the ND Quality Standards

Afterschool programs play a critical role in helping students succeed, keeping young people safe, and supporting working families. You work hard to provide youth with a safe, nurturing environment where they learn, grow, try new things - and ultimately thrive.

Launched in 2020, the Standards are applicable to all types of afterschool, summer, and community programs serving youth in grades K-12, including 21CCLC, community-based, school-age licensed childcare, and more.

Visit the Quality Standards section on the Network website to find a guide to using the Standards in your program, including a recording of Using the Standards, a Program Self-Assessment User Guide, and resources aligned with the 4 Standard domains: Health & Safety, Relationships & Interactions, Youth-Centered Program Design, and Leadership & Management. 

The ND Department of Public Instruction is using the ND Quality Standards & Program Self-Assessment for the 2022-23 program year. Click below to learn more about requirements and supports available. 

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Afterschool Grants & Funding Opportunities

ND Arts in Afterschool Funding 2022-23

Application period now open!

The ND Afterschool Network, in collaboration with ND Council on the Arts, is pleased to offer funding to afterschool and other out-of-school time programs ranging from $500 to 2,000 to increase opportunities for students across North Dakota in grades K-12 to engage in arts programming during the 2022-23 school year.

Applications will be funded on a rolling basis based on proposal and funding availability. Click below for full requirements, activity ideas, and a link to the application. 

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Building, Sustaining and Improving: Using Federal Funds for Afterschool

This guide can help district leaders, out-of-school time providers and intermediaries identify federal funding streams to support afterschool and summer learning. 

High-quality afterschool and summer learning programs play an essential role in the lives of young people. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes several funding opportunities that could support efforts to help young people recover from learning time lost to COVID-19 and to promote well-being. 

The guide groups funding streams under three broad headings:

  • Creating & Sustaining Equitable Conditions for Learning
  • Preparing for Program Delivery
  • Building & Aligning Ecosystems of Support
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NDDPI Teacher Innovation Grants: North Dakota Department of Public Instruction is encouraging innovative education ideas from teachers by funding up to $10,000 in grants every three months. Grant awards will continue every three months for another two years. The next round of grant applications opens October 12, with an October 26 deadline. 

ALDI Cares Community Grants: Community grants range from $100 to $5,000 and fall under the following: Children's Health & Wellness, Food Insecurity, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Organizations will be asked to apply under the ALDI division closest to their location. Applications accepted ongoing through December 15, 2022.

Girls Who Code: Start a free Girls Who Code Club and enroll 3 or more members this school year to be eligible to receive up to $300 for materials and supplies for your club. Clubs are free programs for 3rd-5th and 6th-12th grade students to join a sisterhood of supportive peers and role models using computer science to change the world. Clubs are completely free and offer fun activities through a flexible curriculum that adapts to your unique needs. Clubs can take place afterschool, on weekends, or during the summer, and they can be held in-person or online.

First Book Marketplace: Sign up to get new books and resources for the kids you serve. First Book is a non-profit social enterprise that provides new books and educational resources - for free and at low cost - to schools and programs serving children in need, ages 0-18. If you are an educator at a Title I or Title I eligible school, health care provider, school support personnel, librarian, early learning professional, community program or afterschool staff, you can join for free.

Parks and Rec Field Trips: North Dakota Department of Public Instruction, ND Parks and Recreation announces the availability of field trip funding assistance for North Dakota Students! The funding may provide student programming fee and transportation expense support for a ranger or interpreter-guided field trip in any North Dakota State Park.

Discover Literacy Grants: Discover is offering grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations working in the areas of education and literacy. Funding, donations, and sponsorships are intended to support programs and initiatives that meet the needs of various communities across the country. Applications accepted on a rolling basis.

CaringforCommunities Grants: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota's CaringforCommunities Grants recognize that developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong process and our communities play an integral role. Successful grant applications demonstrate strong collaboration and sustainability, incorporate proven, evidence-based approaches, and encourage citizen engagement. No deadline to apply and applications accepted year-round.

Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grants: Funding the most promising ideas to change communities and systems. These grants support organizations coming together to solve community challenges, and efforts that help people lead in strong, equitable and connected ways. Grants are funded above $20,000 with no set limit on grant amounts. Applications accepted on ongoing basis.

Million Girls Moonshot Feature - STEM Resources

NASA Virtual Classroom Connections

Are you looking for an opportunity to connect your middle school students with a NASA scientist or engineer? Apply for an upcoming Virtual Classroom Connections in NASA CONNECTS. 

NASA CONNECTS offers users a chance to connect and collaborate with educators and NASA scientists, engineers, and other experts nationwide. Sign up today to access NASA resources, join groups focused on your interests, and gain access to exclusive events. 

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Techbridge Girls Curriculum & Training
Techbridge Girls (TBG) is an award-winning national nonprofit bringing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to all girls across the U.S. For 20+ years, TBG has reengineered the way STEM education is taught, centering our girls' brilliance and potential, emphasizing increasing STEM access, belonging, and persistence for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color) youth from systematically marginalized communities. TBG will offer three different curriculum training programs for afterschool staff: 1) Ignite for 3-8th grade youth, 2) Inspire for 4-5th grade girls, and 3) Changemakers for 6-8th grade girls.
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Power of Us 2022 Workforce Survey

Share Your Experience Working with Youth

Millions of professionals, educators, and volunteers work with young people every day. Yet, we have little information about this essential workforce. 

We want to know more about those who are in the youth development field, and those who have recently left, to explore, define, and elevate this collective workforce and their work with youth. The information from this survey can also lead to action, informing policy, practice, and further research to better support the workforce. 

Through the Power of Us Workforce Survey, you can contribute to a national effort to explore, define, and elevate your work with youth. 

Take Survey
Upcoming Trainings & Events

NESC ConnectEd lessons are offered live through Zoom on Tuesdays from 3:45 - 4:15pm CT. Each session is designed for the K-2 or 3-8 grade span and includes a community teaching partner who provides an engaging experience for your learners. If you can't connect live, you can access the archived lesson recordings or facilitator materials to use at a different time. 

With support from the ND Afterschool Network, all afterschool programs throughout the state are welcome to join for lessons at no cost! Lessons address the following focus areas:

  • STEAM & Problem-based learning
  • 21st Century Skills & the 4Cs
  • Career Exploration & Community Partners
  • Social & Emotional Learning

Educators can access a suite of resources with every lesson, including session recording, facilitator's plan, lesson PowerPoint, extended playlist (additional student learning opportunities), and professional learning playlist (educator learning resources). 

The 2022-2023 ConnectEd schedule will be released soon and archived lessons from 2020-21 and 2021-22 are available!

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Would you like to see even greater impacts from your current school improvement initiatives and family engagement practices?

Leadership teams are invited to learn a process for building goal-aligned family and community engagement through application of the Epstein framework of Six Types of Involvement: Parenting, Communicating, Volunteering, Learning at Home, Decision-Making, and Collaborating with Community. 

This work will not be an added initiative; rather a value add for your existing priorities. 

Team Member Recommendations:

  • School administrator(s)
  • Teacher(s)
  • Counselor
  • Parents
  • Community-members
  • Extended-day program representative
  • Students

Intended outcomes include creating an Action Team for Partnerships, learn and apply the Epstein framework, identify academic, behavioral, & culture of welcoming goals, create & implement goal-aligned action plans. 

Cohorts 1 & 2 already in progress. Cohorts 3 & 4 will start with in-person session in September, followed by virtual sessions through April 2023. 

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Celebrate the 23rd Annual Lights on Afterschool on October 20!

Lights on Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. 

Afterschool and summer learning programs from across North Dakota are encouraged to join the ND Afterschool Network in registering to host a Lights on Afterschool celebration - big or small, celebrations can take place throughout the month of October. This is a great opportunity to amplify youth voice, connect with the community, and draw attention to the important work that you do for youth in our state. 

To learn more about how to use Lights on Afterschool as a way to advocate for your program, join the ND Afterschool Professional Learning Community on September 14. 

Start the Year Off Right: Fiscal Management for 21st CCLCs

September 8 | Virtual

Join this session with You for Youth to walk through major budget considerations for project directors and troubleshoot common budget problems. This fun and interactive session is a great refresher for experienced program leaders, as well as a strong foundation for new or prospective 21st CCLC leaders. Register here. 

ND Afterschool Professional Learning Community

September 2022 - June 2023 | Virtual Monthly Series

ND Afterschool Network will host a monthly, virtual series during the 2022 - 2023 school year for afterschool professionals across the state to learn, connect, and provide peer-to-peer learning opportunities. Each session will have a timely, focused topic relevant to the out-of-school time field and allow for time to share experiences, to build networks with peers and experts, to develop skills that help your professional trajectory, and to engage in continuous quality improvement in your out-of-school time program. Series is designed for any out-of-school time professional working with youth PreK-12 across ND working in any capacity in any type of program: 21CCLC, community-based, faith-based, club-based, summer camp, school age licensed childcare, etc. Join one session or join them all! NOTE: ND 21CCLC grantee program sites receiving TARGETED SUPPORTS are required to attend at least 5 of the 10 sessions. Learn more.

Building Positive Staff Culture and Enriching Environments for Students (Two-Part Series)

September 13 & 15 | Virtual

What is the culture and climate of your 21st CCLC program? Is your program a positive place where all students have the opportunity to learn and grow? This two-part series is a great learning opportunity for all 21st CCLC staff, and we will highlight many free You for Youth resources that you can leverage to build a positive learning environment for your entire program community. 

Lights on Afterschool

October 20

Lights On Afterschool is the largest nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. The events draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students and families and send a powerful message that more kids need quality afterschool programs. Join the ND Afterschool Professional Learning Community on September 14th to hear more about how you can participate in Lights on Afterschool!

ND Afterschool: Empowering Kindhearted Kids

November 17 | Virtual

Join Two by Two Character Development to explore the latest research regarding social emotional learning and the importance of explicitly teaching core values. Plan on loading up your "toolkit" with lots of fun and engaging ideas to immediately use with your children and walk away feeling empowered and rejuvenated for the important work you do. Register here.

Our Mission
We equip North Dakota afterschool programs with the tools and support to expand program quality, build leadership capacity, and ensure access to afterschool programs for all youth in their community.