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Online Professional Learning and
Technical Assistance for
21st Century Community Learning Centers



February 22, 2013

Ever wish you had your own personal Y4Y expert in your program who you could drop in on and ask a quick question or two whenever you needed a little help or inspiration?

The next best thing could be our new Coffee Break Webinar series, starting in March. Each hour-long webinar will focus on a specific feature or resource on the Y4Y portal that you can use in your program. The presentation section of these webinars will be brief in order to allow for more Q&A and discussion time between the attendees and the presenter. Keep an eye on the Network section and on these E-blasts for more information about upcoming webinars.

So bring your questions, bring your insights, and bring your coffee! Because you never know – after getting a few of these webinars under your belt, your program’s new Y4Y expert … could be you!


January 16, 2013

With so many demands on your time, it may be challenging to plan and prepare a professional development session for your staff completely from scratch. Y4Y can help. It has training resources in each module to help convey key concepts and ideas to your staff, and to guide them in applying the portal’s lessons to programming decisions.

Since everyone has their own unique training style, Y4Y offers two types of training materials. “Trainings To Go” present a complete, ready-to-use workshop package that includes a PowerPoint presentation, talking points, and all the accompanying handouts. You can customize the materials to your particular needs, or you can use them just as they are. Trainings to Go are perfect if you’re stumped for ideas or pressed for time. If you’d like to add even more of your own personal touch to the training, try a Training Starter, which provides a step-by-step template with suggested talking points and room to fill in your own plans.

Both types of trainings can be completely customized with your own activity ideas, pictures, and talking points. For a sample of training topics in both styles, take a look at what’s available in the Teach section for Family Involvement.


January 16, 2013

A topic like cultural competence can be tough to wrap your head around, but it’s a critical asset for you to build in your staff. The Cultural Competence Training To Go in the Family Involvement module sets up the entire session for you, even detailing which questions to ask and how to facilitate the activities.

The PowerPoint and handouts have a professional look and are designed to encourage participants to reflect on this important topic. A training plan lays out the timing for the session and lists what materials are needed.

Since you know your staff best, you can choose to deliver the training as is or edit, add, and delete slides to tailor it to your staff’s experiences and needs. Or, use just the handouts as coaching tools for individual staff members. You can even divide up the training and distribute sections to several staff who can co-lead a session.


January 16, 2013

If you’d rather develop your own training but need a little bit of guidance, try a Training Starter like this one for developing “Objectives that Work”. The meat of the training – called the Training Middle – instructs you to gather participant input, lead activities, and convey important points to the group. The opening and closing are left blank, resulting in a framework that can help you organize your thoughts while keeping in mind the principles of effective trainings.

The Training Starter templates can be downloaded as PDFs or as Microsoft Word documents, which means you can edit the document directly and add your own ideas to fill in the existing framework. It is easy to extend or shorten the training to your needs, too.


January 16, 2013

Once you’ve assessed your staff’s needs and prepared content that will target those areas, you can ensure a successful training session by sharpening your training skills. Each Coaching Module contains a section called Build Staff Skills, where training tips from experienced trainers are highlighted.

The STEM module, for example, presents some general training tips like the ones on this page. It also offers suggestions for how to put some training principles into action through interactive features like the one on this page.

Review the tips in each Build Staff Skills section, then check your next professional development plan to see how many of these best practices you are implementing and which ones you might want to add.