October 7, 2013

It feels great to be a month or so into the fall, when students and staff are in synch with the rhythm of the academic year and are feeling confident about what’s to come. Now that everything is up and running in your program, it may be a good opportunity to take a step back and assess the program’s needs. Sure, things are going well, but they can always be better. What kind of extra boost could the program use?

Use the Determining Program Needs tool from Y4Y’s Strengthening Partnerships module to aid in your reflection. Maybe there’s a need for more community involvement, or perhaps your program should focus on how it’s helping students with special needs. Using the tool, take stock of where improvements could be made and jot down some notes for next steps to follow up on.

By homing in on specific needs, you are setting up your program for a successful year. You will be taking a thoughtful and deliberate approach to program growth and improvement ... and next fall you’ll feel even better!   


October 7, 2013

Do you find yourself frequently landing on an inspiring idea or an insightful tip on Y4Y? Of course! The portal is full of useful information that you can use to strengthen your afterschool program. There is even a built-in feature that helps you keep track of your favorite ideas from Y4Y: the Notebook. 

On each page in the Learn and Teach sections of Y4Y (for example take a look in the Project-Based Learning Introduction), a small box on the right side of the page contains the Notebook. You can type notes into the Notebook, right on the screen next to the information you are viewing. Then, your notes are saved for you to access again whenever you may want to add to them or print them in the future. The Notebook is divided into the five content areas, so it’s almost like having a virtual binder of notes for each topic.

The key to using the Notebook is to be registered for Y4Y. Registration allows you access to this convenient feature, among others on the portal such as the ability to post to the Discussion Boards. If you aren’t registered yet, stop by the Join the Y4Y Community page for the quick and easy registration form.  


October 7, 2013

Don’t miss our next Coffee Break webinar, Creating a Family Guidebook with Y4Y, on Thursday, October 10, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. (Eastern). Learn how a family guidebook can be used to promote and support ongoing family involvement for your afterschool program, while interacting with Y4Y team members and your afterschool colleagues from across the country. Explore sample guidebooks and begin creating your own custom guidebook during the webinar using the resources on Y4Y.

Registration is free!

As with all of our Coffee Break webinars there will be plenty of time for Q&A with the Y4Y team so bring your questions, bring your coffee, and join us on October 10.

Register today!  


October 7, 2013

Speaking of handbooks, the Y4Y team recently had the pleasure of participating in the Multistate Conference in Indianapolis, IN where we heard excellent examples from the field of 21st CCLC. One middle school educator shared with us a great idea for creating student handbooks for incoming sixth grades: let the experts do it – the 7th and 8th graders!

Her veteran middle school students made a project out of creating informative and engaging handbooks that were then distributed to incoming sixth grade students at orientation. Who better to create a handbook on navigating the waters of middle school than the students themselves?

Thanks for sharing your ideas with us, and please keep them coming!