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December 16, 2016

It’s not too soon to begin reviewing your program data – especially around this time of year. So, take a moment to review some tips on using data to make your program stronger and your students more prepared for college and their careers.

Check out archived sessions from the 2016 21st CCLC Summer Institute for helpful guidance on several areas of program management. For data use, go to Plenary Session 4, which discusses using data to demonstrate and improve alignment with the school day. The session offers plenty of useful information, but if you’re in a hurry, jump to the timecodes below for a few quick takeaways to help you use data to improve program outcomes:

[12:17-15:44] Consider using a logic model to illustrate the intended result of a new season of programming. Then, capture data so you can see which factors really make a difference for student outcomes. The logic model can also help explain your program’s goals and successes to parents, community partners and other audiences.

[24:30-24:56] Look closely at your data to see how successfully you’ve promoted staff professional development, built partnerships and aligned program content with the school day. These practices can be powerful levers to improve student outcomes.

[27:36-29:33] Work with your state’s afterschool network to find ways to effectively leverage data from your program and other programs in your state. You can find information about your state’s afterschool network from these websites: the Afterschool Alliance and The Power of Afterschool.

[35:25-37:18] Keep the lines of communication open between your program and your partner school district by using teacher-staff meetings, surveys and tools that facilitate information exchanges and drive mutual support. The more you know about the school day, the better you’ll be able to create action plans that support students.

 



September 15, 2016

The 2016 Summer Institute (July 19-21) offered participants the chance to learn about the U.S. Department of Education’s current focus areas for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) programs. Practitioners found plenty of sessions to help them develop important skills and ideas to take home to colleagues and students.

If you couldn’t make it, it’s not too late to attend some sessions virtually. Y4Y’s Summer Institute page has video recordings of the plenary sessions that you can view anytime.

In the Opening Plenary, you’ll hear about the Every Student Succeeds Act and what it means for 21st CCLC programs in 2016 and beyond. Plenary 2 focuses on expanding learning beyond the classroom, with stories of successful strategic community partnerships from schools and state departments of education around the nation.

If you’re looking for information on innovative and ongoing professional learning opportunities for 21st CCLC practitioners, head over to Plenary 3. And, in Plenary 4, you’ll hear about how and why using data can help you plan and implement programming that aligns with the school day.

For more information from the Summer Institute, including PowerPoint slides and handouts from breakout sessions, visit the 2016 Summer Institute website.



August 31, 2015

The Summer Institute (July 27-29) rounded up plenty of learning opportunities for out-of-school time professionals. Topic strands included family and community engagement, STEM, literacy, improving program quality, serving students with disabilities and more. Whether you were “back in the saddle” with us in Dallas or home at the ranch, you can review Y4Y sessions and get handouts and other materials. Find the Y4Y training team’s three presentations (in PDF) and associated handouts on the 2015 Summer Institute page.

Y4Y Session: Empowering Youth to Actively Participate in Prevention

This session — available as a video recording — describes how to use Y4Y resources to enhance implementation of afterschool drug and alcohol prevention programs. Learn how drug and alcohol use affect student achievement, explore interactive activities that are designed for grades K-12, and develop strategies for engaging families and building partnerships around prevention. 

During the session, participants learned how to find their state’s drug control update (see the “Texas Drug Control Update” handout for an example) to get a snapshot of local drug and alcohol issues that programs can use to focus their prevention efforts. To access the update for your state, go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp and click “Policy and Research” and then “State and Local Information.”

Participants also brainstormed ideas for project-based learning and explored K-12 activities they could use right away to engage students and their families around prevention. “The Amazing Brain” and “Protecting Your Brain” are two of the Brain Power modules from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. These address elementary-age students and incorporate learning in both science and prevention. The modules for middle school students combine short, informative student “magazines,” such as Weeding Out the Grass, with games that check their understanding, such as “Marijuana Bingo.” For high school youth, “Heads Up: Real News about Drugs and Your Body” provides fun activities that provide openings for deeper discussions about drug and alcohol prevention.

Y4Y Session: Investing in Family Engagement

Building family engagement in your program is easily worth the investment of time, energy and resources when you see the value in terms of student success. Use the materials from this session to explore best practices for improving and developing relationships with families.

During the session, participants watched the “Benefits of Family Engagement” video, then discussed what they already do and what they would like to do. After brainstorming about common challenges to family engagement, they used the “Overcoming Challenges” tool to identify possible underlying causes and potential solutions. Participants also used Y4Y tools to reflect on strategies to develop a more welcoming program environment for all families and begin some action planning around ways to support families and focus staff training on specific family engagement goals.  Find all the tools and resources from this session onon the Summer Institute page.

Y4Y Session: Building Literacy Through Fun and Games (Grades K-5)

Literacy after school can incorporate play that helps students gain critical academic and 21st century skills. This session helped participants see how to improve understanding of the building blocks of literacy and implement engaging literacy activities such as a vocabulary parade, finger play, poetry and song, and a picture walk.

Participants watched the “What is Literacy” video and discussed what it means to be literate in this technological age. As they reviewed the five components of reading, participants tried out phonemic awareness and phonics activities (from “Phonemic Awareness Activities”) and took part in a “Vocabulary Parade,” using Tier 2 words from the Word Up Project Lists as inspiration for their costumes. Participants viewed The True Story of the Three Little Pigs “reader’s theatre” example from Y4Y and shared how they practiced reading fluency in their programs. The session ended with a review of different Before, During and After activities to support comprehension (from “Comprehension Activities”) and effective questioning strategies. Participants were encouraged to think about how to incorporate literacy learning throughout the program day (using “Literacy Everywhere”).  Find all the tools and resources from this session on the Summer Institute page.

 



February 8, 2014

The Y4Y Team will be attending the Beyond School Hours XVII conference in Atlanta, Georgia, next week to conduct workshops on a variety of topics. When you’re at the conference be sure to look for us at these two breakout sessions:

Aligning 21st CCLC Programs to Common Core Using Y4Y Resources (Monique McDowell-Russell and Tania Lazar, with guest speaker Zelda Spence). The new Common Core State Standards present numerous opportunities to align 21st CCLC programs to school day learning. If your state has adopted the Common Core, then join us in this interactive workshop where we’ll explore the Standards with leading policy and program experts, and where participants will work together in hands-on activities to develop resources they can take back to their programs. Come explore strategies for embedding the Common Core in your engaging 21st CCLC activities. Thursday, February 13, 2014, 10:15-11:30 a.m. (Workshop 2) in room Embassy D.

Integrating Education Reform Efforts into 21st CCLC Programs with Y4Y (Monique McDowell-Russell and Sue Gerenstein). Many recent national education reforms and initiatives are designed to ensure that every child in the country receives an education that prepares him or her to achieve success in the innovation-based economy of the future, from STEM to college and career readiness. Join us in this hands-on workshop where we’ll explore these reforms with leading policy and program experts and learn how Y4Y can help. Participants will have the chance to dig deep, work together, and develop tools aligned with these reforms that they can put into practice with the students in their programs. Friday, February 14, 2014, 2:00-3:15 p.m. (Workshop 7) in room Embassy D.

After you check in at the conference, be sure to check the program materials for any possible last minute changes to the scheduling information provided above. For more information about Beyond School Hours, see www.beyondschoolhours.org.



December 9, 2013

The Y4Y Team will be attending the Beyond School Hours XVII conference in Atlanta, Georgia this coming February to conduct workshops and to present on a variety of topics. Don’t forget to register for the conference … and be sure to look for our breakout sessions in the schedule!

Watch upcoming issues of this newsletter for more information about our topics, our guest speakers, and exactly where you’ll be able to find us during the conference. For more information about Beyond School Hours, see www.beyondschoolhours.org.