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May 3, 2013

In the summer it is even more important than during the school year to “complement, not replicate” school-day learning. What does that look like? Take a look at the Complementing vs. Replicating tool for some ideas to spark your creativity as you plan for summer. Then think about how those strategies for engaging youth interest can be beneficial to your program, to the youth you serve, and to your community.

While you’re thinking about how to most effectively “complement, not replicate,” try one of the challenges on Y4Y. What would you say to encourage a staff member to try a dynamic, motivating activity instead of a worksheet? How could the math, literacy, science, and history concepts typed out on a worksheet be transformed into fun summer activities?



April 19, 2013

One critical way to support program families is to provide opportunities for parents and other family members to gain useful skills for their own professional advancement and personal growth. Check out this list of Adult Development Activities in the Learn / Family Involvement section of Y4Y. Do you see a need for any of these initiatives or similar ones in your program families?

By starting an English as a Second Language class or hosting parenting classes, everyone wins. Families benefit from their new skills, their children receive more support because parents may feel more confident and prepared to provide it, and your program reaps the rewards of establishing stronger bonds among families and between the families and your staff.

Remember, too, that if offering a GED course or a résumé-writing workshop is beyond the capacity of your small staff, you can always be connectors.



March 8, 2013

As you mouse over the Learn tab at the top of the Y4Y homepage, you’ll see the five current content modules pop up. There’s a separate Learn section for each one, and all are organized in the same way.

First, there’s an Introduction, which includes the background information and content that you were used to seeing in the Courses of the old Y4Y. This is a great place to start for anyone who is new to a topic or looking for a comprehensive summary about a topic. In the next part, Implementation, you’ll see the items that used to be part of the Coaching Modules. The examples and tips provided here allow you to apply what you learned in the Introduction and think more concretely about your own program, staff, and youth.

To work more closely with staff, the Coaching My Staff component gives you some content-specific training tips and materials. Finally, there’s a link to Tools, where you can find handouts to use for program planning and activities.



February 22, 2013

Send your new staff here for them to get an idea of the purpose, scope, and impact of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. They can learn about the history of the program they are proudly part of and gain an understanding of how Y4Y has been made possible through the U.S. Department of Education’s partnerships and the Department’s commitment to improving program quality.

A narrated slideshow explains how the vision of the 21st CCLC program comes to life in programs across the country.



February 22, 2013

The five content modules (Aligning With the School Day, STEM, Strengthening Partnerships, Involving Families, and Project-Based Learning) were carefully selected with you and your new staff members in mind. As Dr. Sylvia Lyles of the U.S. Department of Education expresses on the homepage, the portal is based on your needs in the field.

As your new staff takes each Introduction on the Y4Y portal, they’ll come to the realization that these content areas were chosen because of the quality they lend to out-of-school time programming when they’re done right. They’re also topics that help 21st CCLC programs truly prepare youth for what’s ahead.

For example, the STEM Introduction squarely states that students need STEM to be successful in today’s world. It doesn’t just stop there, luckily. The Introduction goes on to provide background and strategies that equip staff with what they need to get kids exploring the world through STEM and gaining those exact skills that they’ll need in the future.