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21st Century Community Learning Centers
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August 21, 2014

One of the things we love most about the Y4Y portal is how it’s always growing and expanding to adapt to users’ needs. Every single month there are new blog articles to read, new webinar recordings to watch, and new Discussion Board posts that you can peruse and share with your colleagues. It’s a “virtually” (get it?) never-ending stream of information about 21st CCLC programs!

While it’s true that new materials are posted every month, what’s even better is that periodically we get to add major new sections of content that dramatically expand the scope of the Y4Y portal. Most recently it was the new Drug and Alcohol Prevention resources, and before that it was the new Civic Learning and Engagement materials in the Project-Based Learning module.

Now we’re very excited to announce that in fall 2014 we’ll be launching a brand new content module devoted entirely to Literacy. It will have the same look and feel of existing modules. There will be a complete Introduction to Literacy featuring dynamic videos and interactive features, Implementation Strategies to help you put the ideas into practice in your program, and helpful information about Coaching Your Staff in your particular Literacy efforts. Of course, there will also be Trainings to Go, Training Starters, and dozens of new Tools – all fully customizable to your program’s needs!

The new Literacy module will cover the Five Components of Reading, the Six Developmental Stages of Reading, and many other literacy-related topics like writing and comprehension that impact not only youth but also their families as they learn and grow in today’s competitive world and global economy.

Watch your in-box for more details and a special announcement regarding the release of the new Literacy Module on Y4Y!

July 13, 2014

You may not have noticed it with all the parades and picnics and fireworks, but a new version of Y4Y was rolled out for you over July Fourth weekend!

This upgrade was mainly to the backend infrastructure that powers the Y4Y portal.  What this means for you, the frontend user, is faster load times and a portal that’s generally quicker and easier to use.

One thing you’ll surely notice is the completely redesigned Discussion Boards. All your favorite topics are still there, and all previously existing conversation threads and uploads were successfully converted to the new format. The new design will make it easier for you to navigate and participate. Now you can also Subscribe to your favorite topics, so when someone posts something new on topic of interest you’ll automatically get an email letting you know. As always, if you want to do more than just read the posts, you have to be registered and signed in to participate in the Discussions!

The new site is also more secure than ever before, thanks to the addition of a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate similar to those found on your favorite e-commerce sites. You can never be too careful in this day and age, so a little added security will keep everyone’s information that much safer.

March 24, 2014

One of the most popular requests from our users has been to allow users to print Certificates of Completion upon finishing the Introduction material in the Learn section of each content module. Well, now you can!

How does it work? The most important step is to make sure you’re registered and logged in to the portal as you work through the Introduction. The portal already keeps track of what pages you’ve completed and which ones you haven’t when you’re logged in so you won’t lose any of your currently saved progress.

Once you’ve completed every page in an Introduction, you’ll be presented with seven questions designed to check your understanding of the material in the module. Get at least five correct and you’ll get a PDF Certificate of Completion that you can save, print, and share with your team. Best of all, you can log back in at any time and access all your earned Certificates from your user profile page.

March 24, 2014

Now it’s easier than ever to access all the great resources featured in the Learn More Libraries. As you may remember, there is a Learn More Library near the end of each content module topic area. Each Learn More Library contains links to other great web-based resources, videos, publications, lesson plans, and activities.

Now all you have to do to access these resources is go to the Tools page and look for the new sidebar widget. Click the link to the Learn More Library, then select which topic you’d like to explore. It’s that easy!

Check out these new features today and let us know what you think in the Suggestion Box. And keep those great ideas coming, because the 21st CCLC user community’s greatest source of new and innovative ideas … is you!

February 8, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education, in close partnership with the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, is proud to announce the addition of brand new content to the Y4Y Portal addressing Drug and Alcohol Prevention among our youth.

You’ll find the new Drug and Alcohol Prevention content integrated into Y4Y’s existing content modules where it is most applicable to your program staff’s professional development needs. You’ll find new pages and new examples to help you apply these valuable concepts in each of the following modules: Family Involvement, STEM, Project-Based Learning, and Strengthening Partnerships.

For quick access to an extensive list of Drug and Alcohol Prevention resources, click Tools on the menu bar and look for the Drug and Alcohol Prevention link in the right hand sidebar. All materials provided in the resource list and in the content modules are approved for your professional development needs by both the Office of National Drug Control Policy and by the U.S. Department of Education.

Finally, be sure to keep an eye on this newsletter for announcements about upcoming webinars on this subject. We’ll be speaking with some of the experts who helped compile and prepare the content, and they’ll be sharing practical strategies for how you and your staff can address this important and ongoing concern among our youth populations.