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July 22, 2013

In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Education has officially unveiled an exciting new guide to Civic Learning and Engagement on the Y4Y portal! Civic learning and engagement affords students the opportunity to make a real difference in the world through collaborative projects that address real-life issues that concern them. Empower your students to be engaged members of their community, and to know that their opinions and ideas matter. Get started with a civic learning project now, and the youth in your program will be learning by doing, while gaining 21st Century skills and becoming good citizens.

You’ll find the new Civic Learning and Engagement content integrated into the Project-Based Learning module, because when it comes to hands-on learning one of the best examples is civic engagement. Come visit the Learn section of the Project-Based Learning module to see how your program can incorporate practical strategies that draw students into becoming more active and involved in their communities, all while gaining academic and 21st century skills.

Get staff on board with the new content by checking out the Trainings To Go and Training Starters related to Civic Learning and Engagement, and get started with Civic Learning and Engagement activities and projects using the specially designed planning and implementation documents in Tools.

Stay tuned for more guidance from the Y4Y team on this exciting topic! In the meantime, if you have any Civic Learning and Engagement examples or ideas you’d like to share, you can post them to the Discussion Boards.  



May 16, 2013

Did you miss the Coffee Break webinar in April when we highlighted several great resources on Y4Y for summer planning? Don’t worry – all of the tips and tools we talked about are still right at your fingertips. A recording of the webinar is available on Y4Y along with a list of the resources we discussed right in the Webinar Archive section. So if you weren’t able to attend or if you just want to watch it again and share it with your team, Y4Y has you covered. You can access recordings of all our webinars any time on demand at your convenience.

If you want to start using some of the tools we showcased, just click, print, and implement.

1) Zero in on the six core elements of alignment

2) Train staff with this ready-made PowerPoint about making content count

3) Get going with exciting projects using this planner

4) Exploring and playing go surprisingly well with some serious STEM skill-building

5) Fill summer days with fun and eye-opening STEM activities

6) In the pool, on the courts, at the zoo – help staff see that STEM is everywhere  



May 16, 2013

Some of your front line staff may be continuing as summer staff, and others may be brand new. With a mixed group of team members and a transition from one kind of program to another, there’s always a need for additional preparation and training. For one thing, the whole lineup should be committed to aligning programming with school-year standards from the very start. This alignment perspective begins with the program leader, who sets the tone and provides guidance and resources.

Y4Y has plenty of resources to help with your alignment efforts and your alignment trainings. A good way to start thinking about summer program training is to take a look at these possible needs for building staff skills in alignment. Which of these are priorities in your program? How will you incorporate them into your summer-prep training?  



May 3, 2013

Getting staff on board with squeezing academics into summertime can be a challenge. Adults want to have fun in summer, too, not just the kids! Luckily, you can train and prepare staff to run a summer program that is educational and fun at the same time. The Teach portion of Y4Y has resources ready for you to use in your professional development sessions.

The Objectives That Work Training Starter is one example of a resource you can use. Start an open discussion with your team about how to focus summer activities and projects on learning objectives, and see what kinds of great ideas everyone comes up with. The template provides a backbone for the training session but also allows you to customize it and make it fit your program’s needs.



March 28, 2013

Are you ready to get staff on board with the Common Core State Standards, too? Y4Y has a Training To Go called Incorporating Academic Content in Afterschool that sets you up for a successful professional development session. You might remember from a previous blog post that a Training To Go provides a fully-formed PowerPoint presentation, handouts, and step-by-step instructions for delivering the training.

The Incorporating Academic Content in Afterschool Training To Go includes activities that offer staff an opportunity to work hands-on with the standards and begin to connect them with their daily program activities. The Training Plan walks you through the session with detailed instructions and time suggestions, so you can feel confident training your staff even if you’re still learning about the Common Core State Standards yourself.