Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, taking place April 19-23, 2021, aims to recognize those who work with youth during out-of-school hours. The week is marked by celebrations to encourage people to thank afterschool professionals who make a difference in the lives of young people in their communities.
Have you heard about the new NAA Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)? Because we can’t gather in person at the NAA Convention, the new PLCs allow afterschool professionals and leaders to meet the moment by finding new ways to connect, learn and grow.
Early Lessons from Schools and Out-of-School Time Programs Implementing Social and Emotional Learning, a report by the RAND Corporation, offers early lessons for schools and out-of-school-time programs on how to carry out high-quality social and emotional learning instruction.
It feels great to be right! We always knew investing time in our afterschool program youth contributed to their success. It may have looked like we were "hanging out" in the cafeteria or "playing" in the gym, yet we knew in our hearts there was value in the programs and the intentional ways we developed them.
A recent article, shared by National League of Cities, highlighted how the pandemic has further shown how afterschool and summer learning programs not only provide enrichment but are also a lifeline for many youth and families.
In the past, it wasn't uncommon for those who couldn't attend a meeting in person to be given quick notes or a verbal overview after the fact. In retrospect after having adapted to hold meetings virtually over a long period of time during the pandemic, it's clear there haven't been consistent ways to fully support those unable to attend meeting in person.
A daunting array of free digital tools are available to educators and afterschool professionals. To navigate these tools, those in the field could reflect on connecting their best practices to the most appropriate digital tools.
What if opportunities for children and young people's learning and development were a much higher priority in our country and communities? What if we were more intentional about how opportunities to learn and develop were offered and by whom?