Check out the latest news about NAA and special announcements pertinent to the field of afterschool.


Friday, 29 October 2021 00:00

The NAA Convention is all about opportunity. With members of the field coming together and top-quality, engaging sessions covering almost any topic you can think of, it's easy to see why connections and learning are the highlights of Convention. Participants leave saying, "I found my people ... and learned a lot, too!"

No pressure for our NAA Convention Planning Team and Session Selection Committee, right?

Creating Convention people love doesn't happen overnight. It involves a lot of planning, reading, discussing, and, of course, caffeine. Here's a behind-the-scenes look at how we create a Convention that we are proud of and, most importantly, that you love.

Once the call for presenters closes in late October, the challenging (but exciting!) work begins. Our team organizes the proposals and the Session Selection Committee—made up of NAA staff, board members, young leaders, and on-the-ground afterschool professionals—put on our blue blocker glasses and thinking caps and dig into the stack of proposals. The committee reviews every proposal. This year, we expect a record-breaking number of submissions, so that means a lot of reading!

In mid-November, the committee gathers for a coffee- and snack-fueled day to discuss the proposals. This reflective conversation gives us a sense of what you—the NAA community—are looking for at Convention. We discuss the most important topics to you and the best practices and innovations across the country. One of our favorite parts of the day is talking about your creative, engaging, hands-on session ideas. With topics ranging from equity and access in leadership, teaching young people about creative arts and STEM, encouraging youth voice and choice, and unique ideas for recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff, reading your proposals makes us more excited for Convention than we are for the holidays!

The selection day concludes with a sticky-note-filled mural that eventually becomes the Convention program. We love having the opportunity to put together an event for the afterschool field that inspires, re-energizes, and honors the critical work you do. Most importantly, we're incredibly impressed with and proud of what the NAA community contributes to making the Convention what it is. When you bring your brilliant ideas, you create the unity and opportunity that defines Convention and makes it such a unique and life-changing experience.

Come to Las Vegas, March 20-23, 2022, where afterschool professionals will unite as a community for opportunity, connecting again for the first time in nearly three years!