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6 NAA23 Sessions You Can’t Miss

Tuesday, 17 January 2023 19:01

National AfterSchool Association’s 2023 Convention is almost here, and we are thrilled to announce this year’s sessions! In addition to robust opportunities to network, there are over 100 more formal opportunities to learn, connect and be truly inspired by fellow out-of-school time professionals. This year, we’re focused on building a future for the afterschool profession that promotes equity and sustainability within the field, and the sessions for NAA23 reflect that momentum.


Exploring My Identities and Owning My Story – Eric Golden

In our work with youth, it is important that we bring our full selves such that we can inspire the young people we serve to do the same. In this workshop, we will explore how, whether consciously or unconsciously, we see our identities and our stories as both sources of challenge and sources of strength. Through hands-on activities and discussions, you will leave empowered to more fully see the gift of you are.... exactly as you are... and the power of sharing yourself with others through your work.

Cultivating Leaders at Every Age – Anne Walker

John F. Kennedy said, “Leadership and learning are indispensable to one another.” That’s why we must develop leadership abilities in all of those we have the opportunity to impact. From the students we serve, starting with the youngest, to the adults who serve alongside us, to the administrators who direct the action, we all have ongoing lessons to learn in leadership. In this session, we’ll explore why it’s important to teach leadership skills, and how you can cultivate leadership skills in children, teens, young adults, and adult staff. Participants will walk away with actionable tools to apply that will help their organization develop the leaders of tomorrow.

"Maker Play": Come play outside of the box – Tyler Kearns

Let that inner child out and join me as we use “what we got” to create games for your program. With basic materials, imagination, and creativity participants will gain activity ideas that can be used right away in programming. Then the group will be challenged to go hands on and apply the principles of design thinking to create their own games to share. Participants will come away with a handful of ways to incorporate maker space concepts and the science of play while making connections to STEAM and 21st-century learning through “maker play”.

Learning from the Best: Using Staff Insights for Staff Retention – Carrie Underwood

Already planning for staffing next year’s OST programs? Headlines about staffing shortages and teacher burnout and dissatisfaction making you anxious? Join our quick informational session to learn how you can turn insights from your own staff into applicable and effective strategies for improving your program’s culture and climate to support staff retention.

Participants will walk away with key strategies and tips for how to use qualitative data to bolster staff well-being and help their best and brightest stay in the profession. Learn from your own program experts and help them feel valued, heard, and supported.

Foundations in Trauma & Resilience for OST – Marina Fredara

This workshop offers foundational information to understand the basic concepts of trauma, adverse childhood experiences, resilience, and protective factors. Participants will receive tools to create personal safety plans, guide students through a similar process, and make connections between these concepts and aspects of their work including:

  • Impact of trauma on student behavior
  • Basic brain development
  • Resilience and Protective Factors
  • How a global pandemic has impacted students and peers

“Educate, Engage and Empower Your Team: Build Your Coaching Toolkit – Patrice Holt

Have you considered how an active participatory approach to learning applies to your management of staff? Non-profit jobs, especially child/youth work, can experience a revolving door of direct service staff. In this workshop participants will review and practice strategies that promote a supportive and collaborative work environment. Purposeful training, staff development, active management, and consistent coaching can assist your program in building and maintaining quality staff. Join this workshop to learn and practice techniques to build your coaching toolkit!

Still not convinced you belong at NAA23? Check out featured speakers and more sessions that foster new ideas and creative problem-solving here.