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

Innovative, Free Virtual STEM Coaching Has Arrived

A new major national afterschool project from the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA) is seeking organizations to participate in a free, innovative, video-based coaching curriculum in STEM—with an exclusive opportunity for NAA members.

The Afterschool Coaching for Rural Educators in STEM (ACRES) project is a major investment by the Noyce Foundation to support high-quality professional development opportunities to out-of-school time providers, especially in rural settings.

Based on MMSA's basic blending coaching model, ACRES offers an opportunity for staff to learn and practice skills that research has shown are key to being an effective STEM facilitator in afterschool settings. The model is fully virtual, allowing for collaboration in rural communities where afterschool providers separated by long distances cannot easily meet in person.

In the model, cohorts meet online for a skills-based workshop, and then video their own work with youth in their individual settings and discuss their videos with peers and an experienced coach during a series of small-group coaching sessions.

The ACRES project also incorporates professional development resources from the Click2SciencePD website, which identifies important STEM skills for youth.

NAA members are invited to register for a Fall 2017 Cohort and learn more about one such skill: Asking Purposeful Questions—a strategy to increase learning and encourage youth to explain their thinking, make predictions, observe and reflect.

The Asking Purposeful Questions Fall 2017 Cohort includes a virtual workshop, followed by video-recorded practice and two coaching sessions with other afterschool educators:

Virtual Workshop Session
Friday, October 20, 2017
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Virtual Follow-up Coaching Session
Friday, November 17, 2017
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

Virtual Follow-up Coaching Session
Friday, December 15, 2017
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST

For participating, members earn contact hours, a certificate of participation, and a $60 stipend for completing pre- and post-ACRES surveys.

Over the past three years, ACRES has successfully coached over 50 educators in effective STEM skills—and you have a chance to improve your own.

The registration deadline for the Fall 2017 Cohort is October 5, 2017. Learn more about ACRES at, and click here to register for the cohort.