When you hear the words “professional development”, what do you think of? If you imagine sitting in a classroom or listening endlessly to a monotone lecture, you’re not alone. When we surveyed our partners, they confirmed our worst fears – the most available PD is one-and-done workshops that don’t allow time for discussion, practice, and follow up.
NAA had the opportunity to join the statewide network for New Jersey's Afterschool Communities as they hosted their 2023 conference, Purposeful Pathways: Expanding Access, Increasing Opportunities. Not only did it coincide with AfterSchool Professionals Appreciation Week, but it was NJSACC's 30th anniversary of advocating for implementing the New Jersey Quality Afterschool Standards and supporting the development, continuity, and expansion of out-of-school time programs.
Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week 2023 is finally here! This week-long celebration serves as an opportunity for leaders and organizations to recognize, appreciate, and advocate for the afterschool professionals making a difference in their community. This awareness effort shines the light on OST workers’ efforts and accomplishments, and we wanted to know how YOU would be honoring their contributions!
Growing up in the 90s, I’ve watched more episodes of MTV’s Real World than I care to admit. The show was hailed for depicting relevant issues in young adulthood including prejudice, sexuality, politics, and more. For me, it was where I was introduced to the first openly gay person I saw represented on television.
High-quality out-of-school time programs play an important role in the lives of our nation’s young people by offering youth additional opportunities for positive experiences that support the development of important skills, attitudes, and behaviors. OST programs can be a key lever for community and local system leaders to help reverse longstanding inequities, but the lack of robust, comprehensive funding is often a barrier to program expansion and quality improvement efforts in:
If you are working as an advocate for job quality in the youth development profession and are looking for the sources behind the phrase “research shows that out-of-school time (OST) professionals are the linchpin to program quality,” look no further.
The inaugural Achievery Learning cohort kicked off at the 2023 NAA national convention. It was a great time to come together as a group to learn, laugh, dance, and share their collective passion for OST. Meet our amazing group of leaders who will be working together through November to learn from each other and share strategies for finding, adapting, and implementing free online resources for use within OST programs.
STEMfinity sincerely values all of the hard work of OST professionals around the country put in to help support positive youth development. To show their appreciation to the thousands of Afterschool & Summer Programs nationwide that are making STEM/STEAM more accessible, STEMfinity is giving away the following STEM Resources to 9 Lucky Winners!
At NAA23, our connections - from the stage to the learning expo to the classrooms - taught us that no one has your back like another afterschool professional. When things get hard, or you are starting a new position, look to your colleagues for ideas, strategies, and supports. General Session 3 featured a star-studded line up to celebrate the power of mentors and friends. Each speaker explored what it means to listen carefully and lift up each other as people and professionals.
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