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

2022 Reflections with CEO Gina Warner

Tuesday, 03 January 2023 11:22

The new year brings with it fresh opportunities to dream up and pursue both personal and professional goals. Before we charge full speed ahead, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on the trials and triumphs we experienced in 2022. It has been a year with continued resilience and cautious optimism as in-person meetings, office hours, and events slowly made their way back into our lives.  365 days of reimagining and rebuilding in a post-pandemic nation together is cause for some celebration.

New Year’s Resolutions You Can Fulfill at Convention

Tuesday, 03 January 2023 11:21

3…2…1… Happy New Year! 2023 offers each of us a blank slate. It comes with brand-new opportunities to get our thoughts organized and our things right through dedication kick-started by resolutions. Setting New Year’s resolutions is a form of self-efficacy; “by virtue of aspiring to a goal and following through on it, I have a sense of control over what's happening in my life.” With the crisis of the pandemic behind us, and new normals before us, this year comes in with a reminder to carve out time just for you. In fewer than three months, you can knock out your most critical resolutions by attending the National AfterSchool Association’s 2023 Convention!

Job Quality: It's What's on the Agenda this Legislative Session

Wednesday, 21 December 2022 08:16

It’s that time of year again; 43 states are preparing for their State Legislature or General Assembly to begin in January, while two have already started, and five gear up in February and March. Though each state has its policies to create, enact, or kill, some common themes emerge among proposed legislation for workers across the nation. Uplifting the out-of-school time (OST) profession has been an NAA focal point since day one. Now, equipped with a more robust advocacy strategy, NAA is poised to support a comprehensive overhaul of job quality in the field with our Thriving Workforce Initiative. 

6 Tips to Navigating Holiday Fatigue

Monday, 19 December 2022 09:50

The holiday season is often filled with loved ones, food and excitement. It can also be a time of anxiety and stress. Work deadlines, family obligations, disrupted sleeping patterns, and more add to physical and emotional exhaustion. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the effects of stretching ourselves too thin or the negative impact of holidays.

NAA COO Heidi Ham Named December’s Reloveutionary Leader

Wednesday, 14 December 2022 14:21

The National AfterSchool Association’s very own Chief Operating Officer, Heidi Ham, has been announced as the December Reloveutionary Leader by Reloveution!

Reloveution (ree-love-ooshun) is a mission-based movement determined to create a world where every workplace is designed to support the needs of human beings AND achieve its highest goals with compassion and community. Founder Melissa Badgley explained that Heidi was nominated as the Reloveutionary Leader of the month because she lives the mission of the organization every day.

The Ultimate Middle School Science Challenge is Back!

Wednesday, 07 December 2022 08:24

The 3M Young Scientist Challenge invites students in grades 5-8 to turn a great idea into a life-changing STEM adventure. Students submit a short video describing a unique solution to an everyday problem for the chance to win $25,000 and an exclusive 3M Mentorship. Kickstart student entries with a variety of resources including idea starters, challenge rules, important dates, and more!

Leading with Passion: OST Professionals Walking the Walk

Wednesday, 07 December 2022 08:22

The National AfterSchool Association fosters positive youth outcomes by supporting, developing, and advocating for afterschool professionals and leaders. In 2022, our out-of-school time leaders face programmatic, funding, and workforce challenges – so what is their driving force to show up each day? Passion and a deep-seated desire to have a positive influence on the future of their communities.

5 Transformational Sessions You Don’t Want to Miss at NAA23

Wednesday, 07 December 2022 08:12

The National AfterSchool Association develops each Convention with the goal of providing out-of-school time professionals the space to recuperate, share, and discover new ideas so that they may leave with restored passion for the vital work they do. NAA23 serves as the ultimate charging station for our people in the field. With over 50 workshops, community conversations, and leadership intensives — Convention will power human connections through transformational sessions like these five opportunities for inspired learning.

A Year of Advocacy & Life Lessons with Angelica Portillo

Wednesday, 07 December 2022 08:07

It’s hard to believe a year has passed since the National AfterSchool Association announced its first Director of Advocacy & Workforce Initiatives position. This is a critical role for the Association’s ramped-up efforts to elevate the job quality of out-of-school time career opportunities throughout the United States, and NAA found the perfect fit in Angelica Portillo. We first met Angelica in 2018 when she was honored with the Next Generation of Afterschool Leaders award by NAA as the Director of Advocacy at Dallas Afterschool. In a year at the national level of out-of-school time support for programs and professionals, Angelica has hurdled obstacles and pioneered initiatives head-on.

5 Takeaways: Presenting the Thriving OST Workforce Initiative at the Colorado Afterschool Partnership Conference

Wednesday, 07 December 2022 08:06

Recently, the Colorado Afterschool Partnership and the Colorado Department of Education hosted their inaugural statewide OST conference. The convening featured topics such as youth development, staffing, leadership, and partnerships. I was specifically invited to lead a session on Creating a Thriving OST Workforce. I then facilitated a conversation with 21CCLC grantees as they discussed the OST Job Design Framework and collaborated to design jobs that support program quality. As I listened to the discussions and asked participants to share, many of the same concerns and ideas were brought up.

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