Professional Development

NAA publishes fresh, new content every week covering a wide variety of topics related to the field of aftershool. Be sure to check in regularly.

What Swimming Lessons Offer an Afterschool Professional

Tuesday, 25 July 2017 07:46

This hot weather has me reminiscing about summer as a kid. I have fond memories of sunny days growing up in a small town. The town didn't have a lot of things that bigger cities have, but it did have an outdoor Olympic-size swimming pool.

“Nothing About Us Without Us!”

Thursday, 20 July 2017 11:19

Earlier this month, NAA led a delegation of 22 afterschool leaders to Helsinki, Finland and Tallinn, Estonia to explore child and youth development systems and meet with youth policy experts in these two countries.

Crowdfunding for Afterschool

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 08:04

Crowdfunding has become a popular way for individuals to raise money for many good causes. Sometimes crowdfunding is used for relatively small amounts of money, but that's not always the case. Some crowdfunding projects raise tens of thousands of dollars.

Who Needs Gratitude for Your Afterschool Experience?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017 00:00

What childhood memories contribute to your health and wellness today? Who needs gratitude for your afterschool experience?

The Power of One Caring Human

Tuesday, 27 June 2017 00:00

Afterschool professionals know the importance of one caring adult in the life of a child. Research and anecdotes show that knowledgeable and skilled staff are crucial to quality afterschool programs that result in positive youth outcomes; relationships between adults and youth are key. The phrase "The Power of One Caring Adult" is often used when talking about these relationships.

Selecting the Right Trainer or Consultant for Your Mission-Critical Project: The 4S Framework

Thursday, 22 June 2017 11:00

For resource-constrained out-of-school time (OST) program providers and intermediary organizations, working with an expert external trainer or consultant for a short, high-leverage project can be a cost-effective way of building capacity and addressing critical bottlenecks. Yet finding and selecting a consultant can seem like a daunting task. Based on our experience at the Afterschool Expert Hub, we have developed a simple 4S framework to set up projects for success.

Leading Through Transition

Thursday, 22 June 2017 10:43

My daughter just finished her last year of elementary school. Next year, middle school will be a big, scary, exciting (fill in with any adjective you want—I think they all work!) transition for her and our family.

Squiggle Park: An Innovative Tool to Improve Reading through Play!

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 06:30

There's a new tool on the scene speeding up the development of reading skills for kids in preschool through third grade—and it's done through a video game!

Finding the Balance Between 'Knew' and 'New'

Tuesday, 20 June 2017 06:21

A few weeks ago, I wrote about my visit to our NAA storage facility to go through years and years of organizational files. With NAA's 30th anniversary coming up in 2018, I find myself spending more and more time thinking about how to honor the past of our work, while also looking toward the future.

Spatial Thinking: Essential for STEM Career Success

Tuesday, 13 June 2017 00:00

Spatial thinking, or reasoning, is the capacity to mentally or physically understand the location and movement of objects and ourselves in space. It is not a single ability or process, but a number of concepts, tools and processes that work together. A general misconception is that spatial thinking is a fixed biological skill that you are either born with or not. This is simply not true: Research shows that spatial thinking is a learned skill that can be improved with practice.

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