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.

Afterschool Is Amazing. Own It.

Monday, 22 May 2017 07:55

Last month, afterschool professionals across the nation celebrated Afterschool Professionals week, April 24 through April 28. During these few days, we encouraged celebration of those who deliver the incredibly important—yet often undervalued—task of providing direct service in out-of-school programs to youth every day.

Preventing Teen Suicide in Response to ‘13 Reasons Why’

Monday, 22 May 2017 00:00

The latest Netflix hit, 13 Reasons Why is based on a novel of the same name by Jay Asher. It chronicles fictional teenager Hannah Baker's death by suicide. Before her death, Hannah records a series of 13 tapes, blaming people—and providing reasons—for her death.

Multisensory Learning in the Digital Age

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 09:00

Have you ever danced to learn a new letter of the alphabet? Research shows that employing multiple senses may have significant benefits for learning new skills. Multisensory learning involves two or more senses within the same activity. At Square Panda, we aim to capitalize on research on multisensory learning as well as on the newest digital technology to develop a product that is highly effective for teaching early literacy.

Heroes, Villains, Intrigue and Drama of the STEM World

Tuesday, 09 May 2017 08:55

STEM is often thought of as quite dull. When asked about STEM, many people picture smart old white men, who wear white coats and work alone in sterile labs. These men explain things using long, complicated words and math symbols that might as well be hieroglyphics.

Help Young People Unleash Their Inner Rockstars!

Monday, 01 May 2017 00:00

When I share about my experience growing up in New York (or New "Yawk" as I've been known to say) and attending public school, I'm always struck by how rich and layered my education was and how much afterschool hours shaped my life—profoundly.

Tips to Incorporate SEL in Afterschool Programs

Tuesday, 25 April 2017 05:59

Afterschool programs across the nation are experiencing the many benefits of integrating social emotional learning (SEL) into their schedules—including improved communication, reduced bullying, and stronger peer relationships. Although afterschool programs tend to be less structured than the traditional K-6 classroom environment, they still present an opportunity to teach young students important life skills and character development.

Finding STEM Learning Opportunities that Inspire Young People to Explore, Discover and Create

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 05:42

The process of teaching and learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) offers youth opportunities to make sense of the world they live in and prepare them for the future workforce.

8 Simple Ways for Kids to Practice Kindness Every Day

Tuesday, 18 April 2017 05:38

In our busy lives, it's easy for adults to forget the importance of kindness—much less kids, who are focused on playing with friends or their new iPad app. Yet even the smallest act of kindness makes us happier.

What is STEM?

Tuesday, 11 April 2017 06:37

From colleges to preschools, STEM continues to be a hot topic for both formal and informal education. STEM education is being driven by our increasingly technical society, a fear that America is falling behind in innovation, a lack of STEM college graduates and the need to prepare today's youth for the jobs of tomorrow.

Finding Their Voice: Why Kids Should Journal

Friday, 17 March 2017 06:20

This is a photo of me, today, on my 47th birthday, holding my very first journal—written when I was 10 years old. My fifth grade teacher asked us to buy a notebook that inspired us and, every few days, she gave us a topic to write about.

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