Especially during a time when gathering in person wasn't possible, the PLCs—which began in Mid-March and lasted for 6-8 weeks—inspired meaningful connections where participants joined expert facilitators for collaborative guided learning experiences focused on the most important topics in afterschool.
As a thank you to those involved, NAA hosted a recent celebration so members and facilitators could meet up with their professional learning community colleagues to mingle and share what they've learned.
Gina Warner, President and CEO, NAA, offered some opening remarks.
"We are SO impressed by you," Warner began. "You committed to your professional learning. You invested in your professional learning. You committed your time. And I hear you were honest, reflective, thoughtful, hard-working and engaged."
PLC facilitators shared with Warner they were inspired by participants' willingness to dig deep into their own leadership philosophies and discuss the practices that help them and hurt them in their roles; amazed by how the group built community quickly; and were delighted by participants' willingness to share with vulnerability and depth.
"We have so missed you all in the NAA Convention and we look forward to 2022 when we can gather again," Warner said. "But you made lemonade out of lemons! You jumped into an experiment and you went deeper in your growth and development than ever before."
Warner emphasized that the professional learning communities were spectacular, with credit to the amazing facilitators involved.
"These incredible leaders brought their expertise, their energy and their care to creating community," Warner continued. "I am grateful to you all."
The spring PLCs included: Superpowers for Supervisors; Developing Essential STEM Facilitation Skills; Best Summer Ever! Leveraging the Summer Learning Toolkit for Continuous Improvement; Walking the Talk of Equity and Inclusion: Creating Culturally Agile Skills and Spaces in Youth Development; Leading with an Equity and Inclusion Mindset; Get Yourself SEL Ready!; and Maximizing Impact: How Transformative Social Emotional Skill Building Can Energize Your Leadership and Improve Staff/Student Engagement.
Be sure to stay tuned to NAA's communication channels for future opportunities for afterschool professionals and leaders to learn and grow.
Courtesy of NAA.