Many states are issuing guidance documents to help communities prepare to reopen schools in the fall. If you haven't done so already, reach out now to school administrators to ensure after school is not an afterthought. Here are some tips and tools to help you get started.
As many schools and afterschool programs do their best to assess how to move forward with serving young people during the pandemic, many leaders, such as Tiffany Lillie, Director, Community Resource Development, Framingham Public Schools, say community task forces are piecing together what the future may look like, including planning to go fully remote in the fall if needed.
"It takes a village to raise a child ..."
The prophetic words of this proverb are carried with many, as a daily reminder of their "Why." This includes me: why I am a public servant, why I love afterschool and, most important, why I love our youth.
All children have role models. The question remains whom this responsibility lands on and if they are willing and prepared.
Youth need and deserve capable adults to create and sustain stimulating environments for them to grow and experience meaning in their lives. The current crises in our society make their youth voices even more compelling. What's becoming more visible during these crises is that human—as well as physical—resources are not sufficient to meet the growing demands placed on youth-serving organizations. Youth workers may be overwhelmed with demands without the guidance to provide affirmation to their service to youth.
The need for safety, support, and trusting reciprocal relationships becomes even more important now as we work to rebuild and return stronger than before COVID-19.
A new resource from American Institutes for Research describes the role afterschool and summer programs and systems can play and offers strategies for afterschool and summer programs and school leaders to work together in support of youth, families, and the community.
In the recent Let's Talk the Future of Afterschool conversation, Gina Warner, President and CEO, NAA, was joined by Jessica Newman, Senior Researcher, American Institutes for Research, and Ebony Grace, Director of Partnerships and Quality Initiatives, NJSACC, NAA Board of Directors, where the topic of strengthening social and emotional support for adults and young people for reopening and beyond was addressed.
NAA's second Let's Talk the Future of Afterschool conversation, held on May 20, 2020, welcomed Jonathan Melendez, Coordinator, Fairfax County (Virginia) Out-of-School Time Network, and focused on school and afterschool coordination as we move forward towards reopening amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Let's Talk the Future of Afterschool is a bi-weekly, interactive conversation that provides timely updates and resources to our membership and inform policymakers, funders, and other decision-makers about the state of the afterschool field's efforts and needs.
A good mentor can have a professional and personal impact. One young professional shares four things she's received from her mentors over the years.