In 2017 when The Opportunity Project (The Opp) launched as the new out-of-school time intermediary (OSTI) in Tulsa, Oklahoma, their priority was to build and support OST systems and structures in service of elementary and middle school youth. These initiatives - Relate 918 (a PSELI community) and AfterOpp (The Opp’s signature middle school program) - gained support from both Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) and Tulsa’s youth-serving organizations. Building upon past learnings and current research, in 2021, The Opp expanded its reach in service of high school youth.
Social-emotional learning (SEL) helps children develop life skills like empathy, processing and managing emotions, building positive relationships, solving problems, and setting goals—all of which can contribute to welcoming environments where a kinder community can flourish. Strengthen your OST community through SEL with these three steps.
Photos courtesy of: Natalie Carnine and Laura Schmitz
Addressing learning loss due to the pandemic is an important task where afterschool and out-of-school time programs can make significant impacts. The Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) requires implementation of programs that address learning loss while also responding to students’ social, emotional, and mental health needs.
National Engineers Week is February 20 – 26, 2022. is dedicated to ensuring a diverse and well-educated future engineering workforce by increasing understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. It's a perfect time for afterschool to celebrate the E in STEM!
The Afterschool Alliance recently released findings from their most recent COVID-19 out of school time survey, confirming increasing anecdotal evidence that recruiting and retaining staff is the biggest challenge currently facing OST program providers,
How can organizations increase job quality for OST professionals? Here’s a real-life example from Wisconsin Youth Company.
Considering job quality can directly impact staff retention and workforce development. To explore the idea of job quality and what it means for our field, we interviewed folks from across the country. Next in our series is Ben Trentelman, Executive Director with NAA's State Affiliate, Utah Afterschool Network.
We have historically focused on developing “hard skills”-- we call many of our trainings “skill-based,” or give merit to fact-building. But only in recent years have we given the “soft skills” the stage they deserve. The “soft skills” deal with our inter and intra-personal interactions, where the “hard skills” deal in tasks. The “hard skills” help us navigate a google doc; the “soft skills” help us not yell at our co-worker. Each has its rightful and important place in our development as leaders. But while it’s easy to understand how to learn how to navigate google docs, it can be trickier to understand how to learn to navigate the heart.
In celebration of National Mentoring Month, we are highlighting some of our favorite articles. From mentoring youth in programs, to young professionals in the field, mentoring is an important development strategy. Check out the resources below and think about how you can incorporate mentoring at all levels.
Youth voice and choice is a powerful, proactive youth development approach that fosters decision-making skills, self-efficacy, and independence. In addition to on-going program opportunities for youth voice and choice, kids need in the moment skill-building support. The five steps below can be used to help with the decision-making process when time is short or as part of a guidance strategy to redirect behavior.