For the past decade or so, STEM topics have been among the top priorities in education, and for good reason. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) are all subjects students need to understand as we move forward into our increasingly technological future.
One of the most important benefits of an afterschool program is that it widens young peoples' interests and gets them involved in a variety of activities to foster their personal growth.
One of my 2-year-old daughter's favorite activities is playing with blocks. She enjoys exploring their shape and texture as well as sorting them by color and size. Her ultimate fun is tower-building. Since her ability to stack began to bud, she's spent countless hours stacking and stacking, working her hardest to build an ever-taller tower. As she stacks blocks on top of one another, I can see the range of emotions crossing her face and, when each tower ultimately comes crashing down, these feelings, particularly frustration, are often magnified.
Today we find ourselves in the midst of an information revolution—the internet has grown and weaved itself completely into our lives. Work, communication, shopping, banking, news and education are all increasingly only available with an internet connection. The internet has grown from being something nice to have, to being something that is essential.
Although primary stakeholders in public education, housing, juvenile justice and healthcare, youth are glaringly absent in helping shape policies that impact their lives. Around the world, interactive mobile technology connects citizens directly with their governments, especially traditionally marginalized and hard-to-reach people. The Intergenerational Change Initiative (ICI) aims to help policymakers, activists and advocates engage a broad and diverse swath of youth in the civic ecosystem. Linking a participatory action research (PAR) approach, youth council networks/activism organizations and technology enables youth organizers and city decision-makers to generate social science research that informs local policy and action.
NAA's goal is to inspire, connect and equip afterschool professionals and leaders. Our Annual Convention is all about the participants and their experience. Every year at Convention, people come up to me and ask, "How's it going?" I always say, "Convention is for you, so you tell me." Here's a sampling of what I heard at NAA17.
The Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with Dollar General Literacy Foundation, recently honored The Bridge Project in Denver, Colorado, for demonstrated excellence in helping develop literacy skills of English language learner students.
Jesse Burne, Executive Director, offers an inside look at his program's work.
Mayors and city councilmembers could be your best advocates.
Multidisciplinary afterschool programs can create and manage high-quality arts programs reflecting practices used by exemplary programs that specialize in the arts, according to a new study funded by The Wallace Foundation.
Over the past 10 years there has been a focused and well-researched shift for STEM education to be based on hands-on, inquiry-type activities. The afterschool environment is perfect for implementing these types of activities.