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.

5 Ways to Build Strong Relationships with Families

Wednesday, 15 June 2016 00:00

Family engagement has a life-long impact on the lives of children and comes in many forms. As professionals in the field of afterschool and expanded learning, it is important to remember that even though we may not see a child's family at school or a program, this does not mean they are not engaged in the lives of their children. With that in mind, we need to actively build strong engagement with families when they can come to the school or program.

Archery Creates Opportunity

Tuesday, 14 June 2016 04:51

Scholastic 3-D Archery (S3DA) provides 3-D and indoor archery opportunities for youth in afterschool settings, in addition to archery-affiliated clubs and businesses in their communities. S3DA places special emphasis on archery education and wildlife conservation.

How Technology Saved a Fantastic Camp

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 08:30

Is Program Quality Enough?

Year after year, we're amazed by those who think outside the box to enrich kids' lives. Notions of what camp can be—or how an instructor can teach—keep expanding, thanks to the creative leadership and outstanding programs launched by these passionate, caring individuals.

Five Ways to Reduce STEM Anxiety

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

Fill in the blank. I would rather _________ than do a math problem.

1. Eat worms
2. Clean a bathroom
3. Write an essay
4. Give a speech
5. Not eat for a day
6. Dump ice on my head

Reconnecting Children with Nature

Tuesday, 07 June 2016 00:00

Theory and research evidence support the common-sense notion that children and youth need nature, and nature needs them. Spending time outdoors, specifically in natural environments (woods, lakes, rivers, beaches, naturalized school grounds, parks and trails), is associated with positive health, mental health, educational and social-emotional learning outcomes.

Step Into Your Leadership

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 08:53

10 Tips for Stepping Into Your Leadership:

The role of a leader is one of great responsibility. These tips can help us fully step in with intention, dedication and courage.

An Ode to Summer Camp

Tuesday, 31 May 2016 00:00

The school-year is ending, and thoughts have turned to summer. When I look back on my time at summer camp, I recall very specific experiences—learning to fold and care for the American flag; hitting my first full canter astride a horse; learning sign language; pouring lye down the outhouse privy; synchronized swimming in the pond; singing silly songs around a campfire; peaceful devotions under a pine tree canopy; maybe even a few preteen crushes.

Smart & Innovative Child Care Software

Tuesday, 24 May 2016 00:00

EZChildTrack is a comprehensive online child care software with automated billing/payment, parent portal, site access and multiple attendance options. With EZChildTrack, program directors, site coordinators, staff members can manage operations from a single system.

Making the Case: Investing in Informal STEM Education

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 00:00

As afterschool professionals, you know it is crucial that federal STEM education policies integrate informal STEM programs. The STEM Education Coalition has released the report The Case for Investing in Out-of-School Learning as a Core Strategy in Improving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education, which speaks to the importance of informal STEM learning and contains policy recommendations.

Want Young People to be Healthier, Happier and Smarter?

Tuesday, 10 May 2016 04:54

Spring has sprung! The days are getting longer, and the weather is getting brighter. It's great to play and learn outside. Unfortunately, time spent outdoors is becoming a rare commodity for our young people. Full disclosure: I may be old. I grew up in the '70s and '80s—and back then, playing meant playing outside.

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