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.

Working with School Districts, Other Community Partners

Monday, 14 July 2014 15:57

Collaboration is the name of the game today! Working with school districts and other community organizations can produce great outcomes, especially for all the children involved.

Unless you are one of the very lucky afterschool programs operating in your own space, collaboration for you most likely starts with the sharing of school buildings, recreation centers, churches, and other community spaces, each and every day. Just this act alone requires open lines of communication and active coordination. Even then, however, you may be faced with the rogue Girl Scout Troop showing up in the cafeteria at 4:30 to distribute their annual cookies—displacing your program for the rest of the afternoon. Oh, no! What to do?

Newly Published Paper Recognizes Importance of STEM in Afterschool Programming

Monday, 14 July 2014 00:00

Science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies have become a standard part of many afterschool and summer programs' comprehensive programming. While providers and practitioners have long valued the hands-on, inquiry-driven programs, directly seeing the effect afterschool STEM programs have on students means funders, policymakers, and other stakeholders often want data that substantiates such claims and demonstrates positive changes in a variety of outcomes.

Best Practices to Prevent Bullying on a Field Trip

Monday, 30 June 2014 14:32

Like children, bullying comes in many shapes and sizes. Bullying often takes the form of name-calling, systematic exclusion, rumors, threats, physical contact, and misuse of social media, said Becky Telzerow, M.A., L.L.P.C., a counselor at Forest Hills Public Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan. According to a survey by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, twenty percent of ninth- to twelfth-grade American students have experienced bullying. Another study, by the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that twenty-eight percent of students in grades six to twelve have been bullied.

New Staff Starting This Fall?

Monday, 30 June 2014 00:00

4 ways to enhance orientation before the new school year starts

As fall is approaching and the new school year is underway, most afterschool programs have begun the cycle of hiring and orientating new staff. As you dust off your orientation packets and new staff checklists, this can be a perfect time to evaluate your current methods and consider new strategies that may increase effectiveness and assist your new employees in surviving the new school year. This critical time can be challenging for new staff, existing staff, families, and program participants.

Free Media-Smart Youth Curriculum From NIH Promotes Health and Media Literacy

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 12:47

Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active! is an interactive afterschool education program that helps young people ages eleven to thirteen better understand the complex media world around them, and how it can influence their health. Developed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the free Media-Smart Youth curriculum includes ten lessons that combine media literacy and youth development principles with federal recommendations about nutrition and physical activity.

Effective Collaboration: Making the Most of Your Time and Expertise

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 11:54

At the 2014 National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention, Kate Goddard and Karen Peterson of EdLab gave the presentation Collaborate for Innovative STEM Programming for Girls. Here, they elaborate on some of the most powerful ideas from their presentation.

Ten Strategies for Effective Communication in Afterschool

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 00:00

Working in an afterschool program involves taking on many roles and interacting with a variety of people, including staff, parents, and children. Effective communication techniques can help maintain a clear vision of the program's goals, clarify expectations of staff and students, and assure parents that their children are in good hands. 

Technology Tutorial

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 13:43

Using technology to teach is great, but the options are vast—and it can be overwhelming to sift through and find the best websites and apps to use in your classroom. Luckily, Leigh Anne Frazier and Cindy Curry have done some of the sifting for you!

Effective Models for Healthy Living OST

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 13:07

In a study called "On the Move," Drs. Georgia Hall and Jean Wiecha analyze six out-of-school time (OST) models using best practices to support physical activity and healthy living, in alignment with the Healthy Eating and Physical Activity (HEPA) standards adopted by NAA in April of 2011.

8 Things to Remember When Integrating STEM

Tuesday, 03 June 2014 00:00

Feeling like integrating STEM into your current curriculum is an unsolvable equation? STEM doesn't have to intimidate or overwhelm you. It's an essential component of every afterschool program, so here are 8 tips to help you start the process.

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