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.

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.

My Principal Matters Resource Guide

Thursday, 29 May 2014 14:35

NAA believe principals play a crucial role in the success of afterschool programs, and this starts with a positive principal/afterschool relationship. That's why we've designed this resource guide where you will find all the tools and links  shared throughout 'My Principal Matters' day along with a few extras. Please use this guide as a reference for fostering relationships between principals and staff as well as for program success development.

7 Tips to Positive Behavior

Monday, 19 May 2014 00:00

Positive behavior begins and ends with relationships—not with the rules. While systems and guidelines can provide structure for young people, cultivating an environment of meaningful connections between staff and youth creates a culture where positive behavior is part of the ongoing learning and development of youth.

Get a Jump on Summer Program Planning: 6 Ideas to Try!

Friday, 16 May 2014 04:15

Summer is a great time to educate kids about healthy lifestyles, role model the behaviors ourselves, and cultivate environments that make it easier for kids to make healthier choices. An engaging summer is also essential! To get the most out of your summer program this year, try these tips from the professionals of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and keep your kids healthy and learning.

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