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.

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.

Helping Others Step Into Their Leadership

Tuesday, 03 May 2016 05:51

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others."
—Jack Welch

HBR, LinkedIn, TED, Fast Company, fill-in-the-blank. We dive into so many resources looking for the recipe on effective leadership and how to build it in others. Each of us are paving our own path, making both minor and gigantic mistakes and hopefully picking ourselves back up to learn and lead again. Along the way, most of us are discovering our own recipe for effective leadership with our teams.

Animal Winner Family Board Game

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 08:58

Children dependent on smartphones or computers aren't rare. In the classroom and out, technology can be a helpful learning and research tool. Used without care, focus and instruction, however, it could lead to the problem of shortened attention spans.

Animal Winner Family Board Game is a part of the answer.

Politics and Afterschool: 4 Tips That Could Help You This Election Season

Tuesday, 19 April 2016 00:00

Just like us, children are interested in the current presidential race. KidsHealth.org asked more than 2,000 children and teens throughout the U.S. what they think about recent presidential election and how it might affect them. A whopping 75 percent of kids and 79 percent of teens answered "yes" when asked whether they thought the outcome of an election would change their lives.

Looking to Integrate STEM and SEL ... and Don't Know How?

Tuesday, 12 April 2016 05:04

STEM covers four specific educational areas: science, technology, engineering and math. SEL focuses on the softer side of development and emphasizes social and emotional learning.