Archive for August, 2011

HELPING OLDER YOUTH SUCCEED THROUGH EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

HELPING OLDER YOUTH SUCCEED THROUGH EXPANDED LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES

Sustaining older youth’s interest in learning is particularly critical given that nearly one in four students fails to graduate from high school on time. Research indicates that regular participation in quality expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) can help keep older youth on a positive academic trajectory and support their successful graduation and transition into college and/or career.

In this first brief in our series with the National Conference of State Legislatures, we examine the benefits of ELOs for older youth as well as the policy implications of recent research.

“Helping Older Youth Succeed Through Expanded Learning Opportunities” provides examples of positive youth outcomes, common characteristics of high-quality programs and initiatives, and policy recommendations based on these findings.

Download your copy at:

Helping-older-youth-succeed-through-expanded-learning-opportunities

 

Four State Leadership Teams Receive $50,000 Grants to Expand Learning Opportunities

Friday, August 19th, 2011

NJSACC: The Network for New Jersey’s Afterschools Communities  is the recipient of this grant!

DENVER—Teams of state legislators, state education officials, governors’ policy advisors and statewide afterschool network directors in California, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Washington each received $50,000 competitive grants to support student success by effectively integrating expanded learning opportunities into state education systems. The grants are awarded through the Supporting Student Success: The Promise of Expanded Learning Opportunities initiative, sponsored by the C.S. Mott Foundation.

The grants will support each state’s plan to develop, adopt, and implement state policies that integrate expanded learning opportunities—such as afterschool, summer learning, and extended day and year programs—into state education systems.

“Ensuring students are prepared to compete in a global economy remains a top priority for all governors,” said NGA executive director Dan Crippen. “NGA is happy to help provide assistance to these states as they explore options for expanded learning opportunities.”

“State legislators continue to work on policies and programs to expand students’ opportunities to learn both inside and outside of the classroom,” said NCSL executive director William T. Pound. “We look forward to seeing the different learning innovations these states develop, and working with them to share these ideas with other policy makers across the country.”

“We must provide today’s students with personalized learning experiences and environments based on individual needs and interests,” said CCSSO executive director Gene Wilhoit. “The human resources that exist in expanded learning opportunities must be tapped and seen as a key strategy for transforming the system to provide high-quality anytime, anywhere learning.”

State activities supported by the grant will differ, but each state’s proposed plan focuses on efforts to create state policies that support the integration of state education systems and the vast network of afterschool programs and providers in each state. For example:

California will align the multiple existing funding streams to support summer learning opportunities as a key part of the state’s year-round system of academic support.

Connecticut will develop and implement a statewide plan for integrating expanded learning opportunities and K-12 public schools.

New Jersey will identify best practices to facilitate the implementation of the Common Core State Standards into expanded learning opportunities.

Washington will create strategies for using expanded learning opportunities to close the achievement gap.
In addition to the funding, grant recipients will receive in-depth technical assistance from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center), the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

NCSL is the granting organization. This is the third group of grantees. The first group of states were awarded grants under this initiative in 2007. All states with C.S. Mott funded statewide afterschool networks that have not previously participated in the initiative, were invited to submit proposals. An independent selection committee of state policy and afterschool experts reviewed applications and made award recommendations.
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Founded in 1908, the National Governors Association (NGA) is the collective voice of the nation’s governors and one of Washington, D.C.’s most respected public policy organizations. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. NGA provides governors and their senior staff members with services that range from representing states on Capitol Hill and before the Administration on key federal issues to developing and implementing innovative solutions to public policy challenges through the NGA Center for Best Practices. For more information, visit www.nga.org.

NCSL, the granting organization, is a bipartisan organization that serves the legislators and staffs of the states, commonwealths and territories. It provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues and is an effective and respected advocate for the interests of the states in the American federal system. For more information, visit www.ncsl.org.

CCSSO is a nonpartisan, nationwide, nonprofit organization of public officials who head departments of elementary and secondary education in the states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, and five U.S. extra-state jurisdictions. CCSSO provides leadership, advocacy, and technical assistance on major educational issues. The Council seeks member consensus on major educational issues and expresses their views to civic and professional organizations, federal agencies, Congress and the public. For more information, visit www.ccsso.org.

The Mott Foundation, established in 1926 by an automotive pioneer, is a private philanthropy committed to supporting projects that promote a just, equitable and sustainable society. It supports nonprofit programs throughout the U.S. and, on a limited geographic basis, internationally. Grantmaking is focused in four programs: Civil Society, Environment, Flint Area and Pathways Out of Poverty. For more information, visit www.mott.org.

NJSACC is seeking Afterschool Ambassadors! Application now open!

Friday, August 19th, 2011

“I enjoyed meeting other providers in my area.”

“I became more knowledgeable of afterschool policies, goals and objectives.”

“Great networking”

Applications Open for NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors

The NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors is a select group of leaders in New Jersey’s Afterschool communities who Volunteer to serve as representatives of NJSACC. Afterschool Ambassadors assist NJSACC to connect afterschool professionals, via a Countywide Network. Afterschool Ambassadors are located in each of New Jerseys 21 Counties and will further NJSACC’s mission to develop public awareness of Afterschool issues, build a strong network for afterschool program professionals in NJ, and to establish professional development opportunities in every New Jersey County.

Afterschool Ambassadors are located in each of New Jerseys 21 Counties.

Being a NJSACC Afterschool Ambassador is a commitment from October 2011-October 2013

A successful NJSACC Afterschool Ambassador should be:
* Familiar with afterschool programs in the local community
* Committed to Networking
* Committed to Advocacy for Afterschool programs
* Involved and informed in current trends in out of school time
* Very Computer and Web knowledgeable and functional

NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors responsibilities include:
* Attendance in Ambassadors training and participation in Webinars, phone conference and web forums
* Fostering a County wide group of Afterschool Professionals and Advocates
* Helping NJSACC identify all Afterschool programs in the County & documenting information collected
* Holding trainings in local community with Administration done by NJSACC
* Meeting with local and county officials to build support for afterschool
* Help organize special events such as Celebrate Afterschool Week and Lights On Afterschool

NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors will receive the following for their volunteer service and commitment:
* Free Full Membership to NJSACC and Full Membership to the NAA (National Afterschool Association)
* Partnership listing on www.njsacc.org
* An Afterschool Ambassadors Badge
* Two Enhanced trainings specific and prescriptive based on the needs of the Ambassadors
* Attend Ambassador organized trainings for free
* First Hand information on current trends in Afterschool
* Resume builder for state and national leadership in the field of Afterschool

To be considered for the NJSACC Afterschool Ambassadors Program, you must meet the following requirements:
* Completed Application
* A minimum of 3 years of Professional Experience in the Afterschool Field
* 2 emails of reference*

Once applications have been reviewed and interviews are completed, NJSACC Afterschool Ambassador positions will be offered to qualified candidates. All applicants will receive an emailed notice of the decisions.

If you are offered a NJSACC Afterschool Ambassador position and accept, you must be available for all mandatory events.

Orientation: Thursday October 20, 2011

To apply, complete the following steps: 1) complete the application; 2) submit the application and two (2) emails of reference sent directly to sarahbcruz@njsacc.org

Application Deadline: September 16, 2011
Position Notification via email by September 30, 2011

Join Us for a NJ Special Lights On event!

Friday, August 19th, 2011

The 12th annual Lights On Afterschool is October 20, 2011

NJSACC is sponsoring a special event this year in celebration of the Afterschool Year of Science. and Lights On Afterschool!

3 programs will be eligible to win a drawing to send staff and youth to the Thomas Edison National Historical Park to celebrate Lights On Afterschool: NJ !

Imagine your day ending at sunset.

Life without music, motion pictures, radio. Life without light itself.

Our modern lives began at the turn of the century in West Orange, New Jersey. The Laboratory and home of Thomas Edison, stopped in time, continue to teach a new generation. What a great place to celebrate Lights On!

When:
October 20th from 4pm-6:15pm

Where:
Thomas Edison National Historical Park
211 Main Street
West Orange, NJ  07052

There will be a drawing to select 3 programs to attend this special event.

Should your program be drawn, NJSACC will provide :

* $500 to offset  the cost of busing

* a box supper for each staff person and youth

* a special Lights On promotional item for each participant

* a hands on youth workshop conducted by National Park Rangers.  Your program would apply for 1 of the 3 workshops.

Choose 1 Option When Entering:
#1 Idea to Product-Edison’s Invention Process-Grades 3-6    (LIMIT 2-3 Staff plus 25 youth)

How did Thomas Edison transform so many of his good ideas into commercially successful products?
Your program’s kids will try their hand at inventing the Edison way – with hands-on work and team-based problem solving.
OR
#2 Hollywood, New Jersey- Grades 6 -8
(LIMIT 2-3 staff, 20 youth)

Explore the invention of motion pictures at Thomas Edison NHP. Long before Hollywood and multi-million dollar blockbusters, a group of engineers in New Jersey laid the foundation for all the entertainment to come.  Your afterschool kids will explore Edison’s laboratories and learn how he was able to make the first motion pictures reality, then put on a costume and star in your own short film.
OR

#3. Who’s the Victor?- Grades 9 -12
(LIMIT  2 staff, 18 youth)

Why do companies design their products the way they do, and how do we choose what to buy?  Thomas Edison and his laboratory workers wanted to make the fastest-selling phonographs in America, and they made choices along the way that shaped the final product.  But did they achieve their goal?  Or were there other companies doing a better job of giving consumers what they wanted?

PLUS!:
* a special viewing of “The Great Train Robbery” a silent movie from 1903

*and a surprise final culminating event

To Enter Drawing, please fill out an application HERE: Click HERE

Drawing Deadline: September 23, 2011 at 3 PM  Winning Notification:  September 26, 2011

Supporting Student Success (S3) Apply for this amazing opportunity!

Friday, August 12th, 2011

NJSACC: The State Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities, invites outstanding afterschool programs serving students in grades 6-8 to participate in a unique an exciting opportunity in Supporting Student Success  (S3).

This pilot invites programs that offer enrichment and other challenging activities to youth incorporate the Common Core State Standards into their programs. 

The goals of S3:
●Raise awareness about the Common Core amongst the afterschool programs in NJ
●Identify effective practices and common challenges of afterschool programs working to support the Common Core
●Establish evidence that afterschool programs are key partners in Common Core implementation

The Common Core Standards and Context of S3 project:
As NJ takes up the challenge of implementing the Common Core, NJSACC believes that high quality afterschool programs are ideal partners.  The Common Core represents an important step forward for our public schools.  The standards were designed with the real world in mind, reflecting the knowledge and skills that NJ’s students need for success in college and careers and ultimately, to compete successfully in the global economy.  As NJ makes bold moves to improve public education, significant budget cuts have forced school districts to look to do more with less.  Increasingly, school districts are looking at out-of-school time hours in order to meet their goals in a cost-effective way.

Programs selected to participate in S3 will:
•Be included in a “learning community” to facilitate peer-to-peer learning and problem-solving.
•Receive intensive training and ongoing technical support to plan and implement program activities that support the Common Core Standards.
•Training to utilize the “Aligning the Learning Day” model (developed by the National AfterSchool Association and the National Association of Elementary School Principals) to support positive working relationships between the afterschool Director and the school principals.
•Participate in pre- and post-assessments to show the impact of the Learning Communities work.
•Open programs for visits from the S3 Support team
•Opportunity to present the year of work at the 2012 NJSACC Conference
•Receive 1 Free conference attendance to the 2011 NJSACC
Conference
•Receive a small stipend upon completion of 18 months ($125 per participating staff person)

Project Timeline:

August-September 2011: High Quality Afterschool programs will selected for the project.

October 2011: An orientation session will be held with 1-2 staff from each of the pilot programs

November 2011: All programs in the pilot will attend the NJSACC conference for training and an in-person session with their learning community.

February 2012: The pilot programs will meet for an in-person session and training.

March 2012: Programs will received one-on-one technical assistance

April & May 2012:  Site visits

June 2012: The school year ends and afterschool programming closes.  Pilot programs will be asked to complete a post-assessment.

July-December 2012: Pilots will develop reports on the S3 experience

Who should apply:
●High Quality programs serving youth in grades 6-8
●Programs committed to high quality learning opportunities for youth through Out of School Time Programming
●Programs with 1-2 Staff members interested in Professional Development in Support and the Common Core

To apply, please fill out the application by September 23, 2011: CLICK HERE FOR APPLICATION