The Synergy Conference 2022 is scheduled to convene utilizing a hybrid model with in-person and virtual attendance options from April 19-22, 2022. The in-person conference will be hosted at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, NC. The in-person conference timeline can be viewed here.

This year's conference is themed:

Please note that the Tuesday and Wednesday portion of the conference will consist of the 21st Century Community Learning Center Statewide Meeting only. For those registered attendees that are not a current 21st CCLC program, check-in for the Synergy Conference will begin at 7:30 am on Thursday, April 21, 2022. The virtual portion of the conference will go live on Wednesday, April 20, 2022.

Early registration for the Synergy Conference 2022 is now open. Early-Bird registration to attend this year's conference in-person is $200. Registration to attend this year's conference virtually is $50. All in-person attendees will have access to the virtual components of the conference. Early-Bird registration closes on February 9, 2022.

Please note that ALL in-person conference attendees must attest to being fully vaccinated or to have received a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result for COVID-19 within 72 hours of conference attendance. Additionally, ALL in-person conference attendees will be required to wear a mask throughout the duration of the conference with the exception of live plenaries where a meal is served.

The Synergy Conference 2022 has a hotel block at the Sheraton Greensboro at Four Seasons for the discounted rate of $149 per night. Hotel reservations can be made here. Hotel reservations must be made by 5 pm on Friday, April 1, 2022, to obtain the discounted rate. Hotel reservations should be made as soon as possible to secure your room.

To register for the Synergy Conference 2022, please click the button below.

We hope to see you in Greensboro!
The Request for Proposals (RFPs) for workshop presenters and vendors are now open. Workshop strands include Arts & Literacy, Closing Gaps, College & Career Readiness, Organizational Capacity, Public/Private Partnerships, Social & Emotional Learning, S.T.E.M., and Youth Development.
Descriptions for each workshop strand can be viewed on the Workshop, Vendor, and Keynote Speaker RFPs, located on the Synergy Conference 2022 webpage

Workshop and Vendor proposal submissions are due on February 6th, 2022. Keynote Speaker proposal submissions are due on February 18th, 2022.
On December 2, 2021, the NC State Board of Education approved the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) to launch the 21st Community Learning Centers (CCLC) FY22 Competitive Summer Mini-Grant Program for Summer 2022 for any Public School Unit (PSU) or Non-PSU organizations (NPO, CBO, FBO, For-Profit, IHE, City/Local Gov).

The 21st CCLC FY22 Competitive Summer Mini-Grant Program will fund summer programs designed to improve student access to innovative learning strategies in order to achieve grade-level proficiency. In addition, the Program should be designed to engage all students in quality, interactive enrichment opportunities that are multi-disciplinary in approach, broad in offerings, and build connections between academic skills and knowledge and a students' cultural and community contexts.

The competitive grant opportunity will be processed through the CCIP system. Grant amounts will range from $50,000 to $300,000 depending on (1) needs identified in the community and schools; (2) scope of the program; (3) proposed number of students served; and (4) program design. The FY22 Competitive Summer Mini-Grant Program is a short-term grant program. Funds will be available awarded sub-grantees from April 11, 2022, through September 1, 2022, with no opportunity for renewal.
Applications are due February 9th, 2022.
To learn more, click here.

For questions regarding the 21st CCLC FY22 Competitive Summer Mini-Grant Program, please contact Susan Brigman at or Megan Orleans at
Youth and teens in before school, afterschool and summer programs statewide are invited to submit their artistic interpretation of this year's Synergy Conference theme: "Forward". The winning design will be featured on the cover of the Synergy Conference 2022 Booklet and on social media. Additionally, the winning designer will also receive an Amazon Gift Card and will be spotlighted during the Synergy Conference in April.

This artistic contest asks youth and teens to use their imagination to create a design based on what resonates with them regarding the theme "Forward". What does it mean for before school, afterschool and summer programs to move Forward? What is the role of youth and teens as programs move Forward? How can we move Forward? What is needed for us to move Forward? What does moving Forward look like? Submissions can be hand-drawn, painted, or digital. All artwork must be original and completed solely by the participant.

Artwork submissions are due on February 20th and can be submitted here.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) and the Public School Forum of North Carolina have moved. Please note our new address below:

Public School Forum of NC
Attn: NC Center for Afterschool Programs
1017 Main Campus Drive
Suite 2300
Raleigh, NC 27606
To submit a video, click here.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) is seeking to highlight youth and parent voices at the Synergy Conference 2022. Each panel will be conducted virtually and pre-recorded for attendees. All panelists will be provided with a list of questions prior to the recording of the panels.

Nominations for youth and parent panelists are due on February 9th, 2022.
NC is seeking youth panelists to discuss the value of their out-of-school time program on their lives. Panelists should be active or recently graduated participants of an out-of-school time program in NC. Youth panelists can be between the ages of five (5) and twenty (20) years old. Selected youth will be awarded a gift card for their contribution to the Synergy Conference 2022.
According to the America After 3 pm Report, North Carolina ranked #1 in parent satisfaction. NC CAP would like to showcase their voices, experiences, and perspectives of NC out-of-school time programs. Panelists should have children enrolled in an out-of-school time program in NC. Selected parents will be awarded a gift card for their contribution to the Synergy Conference 2022.
Girls Who Code (GWC) is an international nonprofit offering free and flexible coding resources for our community!

Free 3rd-12th Grade Clubs Programs
When you sign up to start a GWC Club, you’ll get access to everything you need -- including training, comprehensive resources, 120+ hours of easy-to-use and flexible coding curriculum for 3-12th graders, and even free t-shirts and other swag for each of your Club members. Clubs curriculum features coding tutorials for all skill levels, inspiring women in tech, community-building activities to increase confidence, and project-based learning related to activism. You don’t need any prior coding experience to get started! Plus -- all genders are welcome in this girls-supportive environment. Learn more about the Clubs program here or join a webinar here.

Free 9th-12th Grade Summer Programs
Ever wonder how a career in tech can help you pursue your passions? Join Girls Who Code summer 2022 to find out! If you’re a 9th-12th grade girl - both cis and trans - or non-binary student, you’re invited to apply to Girls Who Code’s 2-week virtual Summer Immersion Program (SIP) or virtual Self-Paced Program (SPP)!

You’ll learn an intro to HTML, CSS, and JavaScript through fun, hands-on projects for beginners or receive advanced certification in cybersecurity if you’re looking to sharpen your coding skills. You’ll even explore careers in tech through connections to top companies like YumBrands and Bank of America, just to name two! Plus - you’ll become a part of a global sisterhood of 450,000 students worldwide that’ll grant you access to exclusive alumni career support for life! In addition to our Summer Programs being 100% free, stipends of up to $300 and tech support are available for applicants who qualify.

The NC Center for Afterschool Programs is accepting nominations for the 2022 Afterschool Champions. Nominees should demonstrate outstanding work in developing, supporting, and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families statewide.

Afterschool Champion Award categories are below, followed by the nomination form. The deadline to submit nominations is February 28, 2022. Selected award recipients will be recognized during the in-person award ceremony at the Synergy Conference 2022 on April 21st, 2022.

This award spotlights an individual, program, or organization whose life or mission has demonstrated outstanding work in developing, supporting, and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families. Nominees should have more than ten (10) years of experience.

This award spotlights an individual, program, or organization whose life or mission has demonstrated considerable work in developing, supporting, and promoting high-quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit youth and families. Nominees should have between three (3) and ten (10) years of experience.

A letter of recommendation or support should accompany every nomination.
**Note: For a program nomination, a letter of support must be from a youth program participant or parent.
TechTerra Education, a certified Woman-Owned Small Business, recently expanded its operations with the opening of a second office in the Austin area of Texas. This expansion allows TechTerra to have a greater impact bringing the benefits of STEM education to diverse learners inside and outside of the classroom.

The most effective, structured, and engaging way to reach diverse learners is with TechTerra Education's STEM in a Box program. The STEM in a Box is a turnkey program used for afterschool and summer programs. Designed to cultivate foundational skills in multiple STEM areas, the program is enriching, organized, and aligned to national standards in order to reduce summer learning loss.

The STEM in a Box program is complete with a full class set of long-lasting STEM tools and an easy-to-follow printed curriculum guide. The curriculum guide contains 30+ hours of step-by-step lessons, each focused on hands-on exploration. Learners delve into coding, robotics, circuitry, digital storytelling, drones, and other STEM skills.

Support your students' cognitive development and prevent summer learning loss through authentic STEM enriched experiences. Contact TechTerra Education to elevate your afterschool and summer camp with TechTerra Education's all-inclusive STEM in a Box.

To learn more about TechTerra Education, click here.
The stakes are high! As afterschool professionals and leaders, you are equipping yourself or others to prepare young people for a world we can only imagine. Come share your ideas and explore innovative and proven practices. Challenge yourself to explore new perspectives, make key connections, and build lasting relationships that will strengthen the afterschool field and profession. Are you ready to go all-in?
To register, click here.

To learn more about the 2022 NAA Convention, click here.
NC CAP has partnered with Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM (ACRES) to provide FREE professional development opportunities to out-of-school-time professionals statewide. The ACRES Project supports out-of-school providers in rural settings. Each participant is expected to participate in three live sessions for each cohort is an active member. Stipends are offered to participants that complete pre-and-post surveys.

Questions are the beginning of a path towards discovery, imagination, and STEM exploration. How can we help youth expand and clarify their thinking and develop their reasoning through the questions we ask them? This module is designed for educators who have experience facilitating STEM learning and would like to grow in their practice within a supportive group of other educators.

Session Dates
February 10, 2022 - 9 am to 11 pm EST
March 3, 2022 - 9 am to 11 pm EST
March 17, 2022 - 9 am to 11 pm EST

To register, click here.
Cohort Code: AC112PQ
To learn more about this opportunity, click here.
To complete the interest form, click here.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) and the National Afterschool Association have updated the Core Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for Afterschool and Youth Development Professionals.

All professional entities share common characteristics. Among them are a body of knowledge, skills, culture, code of ethics, and public recognition. The Core Knowledge and Competencies enable afterschool and youth development practitioners to demonstrate expertise and gain a higher level of recognition within their communities that has long been sought after.

To access the Core Knowledge and Competencies, click here.
FEMA created the Youth Preparedness Council (YPC) in 2012 to bring together young leaders who are interested in supporting disaster preparedness and making a difference in their communities by completing disaster preparedness projects nationally and locally. The YPC supports FEMA's commitment to involving America's youth in preparedness-related activities. Additionally, it provides FEMA the opportunity to engage young people and share their perspectives, feedback, and opinions. Students in grades 8 through 11 are eligible to apply.

To learn more about the YPC, click here.
Youth are invited to create their own Google Doodle for the chance to have it featured on, as well as win some great scholarships and tech packages for their school. The 14th annual Doodle for Google contest asks youth to use their imagination to create a Google Doodle based on what self-care means to them. We all have a lot going on - and now more than ever, it's important for us to take care of our bodies and minds. What are your favorite things to do that make you feel better when you are feeling down? How do you take a break? What activities make you feel calm or give you energy? What or who brings joy to your heart? The theme this year invites youth to share how they nurture their mind, body, and/or spirit as they face the opportunities and challenges every new day brings.

Fifty-four students will be named winners from their state/territory and will receive Google hardware, Google swag, and a celebratory message from Google. Four national finalists will receive a $5,000 college scholarship, Google hardware, and Google swag. One national winner will receive a $30,000 college scholarship, a $50,000 technology package for their school/non-profit organization, Google hardware, and Google swag. The competition closes on March 4th, 2022.

To learn more about the Doodle 4 Google contest, click here.
NC CAP will be hosting "Family Feud" during the annual Synergy Conference. We are asking youth in out-of-school time programs to answer a few questions to help us design a fun game for program providers in attendance at the conference.

To share the survey with youth, click here.
To feel safe and to feel seen. To feel valued and capable of growth. These are simple concepts - basic pillars of student achievement and the results of good pedagogy. For many queer students, these rights remain out of reach. But LGBTQ students who go to school in a fully inclusive environment - where both curriculum and schoolwide policies value their identities - experience more positive outcomes. They also experience less harassment, feel more valued by school staff and face fewer barriers to success. We also know that an LGBTQ-inclusive school benefits all students. Seeing LGBTQ identifies valued in the classroom, in the curriculum, and in day-to-day interactions inspires empathy, understanding, and respect.

With this guide, Learning for Justice (formerly Teaching Tolerance) hopes to help leaders ensure that all students feel safe, seen, and capable of success; to ensure that the curriculum is as complete and representative as possible; to ensure that the school climate fosters open and respectful dialogue among all students and staff, and to prepare youth to engage and thrive within our diverse democracy.

To learn more, click here.
Join thousands of schools across the nation in creating a culture of belonging! Sign up today to bring the National No One Eats Alone (NOEA) program to your school. This program inspires students to become leaders working to end social isolation and ensure that everyone in your community feels accepted, respected and valued no matter their differences.

Youth will learn how to make new friends through understanding what social isolation is, participating in community-building activities, participating in courageous conversations, and learning how to include those who may be feeling left out.

It's simple! All you need to do to join the national movement to end social isolation is to fill out this form. Beyond Differences will send you lesson plans, ready-to-use presentations, and a guide for student leaders to plan and lead a celebration. The student leadership unit is full of practical leadership tips and fun activities to help build connections and create new friendships. All of their social and emotional learning (SEL) resources are easy to use and provided at no cost to educators!

To learn more, click here.
The Million Girls Moonshot is launching its inaugural Flight Crew!

The Flight Crew is a cohort of youth advocates, ages 13 to 18, who are committed to creating equity for girls in STEM through elevating youth voices and inspiring future STEM leaders. Million Girls Moonshot is looking for young scientists, engineers, inventors, builders, and leaders who have been inspired by their experience outside of the classroom. Flight Crew members will participate in six months of virtual programming where they will hone their leadership and advocacy skills using their own experiences from afterschool STEM learning. Those selected will be eligible for a $1000 stipend, an all-expense-paid trip to the annual Million Girls Moonshot summer 2022 event, and thanks to their partners, an all-expense-paid opportunity to go to Space Camp for summer 2023.

The Flight Crew application is open to youth ages 13 to 18 who identify as female, gender-expansive, or outside of the identity of cisgender males. Applicants will share their views in a written, video, or art piece. Applications are due February 25, 2022.

To learn more, click here.
The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) opened applications for two summer opportunities: the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA) and the Appalachian STEM Academy at Oak Ridge. Both programs, planned for Summer 2022, are free intensive learning experiences specifically for the Region's high school and/or middle school students and teachers.

The Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy (AEA), developed in partnership with Appalachian State University, EntreEd, and STEM West, prepares the next generation of regional entrepreneurial leaders and thinkers. High school students from across Appalachia will be selected to participate in an intensive learning curriculum designed to cultivate creativity sharpen business acumen, and develop skills essentials for entrepreneurial success. AEA will be held from July 9-23, 2022. If COVID restrictions, the program will be held in person at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. More information and application materials are available at

The Appalachian STEM Academy is a hands-on learning experience for Appalachia's middle and high school students, as well as high school teachers in STEM-related fields. Hosted by Oak Ridge Associated Universities in Oak Ridge, TN, this program is a gateway to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) in the Appalachian Region. Working with award-winning scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, high school and middle school students conduct guided group science, math, and computer science technology research projects, while high school teachers work with science practitioners to develop STEM-related curricula. Many students gain their first exposure to applied science and STEM Education through this experience. This program will be held from July 9-22, 2022 for high school students and teachers and July 16-22, 2022, for middle school students. If COVID restrictions allow, the program will be held in person in Oak Ridge, TN. More information and application materials are available at

Applications for both opportunities are due March 4, 2022.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) would like to highlight program successes statewide. Tell us about your program and you might be our Program Spotlight in the next edition of the Afterschool Observer or on Social Media. Click the Program Spotlight below to be redirected to the updated survey link to tell us about your program. 
The Afterschool Advantage (ASA) program is IGT's flagship community initiative, devoted to providing young people with access to technology in a safe, nurturing afterschool environment while promoting opportunities in digital learning centers in communities where IGT operates. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Coca-Cola Foundation provides grants to a wide variety of 501(c)(3) organizations that focus on children, education, and/or health. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Discover is offering grants of up to $5,000 to nonprofit organizations working in the areas of education and literacy. Funding, donations, and sponsorships are intended to support programs and initiatives that meet the needs of various communities across the country, with a particular focus on communities where Discover employees live and work. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Dogwood Health Trust seeks to dramatically improve the health and well-being of all people and communities of Western North Carolina. They are interested in projects that address one or more of their strategic priorities: Housing, Education, Economic Opportunity, and Health and Wellness and that align with their overarching commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. They also have interests in projects related to improving broadband access to support education and healthcare bridging rural divides, and addressing racial equity issues. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Duke Energy Foundation is committed to making strategic investments to build powerful communities where nature and wildlife thrive, youth can excel, and a talented workforce drives economic prosperity for all. These grants support programs that prevent summer reading loss, while also advancing energy, engineering, and environmental education. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The Saxena Family Foundation is a privately funded, 501(c)(3) registered non-profit charitable foundation headquartered in Austin, TX. The Foundation awards grants and supports programs that have a particular focus on STEM education and around empowering women in the United States and in India. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

Your Voice is Power provides students and teachers an introduction to computer science through a real-world exploration of how music, computer science, and entrepreneurship can be tools to advance racial justice. Amazon Future Engineer is providing students with a chance to create an original remix of various songs by recording artists such as Pharell Williams, Alicia Keys, and Khalid using coding. Applications for Round One closes on February 7th, 2022. Applications for Round Two closes on June 19th, 2022.
North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs |