Looking back, it is kind of crazy how much happened in 2022. Last year somehow seemed like both a year of change and a return to almost normal across our state... and NC CAP was no exception to that. We went through some big transitions of our own in 2022!

We had to say goodbye to some of our founding staff members as they moved into new roles in the Out-of-School-Time (OST) learning world this year. However, it gave us a chance to bring on some great new team members, including a new director and a new manager, and to build fresh partnerships and to strengthen existing ones.

As we advance into 2023 the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs team looks forward to our continued work and the growth of OST opportunities in our state. Our new team is deeply committed to providing high quality resources for the OST and afterschool providers in our network. We are eager to see what this year might bring and will be working to deepen our connections with all of you and the many afterschool programs in NC from the mountains to the coast.

Happy New Year everyone!
Thank you for the incredible work you do, the meaningful learning environments, and safe spaces you provide for the students of North Carolina every day.

As always, we encourage you to reach out with questions, suggestions, or to connect with us at any time!

Have you ever wanted a chance to learn more about the issues facing education in North Carolina while eating breakfast?

Then look no further than Eggs and Issues by the Public School Forum. At this delicious gathering the forum will update participants on important policies and current issues facing the students and educators in our state. This event is live and in person on NC State's campus and we hope to see you there!

January 31st from 8:00-10:15am

McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606
Registration is now open for Duke Ignite’s Middle School Spring program: Tinkering Experience at the Museum of Life and Science. Ignite is a free, 8-week-long hybrid program for Durham/Wake area middle school students to learn about engineering and the human-centered design process to design prototypes to address local community issues surrounding the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals of Clean Energy, Clean Water, or Good Health. Our program kicks off January 29th, 2023. Ignite is formally recognized as a part of the UN Partnership Platform and is joint program between Duke University and the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC. Students completing the program will receive a $30 gift card at the program’s conclusion.

To learn more about the program, please visit our website
Exploring Youth Understanding in STEM:
What can we do to find out what youth know about a particular topic without resorting to a quiz or test? What strategies can we use before, during and following an activity to surface youths’ understanding? In this module, participants will first clarify the purpose of formative assessment and then learn several easy-to-implement strategies for monitoring youths’ understanding.

Learn more about the upcoming three part series, starting on January 11th at 3:00pm, on the ACRES Website
Afterschool programs reach thousands of students in North Carolina every day. Many of these programs employ a young, diverse, mostly women workforce and similar to the early child care field, the women of color caring for our youth deserve to be recognized and valued for their work.
It is imperative that the afterschool field examine the impact of race and gender on the aspirations, experiences, and career advancement of women of color. The linked intersectional approach can help guide policy development, identify strategic investments, and grow programs supporting the economic stability and success of women of color in the workforce. In particular, mentoring, coaching, and peer support programs can be an effective strategy to ensure millennial women of color are equipped to lead and thrive in their work with youth.

Learn about California's unique approach in this great article
Please save the date for the 2023 Color of Education Summit. This event is such an important one for both classroom and afterschool educators in our state and we hope to see many of the providers in our network there! If you are interested in speaking, presenting, moderating (at) or sponsoring this event please contact Dr. Deanna Townsend-Smith
A credit-for-learning program offers students opportunities to explore their interests and participate in activities that also allow them to earn credits toward their graduation requirements. These programs include a wide range of credit-bearing opportunities outside of school, like learning a coding language or participating in an internship. The linked guide is designed to assist individuals who are in any phase of starting their own credit-for-learning program and are working on building and maintaining relationships with partners, including administrators, teachers, districts, and funders. The Afterschool Alliance interviewed credit-for-learning providers to develop a list of best practices, and readers are encouraged to adopt any practices that best fit their context.

Please reference this guide as you tackle credit-for-learning opportunities in your programs.
Early Bird Tickets are Selling Out Fast!
Prepare for sunshine and soul shine at the NAA Convention in Orlando, Florida, from March 19-22, 2023. NAA23 is the ultimate charging station—powering human connections, inspired learning, and meaningful recognition for OST professionals. Experience the joy and rejuvenation, ‘the light,’ that comes from joining in community with a collective why. Out of school time professionals, this gathering is for you, for us, for ALL OF US, because together we shine!
Supported by the Mott Foundation, Mizzen is available at no cost to afterschool professionals! Download the Mizzen By Mott app to access STEM activities at your finger-touch! You’ll find it in Mizzen here.

Featured Activities & Playlists
  • Mizzen Playlist: STEM Activities for K-5th Grade in Small Groups - This playlist is a great mix of engineering and science activities that are easy and fun for small groups of students.
  • Mizzen Playlist: Science Notebooks for 3rd - 12th Grade - Keeping a notebook can help your students think and act like scientists and engineers. Sample these easy-to-implement strategies and lessons to bring science notebooking into your program.
  • Mizzen Module: S.INQ Up Earth and Space for 6-8th Grade - Earth and Space is an inquiry and exploration-based curriculum that uses hands-on activities focused on the relationships between the earth, the solar system, and human impacts on our global environment.
  • Activity Toolkit: STEM Educators Academy Activity Toolkit from ExpandED Schools — This Activity Toolkit offers hybrid learning engineering design challenges, STEM facilitation skill builder videos, and engineering design activities categorized by content areas. 
  • Activity Toolkit: Engineering is Elementary's NASA Partnership free units - A suite of free NASA-funded STEM resources for students in grades 3-8. All resources are research-based and classroom-tested. They are designed to support students’ understanding of space, while helping them see themselves as capable problem solvers.
Below is a free resource which Jobs for the Future (JFF) and some of their partners in Boston developed that focuses on Community and Belonging. The unit consists of six lessons designed to be delivered in 30-35 minutes each. In lieu of a more traditional lesson plan, each lesson has a student-facing slideshow on which the first slide provides the guiding question, learning targets, and agenda. Lessons can be delivered in the order provided or mixed and matched.
The overall goal of the unit is to establish foundational collaboration skills and a sense of belonging before moving into subsequent activities or lessons.

This is a new unit and JFF welcomes questions or feedback. They also sincerely hope that this valuable resources finds some use as a stand-alone unit or as a precursor for additional SEL learning in your programs.

Find the unit with all six lessons here!
Be a part of the annual Beyond School Hours Conference this February at the Caribe Resort in Orlando, Florida!

Beyond School Hours is a national conference that brings together afterschool and OST colleagues from across the nation for a 3-day professional learning event. Refresh, renew, and have fun connecting with peers and experts. Take home skills, tools, and a renewed passion for improving learning outcomes for young people through workshops, pre-conferences, keynote presentations, discussions, networking opportunities, and exhibits.

[Orlando, Florida] – Thursday, February 9 through Sunday, February 12, 2023
Encourage your students to go our and see the Quadrantids Meteor Shower! They have the potential to be the strongest shower of the year but usually fall short due to the short length of maximum activity (6 hours) and the poor weather experienced during early January. However, with a little luck and clear skies you can see some cool meteors. The average hourly rates one can expect under dark skies is about 25. These meteors usually lack persistent trains but often produce bright fireballs. Due to the high northerly declination (celestial latitude) these meteors are not well seen from the southern hemisphere, but should be visible from North Carolina!

Active from December 26th to January 16th, 2023
Peak Activity from January 3-4, 2023
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 Allen Foundation, Inc.'s priorities and policies are: (1) to make grants to fund relevant nutritional research; (2) to support programs for the education and training of mothers during pregnancy and after the birth of their children; (3) to assist in the training of persons to work as educators and demonstrators of good nutritional practices; (4) to encourage the dissemination of information regarding healthful nutritional practices and habits; and (5) in limited situations to make grants to help solve immediate emergency hunger and malnutrition problems. Applications are due January 15th, 2023.

Centene is offering general operating grants of up to $500,000 to organizations that fall within one or more of the following areas of focus: Health, Education, Children, and the Arts. 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 NC GlaxoSmithKline Traditional Grants provides grants of $25,000 and above to organizations to help meet the educational and health needs of today's society and future generations. 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.

North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs |