The General Assembly of North Carolina utilized Session Law 2021-3 House Bill 196 to appropriate fifteen million dollars ($15,000,000) from the Federal Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) funds for the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports (ELISS) Competitive Grant Program for the 2032-2022 period. On May 13th, 2021, the NC State Board of Education approved the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NC DPI) to launch the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports (ELISS) Grant Competition for the 2021-2022 school year.

The purpose of the Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program (ELISS) is to fund high-quality, independently, validated extended learning and integrated student support service programs for at-risk students whose learning has been negatively affected by COVID-19 impacts.

Nonprofit corporations and nonprofit corporations working in collaboration with local school administrative units are eligible to apply for the ELISS grant to implement new or existing eligible programs for at-risk students. This does restrict stand-alone applications from local school administrative units, charter schools, lab schools, or other governmental or educational agencies.

Programs must serve one or more of the following groups:
  1. At-risk students not performing at grade level as demonstrated by statewide assessments or not on track to meet year-end expectations, as demonstrated by existing indicators, including teacher identification,
  2. Students at-risk of dropout, and/or
  3. Students at risk of school displacement due to suspension or expulsion as a result of antisocial behaviors.

Grant participants are eligible to receive grants for up to two years in an amount of up to five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) each year. ELISS Grants must be matched on the basis of three dollars ($3.00) in grant funds for every one dollar ($1.00) in non-grant funds. Matching funds may include in-kind contributions for up to fifty percent (50%) of the required match. Any sub-recipient that currently receives federal 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) funding must be able to differentiate their 21st CCLC program from their proposed ELISS program.

If your nonprofit organization is interested in applying for the 2021-2022 ELISS Grant Competition Program, please complete the electronic Notice of Intent to Apply form no later than 5:00 pm on June 11th, 2021. Please note that submission of this notice is not a prerequisite for the application of ELISS grant funds, nor does it obligate the organization to submit an application. NC DPI hosted a technical assistance webinar to support grantees and training on navigating the web-based grants management system, the North Carolina Comprehensive Continuous Improvement Plan (CCIP), the recordings can be found here. For questions regarding the NC DPI ELISS Grant Competition, please contact Jennifer Smith at

Applications are due August 11th, 2021 at noon.

Have you asked the youth in your program what they aspire to be when they grow up? Many of them name careers such as engineer, athlete, chef, or firefighter. It is seldom that we hear, "I want to be an afterschool or summer program provider". Yet, there are amazingly passionate professionals in the out-of-school time field across North Carolina including YOU. NC CAP wants to hear the story of how YOU, one of NC's out-of-school time professionals, entered the field of out-of-school time, why YOU continue to serve youth and families in this capacity, and your hopes for the future. 

NC CAP is launching "The Journey" series to spotlight out-of-school time professionals statewide and the career pathways that have landed them in the out-of-school time field. Every professional has a unique story. If you are interested in sharing your story, NC CAP and other professionals across North Carolina would love to hear it.

If you are interested in submitting a video for "The Journey" Series, please complete this interest form. After your interest form is submitted, you will receive a link via email to record your video. The deadline to submit a video is August 27th.
The North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs is a part of the Million Girls Moonshot, a collective impact initiative designed to increase diversity and equity in STEM. Million Girls Moonshot is working to close the persistent gender gap in STEM fields by engaging one million girls across the United States in STEM pursuits through high-quality, innovative afterschool learning opportunities over the next five years. 

The Million Girls Moonshot provides afterschool programs across the nation with access to STEM experts and mentors who will not only spark girls’ passion for STEM but also support them and keep them engaged so they can pursue higher education and careers in STEM fields. The Million Girls Moonshot is a collaborative, nationwide effort involving a wide range of cross-sector partners that are designed to break down the systemic barriers that have kept girls and youth of color out of STEM for too long.

To learn more about the Million Girls Moonshot, click here.
The Booster Packs are direct support to Networks working with programs to go deeper in Moonshot transformative practices and programming: (1) equity and inclusion; (2) engineering mindsets; (3) role models, mentors, and families; and (4) STEM transitions and handoffs. Boosters will provide capacity building through training and development or STEM programming through training and curriculum.

Family Engagement Community of Practice with Bunmi Esho and Linda Kekelis
Want to learn more about research and promising practices for impactful family and community engagement in STEM? Want to explore strategies to lead with equity and help parents access resources to support their child in STEM? Want to develop a work plan using the STEM Family Engagement Planning Tool? Then, the six-month community of practice is for you. The intended audience is Network STEM/Moonshot Staff and Partners.

Submit an interest form HERE.

Makers - Centered Learning Community of Practice with the Makers + Mentors Network
Maker-centered learning is an effective approach to onboarding and engaging students with diverse backgrounds and interests in the Engineering Mindset. Environments that successfully foster inclusive maker-centered learning enable students to step through high-quality engineering experiences which build their confidence and abilities. Join Makers + Mentors for a four-month community of practice where participants will learn about research, approaches, programs, and models that are empowering girls and young women to pursue their interest in STEM and stay engaged in these fields through maker-centered learning. The intended audience is Network STEM/Moonshot Staff and Partners.

Submit an interest form HERE.

Click2Engineering Training and Community of Practice
What is engineering? How do engineers solve problems? How do we help youth learn about and do engineering that is relevant to their lives? In this community of practice, participants will be introduced to the basics of engineering and leading engineering activities with youth. Sessions will be organized around the 10 Practices for an Engineering Mindset and will include engineering activities, developing engineering activities for youth, and learning specific skills to facilitate engineering activities with youth. The intended audience is Program Providers and Staff. Specifically, the Community of Practice will focus on the following mindset practices:
  1. Using a systematic problem-solving process;
  2. Explore the properties and uses of materials; and
  3. Envision multiple solutions.

Submit an interest form HERE.

Techbridge Girls Curriculum Training
Leveraging their 20-year history and expertise, Techbridge Girls will offer three different program models: Ignite, Inspire, and ChangeMakers; which provide program staff with training and curriculum and youth with hands-on experiences, with broad STEM content and career exposure, and social-emotional development activities. The intended audience is Program Providers and Staff.

Submit an interest form HERE.

Teen Science Cafe
Teen Science Cafe programs are a free, fun way for teens to engage in lively conversations with STEM experts that explore the advances in science and technology that affect their lives. In these events, teens socialize over teen-friendly food and drink and have a lively conversation with local scientists and engineers about current cutting-edge developments in their fields, all in a relaxed and informal out-of-school setting. Teen Science Cafes are for teens by teens. A core group of Teen Leaders, with the committed mentorship of an Adult Leader, plan and run the cafe programs. They welcome a diverse teen crowd - diverse in ethnicity, culture, gender, and motivations for learning about science. Teen Science Cafes are not just for the science geeks; they are for all curious teens. Along the way, teen organizers gain a host of leadership skills. Cafes are typically run about an hour and a half once per month during the school year. The intended audience is Program Providers and Staff.

Submit an interest form HERE.

To learn more about the Million Girls Moonshot Booster Pack Opportunities, click here.
NC CAP is proud to showcase a new STEM Lesson, Murky Waters. This lesson asks youth to analyze the impacts of the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis and the importance of access to clean water sources. Youth will also design a water filter to eliminate pollutants from a water source.

To access the STEM lessons, click here. Each lesson includes Spanish translations.  Please subscribe to the NC CAP Youtube Channel for more videos and resources!
National Geographic is taking learners along for a road trip! The new "Summer Adventures on the Road" series is a free immersive educational experience that teaches the biodiversity, geological characteristics, and indigenous histories of three U.S. national treasures: Yellowstone National Park, Everglades National Park, and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Over the course of six weeks, participants will make "stops" - whether by car or virtually from home - at each of the three locations. The series is designed to activate learners' sense of exploration and help them engage in the wonder of our world.

Learners will complete challenges, inspect images, and accompany National Geographic Explorers on scientific adventures. Young readers won't want to miss the Book Quest, a literary adventure with clues found within pages of the book, as well as special video clues delivered by National Geographic Explorers.

To learn more about the "Summer Adventures on the Road" series, click here.
It may be August but Summer is not over yet! For families, Summer is the opportunity to discover the joy of the arts, nature, math, and reading skills to help their children start the school year strong. The National Summer Learning Association has developed the new online summer learning resource for parents, Discover Summer. Powered by InPlay, the goal of Discover Summer is to make it easier for families to:

  • Discover summer programs in their community based on the city.
  • Discover tips and insights from leading youth organizations.
  • Discover resources related to youth mentoring, the arts, academics, wellness, and more.

As we continue to endure the second Summer of the COVID-19 pandemic, vulnerable families continue to suffer a greater burden in our community in the form of loss of income, loss of loved ones, and learning losses that continue to hold their children back. According to a national PTA survey, 72 percent of parents are worried about their child missing out on social interactions, while 63 percent believe their child is behind academically. With these challenges weighing on families, it should come as no surprise that they may be looking for ways to navigate the Summer to find safe, enriching, affordable programs.

To learn more about Discover Summer, click here.
In a recently released fact sheet, "Thriving in afterschool: Promoting healthy futures for young people," the connection between the ability of afterschool and summer programs to promote positive outcomes by serving as a setting in which healthy development takes place and an intervention that builds a young person's social and emotional skills and competence is emphasized. Also featured in the fact sheet are results from the Afterschool in the Time of COVID-19 surveys, chronicling how afterschool and summer learning programs have stayed in contact with their students and families throughout the pandemic. In the most recent Spring 2021 surveys, for example, 80 percent of providers reported that they created space in their program for young people to talk with their peers or staff about how they are feeling and 64 percent reported connecting families with community resources.

To read the report, click here.
Harmony SEL is a social and emotional learning program for Pre-K-6 grade students, accessible online and at no cost. Harmony fosters knowledge, skills, and attitudes boys and girls need to develop healthy identities, create meaningful relationships, and engage productively by providing SEL learning resources, tools, and strategies.

Implementing Harmony SEL into any learning environment will be easier than ever before when Harmony SEL Third Edition launches in the fall. Harmony Third Edition will soon be available on their FREE Online Learning Portal. The new unit structure will be aligned to CASEL's updated competencies to be more inclusive of equity and excellence. This new structure will incorporate strategies for academic integration and virtual learning and provide shorter, more accessible lessons. Everything you may need to successfully integrate Harmony SEL's social and emotional learning program into any setting. With online access to all classroom activities, stories, digital games, and sing-along songs that can help develop healthy and inclusive communities in any learning environment.

To access the FREE curriculum, click here.
The House of Representatives continues the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 appropriations process with multiple subcommittee mark-ups. On July 12th, 2021, the House of Representatives Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education (LHHS-ED) and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up its FY 2022 spending bill. The draft bill includes a $100 million proposed increase to the Nita M. Lowrey 21st Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) initiative - the only federal funding stream dedicated to afterschool, before school, and summer learning programs. President Biden has proposed a $50 million increase for 21st CCLC.

The FY 2022 LHHS-ED bill provides $253.8 billion in overall funding, an increase of $44.2 billion (28 percent) above FY 2021 spending. For the Department of Education (ED), the bill provides $102.8 billion in discretionary appropriations, an increase of $29.3 billion above the funding level for FY 2021 and the same amount the President requested. The text of the draft bill was released on July 11 ahead of the subcommittee markup, which was webcast live.

To continue reading, click here.

Mizzen by Mott is an app that helps afterschool programs support youth. Get hands-on activities that foster well-being and learning in arts, STEM, storytelling, music, yoga, and youth voices.

Afterschool programs around the country are hard at work, doing all they can to support youth and families during this difficult time. As resources to these efforts, state networks have been looking for vetted, high-quality learning content that afterschool programs can use to support young people - wherever they are. The Mizzen by mott app can help. The enhanced content focuses on students' well-being; SEL; and engagement in STEM, arts, literacy, entrepreneurship, and youth voice.

With support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, the app and all of its content are free to afterschool providers.

Download the app today from your preferred app store, click here to visit the Mizzen website.
Systems that coordinate afterschool, summer, and other out-of-school-time programming community-wide have emerged in a number of U.S. cities and counties over the last 15 years. The organizations that oversee these systems increasingly recognize the need for periodic pulse checks to evaluate their efforts and guide improvements.

But what, exactly should afterschool system leaders assess and how? The tool, "Putting Data to Work for Young People: A Framework for Measurement, Continuous Improvement, and Equitable Systems", answers that question. The new framework is accompanied by a comprehensive guide to help afterschool systems use it in the ways that make sense for them.

The heart of the framework is 11 desired system outcomes. Organizations may want to measure progress toward some or all of the outcomes, depending on their needs and circumstances. Five of these outcomes directly relate to overall system work and include whether a common goal for afterschool has been established. Three relate to efforts of programs, stressing, for instance, that they use management practices that enhance program quality. Three are related to young people, including the rate of youth participation in programs.

This new framework is much more than a checklist. It provides features that allow organizations to set goals, conceptualize their work, communicate its impact, continuously improve their support for program quality as well as youth engagement and development, and use data to advance racial equity. The framework poses racial equity questions for users to consider for each outcome, exploring matters ranging from whether system decision-making is inclusive to whether programs distribute high-quality offerings equitably.

To view the Framework, click here.
UME Academy is an afterschool STEM program provider in video game design and coding for grades 2-12 students across North America. Students design unique projects by coupling new skills with key concepts from your classroom. Their online, expert-led classes teach the latest technology while emphasizing creativity, collaboration, and confidence to meet the demands of the 21st century.

To learn more about UME Academy, click here.
Reading Checkup provides data directly to families and community agencies that would otherwise be dependent on schools to provide. With data and practice alignment in place, organizations can rapidly address COVID-19 learning loss for the most vulnerable children, reduce barriers to system-wide solutions, and achieve accelerated 3rd-grade reading outcomes. Community organizations get zip-code and district-level data on family engagement and student growth.

To learn more about Reading Checkup, click here.
MENTOR North Carolina provides a range of services to youth mentoring programs to enhance their operational practices:
•   Program design and development
•   Planning and implementation
•   Monitoring and evaluation
•   Management and operations
•   Strategic planning
•  Quality assurance through the National Quality Mentoring System (NQMS) and certification by MENTOR North Carolina
To learn more about MENTOR North Carolina, click here.
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 Program is a signature education program and flagship community involvement initiative. The program is devoted to providing young people with access to technology in a safe, nurturing afterschool environment, while promoting opportunities in digital learning centers in varying communities. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

The D'Addario Foundation is a nonprofit grant-making organization providing monetary and product support to high-quality sustainable music instruction programs on the front line to improve access to music education. They support programs that bring music back into communities and schools. Applications are due on October 30th, 2021.

The Lawrence Foundation is a private family foundation that provides grants to support environmental, education, human services, and other causes. Grant amounts range between $5,000 and $10,000. Applications are due October 31st, 2021.

Moore Women-A Giving Circle accepts grant applications from organizations that support the needs of women and children in areas of health, education, and human services in Moore County. Grants range from $500 to $5,000. Applications are due August 24th, 2021.

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) recognizes the need to support efforts that can jointly improve STEM student outcomes and align education and outreach efforts with Naval Science and Technology's current and future workforce needs. Projects that improve the capacity of education systems and communities to create impactful STEM educational experiences for students. Applications are due March 30th, 2022.

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

The Westinghouse Charitable Giving Program provides financial support to communities in one or more strategic areas of giving including (1) education with a focus on STEM; (2) environment sustainability; and (3) community safety and vitality. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
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