May 29, 2024

This is your weekly newsletter featuring program spotlights, innovative resources, and training opportunities for the out-of-school-time industry in Florida. Together, we can ensure all children and youth in Florida have access to affordable, available, high-quality expanded learning opportunities to foster their success in school and beyond.

RESPONSES DUE FRIDAY: Help us help you! Take the Florida Afterschool Tools & Resources Survey

Make time to answer this brief survey (estimated time to complete is less than five minutes). The information you provide will allow us to make adjustments to the tools and resources we provide to help you be more informed and effective as afterschool educators. Respond and be entered into the raffle to win a $50 Amazon gift card.

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If you have an idea for an afterschool spotlight or would like to be featured, email Holly to help share your story!

YMCA of South Florida Receives $150,000 Grant to Provide 1,200 South Florida Youth Free Swim Lessons

The YMCA of South Florida received a grant for $150,000 from POOLCORP during an event at the Greater Hollywood YMCA Family Center pool. This grant will allow the YMCA of South Florida to provide at least 1,200 kids in South Florida free swim lessons, in addition to the 25,000 that it already offers annually. Swim lessons reduce the risk of drowning by 88% in 1–4-year-olds, emphasizing the importance of this life-changing skill.

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Afterschool is increasing digital opportunity: Here's how

Many afterschool programs offer spaces where youth, who might not have broadband access at home, can develop digital literacy outside of the school day, increasing digital access opportunities for both the youth and their communities. Even more important, though, is how afterschool programs intentionally provide youth opportunities and facilitation in productively interacting in digital spaces.

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'Never give up hope': Central Florida Boys & Girls Club recognize youth mental health awareness

Trauma, whether it's at home, school, or in the community, can take a toll on our kids. That’s why it’s so important they get help and hope. A block party in Parramore at the Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida Levy-Hughes Clubhouse focused on children’s mental health.

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After-school running program aimed at helping girls build confidence hosts 5k fundraiser

Girls on the Run is a nonprofit after-school program across the Tampa Bay area and the country. The programs serve girls from 3rd through 8th grade. The teams typically meet twice a week and use running as a tool to help the young girls develop their confidence, as well as social, emotional, and physical skills.

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It's time for school-age advocates to raise their voices in state plans

The state child care planning template for the next three years is out! From now until July 1, State Administrative Agencies will be determining how to spend over $12 billion annually in federal Child Care and Development Funds (CCDF) dedicated to helping eligible families find affordable, high-quality child care, afterschool, and summer programs for their children aged 0-13. 

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Meet Florida's 2024 Hunger Heroes

None of our work would be possible without the dedicated school nutrition staff who are on the ground and work tirelessly to support children and provide them with nutritious meals 365 days a year. We are grateful to support Florida Department of Agriculture’s School Lunch Hero campaign. Through this campaign we recognize and celebrate school nutrition staff’s commitment to ensuring kids are fed!

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Hot off the press: Spring Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review

The Afterschool STEM Hub, an initiative of the Afterschool Alliance, is happy to share the spring edition of our Afterschool STEM Quarterly Research Review newsletter with the afterschool community! In this edition, we highlight two articles - one focused on gender-equitable teaching practices and the other on infrastructural injustices in community-driven afterschool STEM. Both articles, which really dig into the intentionality of afterschool STEM programs and how that intention can either welcome more youth in or continue to keep them out, offer key insights for program practitioners, program leaders, funders, and policymakers. 

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Youth entrepreneurship camp geared for Northwest Jax teens

Youth Exposure Inc. will hold an eight-week camp for children and teens between 10 and 19 years old. Prescott says the camp will have workshops that explain entrepreneurship as well as introductory information about breaking into photography, T-shirt design, hair care and more. Florida has been the place where Black business owners have blossomed. Black entrepreneurship in Florida has increased faster than the nationwide average. 

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LEARNING FROM OTHERS: After-school program looking to offer boys hope, accountability

A non-profit has new tools to teach young men a strong work ethic. 

The “Victory Project” opened up a new spot on Oak Ridge Drive this year to further help the community.

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The 2024 Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest is open!

This year we're looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. The artwork does not have to be created specifically for the Lights On Afterschool Poster Contest, but it must represent afterschool. The winning artwork will be printed on more than 50,000 posters that will be displayed at more than 8,000 Lights On Afterschool events around the world. The winning artist will be featured on our website, blog, and a national press release, and their afterschool program will be credited on the poster in addition to receiving the grand prize of $500! Artwork is due Saturday, June 15!

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Register Here

Discover Engineering's "Chats with Change Makers" - Fredy Barrera Aguilar, Product Development Engineer at TE Connectivity

Webinar: Thursday, May 30 at 1PM

Does your out-of-school time (OST) program want to build belonging and engagement in interactive science learning? Project BRAINY is open to all OST programs that regularly provide learning opportunities to middle-school youth. Project Brainy is a six-session, neuroscience-based curriculum designed for OST programs. The curriculum enables middle-school students to build social-emotional skills, engage in interactive STEM learning, and increase literacy. Up to 20 youth-serving OST programs from across the U.S. will receive $1,500, training, and continuous support to implement Project BRAINY, a neuroscience, literacy, and SED-focused curriculum.

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Register Here

Workforce Supports for Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being in Out-of-School Time Webinar

Webinar: Thursday, May 30 at 3PM

Learn about state strategies, including collaboration to increase professional development opportunities and expand access to training and coaching for the out-of-school time workforce. Presenters will provide strategies and resources to support this work and will facilitate an interactive conversation with participants.

Register Here

Teens Lead in Computer Science

Webinar: Tuesday, June 4 from 12PM-1PM

Teens can develop a wide variety of interests and skills, including leadership by working or volunteering in out-of-school time computer science programs. Learn more about how teen leaders use their skills to lead computer science experiences and build meaningful relationships and help young people see themselves as computer scientists. Teen leaders are essential components of many 4-H programs across the US. Join this virtual workshop to learn more about how the 4-H experiential learning model helps young people grow and develop through these experiences.  This approach develops leadership and prepares young people to be the leaders, innovators and problem-solvers of our future.

Register Here

ACRES: Asking Purposeful Questions

Webinar: Thursdays: June 6, June 13, June 20 from 11AM-1PM

Florida After School has partnered with ACRES, a free coaching resource for out-of-school time providers and or programs, to provide two peer learning communities on Asking Purposeful Questions. ACRES strives is to guide educators or after-school staff with the knowledge and confidence to facilitate STEM in their after-school programs. Questions are the beginning of a path towards discover, 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 would like to grow in their practice in facilitating STEM learning within a supportive group of other educators. 

Register Here

Info Session about Micro-credentials and Digital Badging

Webinar: Thursday, June 6 from 4PM-5PM

ACRES (Afterschool Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM) is excited to offer additional Information Sessions about STEM micro-credentials, which are competency-based, digital badges for afterschool and out-of-school professionals offered through the National Afterschool Association. These sessions are free, live, interactive, and one hour in length.  You will learn about what Micro-credentials are and how to apply for them.

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN! We are a recognized leader for providing high-quality professional learning experiences that are timely, relevant, and engaging. Join us in October for our annual conference as we convene at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Get ready for fresh ideas for youth engagement, strategies for business and staff development, and tools for local advocacy. Learn more about what to expect here.

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2024 Afterschool Professional of the Year!

Out-of-school time professionals play an important role in the lives of the children and youth they serve and they deserve recognition and support! Who from your afterschool program is a super star and deserves to be recognized? Help us find the "2024 Florida Afterschool Professional of the Year." Nominate your local afterschool super star today!

Nominations are due Monday, June 17, 2024.

Nomination Form




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