Friday, December 5, 2014


By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
For those who are attending the How Kids Learn IV conference next week, you are invited to participate in real time through social media using the hashtag, #HKL4. Use this hashtag when posting your comments and photos. For those not attending, you can still register or peak in by clicking the hashtag on any of your social media accounts. 

Follow us on: 
Instagram: @LIASproject
- Twitter: @LearninginAS
- Facebook:

We interviewed our social media expert, Max Piha, and you can find his answers to a couple of our questions below. 

Q: What does the hashtag do? 
Max Piha
A: Hashtags are used to group content regarding a common topic. When clicked on, you will be taken to a feed of all other posts that include the given hashtag. For example, see the posts that included hashtag #HKL3 from last year's conference: - This year we want to have as many posts with #HKL4 as possible so that during and after the conference, people can go back and see who was at HKL4, who was speaking, what the workshops looked like, etc.

Q: To follow #HKL4 on Twitter, do I need a Twitter account? If so, how do I get that?  
A: You do not need a Twitter account to view the feed of all posts under the hashtag. You can just click on to follow the feed. But in order to add to the feed, you will need to set up an account.

Q: If I want to view photos from the HKL conference on Instagram, do I need an account or only a link? 
A: Public Instagram accounts can be seen by anyone. Take for example. Anyone can see my profile, but in order to follow me, anyone else, leave comments, like photos, post photos etc., they will need an account.

Q: There is growing interest in using social media for non-profit work. What do you think is the most effective use?
A: I think there are a variety of uses, but most importantly, giving your organization an outward facing, fun, social appearance, plus getting in touch with partners and like-minded people and organizations/brands.

Q: If I want to use social media for my non-profit work, what questions should I consider first? 
A: Determine how much time a week are you willing to dedicate towards social media. Also, how much money, if any, are you willing to spend on advertisements or agency/consultant level help to get you started or to run completely.

Max Piha graduated from the University of Washington with a major in communications and a minor in Spanish. He serves as a Temescal Associate responsible for the design of our digital badges and the use of social media. Max is also a very successful club DJ, using the name DJ Mackswell, and you can view his work and hear unique mixes by going to this link:

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Worth Checking Out: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris on the Affects of Childhood Stress

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
As we learn more about how children learn and what kinds of learning is needed, there is a growing number of radio, television, and film specials that address these issues. We will periodically pass these on to our readers to support their growing knowledge. 

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is a pediatrician who serves families in the Bayview district of San Francisco. She is also founder and CEO of Center for Youth Wellness (CYW). She has earned international attention for her innovative approach to addressing adverse childhood experiences as a risk factor for adult disease such as heart disease and cancer. Her work has demonstrated that it’s time to reassess the relationship between poverty, child development and health. More recently, she has spoken about "Toxic Stress" and its affect on child development. 

 Dr. Nadine Burke Harris
Photo courtesy of
Dr. Burke Harris has given fascinating interviews on this topic to KQED. Below are audio and video links to hear and view her interviews. 

Study Links Childhood Trauma to Adult Depression, Physical Ailments (November 2014) 

S.F. Pediatrician on How ‘Toxic Stress’ Affects Children’s Health, Education (February 2014)

First Person: Dr. Nadine Burke (February 2011) 

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Join us at How Kids Learn IV

Monday, November 17, 2014

How Kids Learn IV: Character Building, Social Emotional Learning, and Educational Equity

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
We are excited to see our many afterschool and summer program colleagues at the upcoming How Kids Learn IV conference. We are also excited about our many presenters and workshop leaders who will focus on character building, social emotional learning, and educational equity. 

We are pleased to announce two new speaker sessions: 
  • Kwame Jerry Williams is a group facilitator, drummer, and storyteller at Alchemy, Inc. in Ohio. Jerry and Alchemy, Inc. are featured in a new documentary, Finding the Gold Within, which had its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Kwame Jerry Williams in Finding the Gold Within
Photo courtesy of Karina Films

  • Blanca Burciaga and Benjamin Gonzalez, Jr., youth from Oakland Leaf Foundation, will offer their perspective on our topics. They will be supported by Alex Vila. 

Left: Benjamin Gonzalez, Jr. | Right: Blanca Burciaga

This conference will be attended by youth program leaders, afterschool funders, 10 of California's 11 Regional Leads, 18 staff members from the After School Division at the California Department of Education, and many more. A few tickets are still available. Visit to see a full list of speakers and to register for the conference. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Long History of Afterschool in America: Who Knew?

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
Last month, many participated in a national campaign to raise awareness among outsiders of the valuable contribution of afterschool programs in the Lights On celebration. However, it is important that insiders - aftereschool leaders and workers -  know that afterschool has deep and colorful roots in American history. It is a unique institution and every afterschool leader and worker should be literate on its history. 

Robert Halpern
For more than two decades, I have been creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations to afterschool stakeholders across the country. The most popular presentation, regardless of attendees, was a history of afterschool inspired by a book, Making Play Work by Robert Halpern. 

After every presentation, youth workers and program leaders came up to me to say things like, "That was great! It's good to know that I belong to something larger than just an afterschool program - I am participating in continuing the long history that we learned about. Who knew?". The people who were most energized were young afterschool workers!  

I recently placed these History of Afterschool slides on the web-based Slideshare, which have attracted over 500 views (see 3 of the slides above). You can also access the narrative here

I urge you all to read Robert Halpern's book and to share these slides and narrative with program staff and other afterschool stakeholders.