Tuesday, March 2, 2021

How Do I Use Kidpower If I am Distance Learning?

By Guest Blogger Annika Prager, Go Girls!

Annika Prager, GoGirls!

Thank you to Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International for permission to use portions of their exceptional safety and empowerment programs in this post and in GoGirls programs. Kidpower is the global nonprofit leader in ‘People Safety’ education – an international movement of leaders reaching millions of people of all ages, abilities, genders, identities, and walks of life with effective, culturally-competent interpersonal and social safety skills. To learn more, visit https://kidpower.org

Here are some tips on how to use all the Kidpower safety powers that we've taught this summer at Go Girls! at Home to help with the Back-To-School transition. 


This Fall you may be meeting with youth participants on Zoom or Google Classroom or maybe the program is engaged in hybrid learning (a mix of online and in-person). No matter what your Back-To-School plans look like these tips will help youth stay safe and have more fun this fall!

Calm and Confident Bodies: Paying attention to Zoom or Google Classroom can be so challenging. Doing school and afterschool from home is not as easy as it may sound. If your youth are anything like me, they probably find themselves getting distracted by every little thing. This is a time when they can use Calm and Confident Bodies. Calm and Confident Bodies means sitting upright with a straight back and head held high. It also means taking a deep breath when they need it. Invite your participants to try to return to their Calm and Confident Body when needed.

Source: Kidpower

Awareness Power: Awareness Power means being “aware” of your feelings! It can mean being aware of how your body, mind, and spirit are feeling. During online learning, you can invite your youth to use this power to help them notice what their body needs. Maybe they need a break? Maybe they need to stand up and stretch? Maybe they need help from a grown-up because their Zoom screen froze? Only they know what they need. At GoGirls Camp, we teach our participants that they have the power to ask for help when they need it.

Mouth Closed Power: When we are in-person, or sometimes even over video, Mouth Closed Power is a reminder to press your top lip against your bottom lip. This power can help youth remember to only speak when it is their turn. It can also help them pause and not say mean words that will make a problem bigger. Mouth Closed Power can even help them remember to take a breath and return to their Calm and Confident Bodies. But what does all this have to do with Back-To-School in a pandemic? Easy! Mouth Closed Power is that little button on the bottom of the screen that says “Mute/Unmute.” They can use this Zoom or Google Classroom feature in all the same ways they would use Mouth Closed Power in-person!

STOP! Power: We always have the power to say “Stop.” From wherever they are, youth can practice building a fence with their hands and saying stop. Beautiful! STOP! Power is perhaps the most powerful of all powers! Instructing your youth to use a loud and proud voice will ensure that others know to bother them less and believe them more. Just because they may be social distancing or distance learning does not mean that their powers are weaker. In fact, they are more important than ever. You can remind your youth participants they have the power to say “STOP,” they have the power to say “Please stop I don’t like that,” and they have the power to say “Stop or I will ask for adult help!”

Source: GoGirls Camp!

Walk Away Power: Last but not least, your youth can still use their Walk Away Power even when distance learning. Walk Away Power means getting the space they need when a safety problem arises. It can mean literally moving out of reach or it can mean turning off their camera or the chat feature to distance themselves from a safety problem. Remind youth they always have the power to ask help from an adult. 

As schools prepare to re-open, afterschool program staff need to consider the experiences of youth who have been away from school and their friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know these vary greatly depending on family income and racial/ ethnic background. What are young people's needs? What should we, as afterschool staff, do to help youth thrive when they return to afterschool programs post COVID? How might we build back school and program culture and a sense of "family" spirit and connection in our afterschool programs? Join Stu Semigran and a panel of afterschool program experts to learn how best to help youth thrive as they return to school and afterschool. To get more information and to register for our next Speaker's Forum, click here.

Annika Prager (they/them) has been with GoGirls Camp! for four Summers. Annika is currently studying Theatre and Women & Gender Studies at Hunter College. When they aren’t teaching at GoGirls Camp, Annika is directing, designing, writing, and acting in plays. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Youth Voice: On Race and Ethnicity

By Sam Piha

Source: Adobe

Now more than ever, people across the country are engaged in discussions about race, ethnicity and equity. While February is Black History Month, we wanted to learn more about recent history- the reflection of young adults on their experience with race and ethnicity in America. 

We invited a group of young people enrolled in a local community college class, focused on race issues in America, to answer a few questions. We asked about their early experiences with racial and ethnic differences and how those early experiences shaped them. Below are some of their responses. 

"I grew up in a town which has a very diverse population, so my early experiences with racial and ethnic differences were abundant and positive. Starting at age 5, I played soccer where I was introduced to many families from different racial and ethnic backgrounds. My supportive and hard- working parents raised me to not judge people by the color of their skin or their ethnic background, so I was able to interact with people based on their actions or how they treated others. As I grew up, I continued to learn about other cultures and I became more interested in various international areas."

"My early experiences with racial and ethnic differences really started when I transferred to another high school where I felt like a fish out of water. In all my classes, I was the only person who was mixed race. Being biracial, I would get looks of curiosity or people would ask, 'What are you?' I always hated when people would ask me that because I would always wonder if people thought different of me. My core group of friends were Latino. Since I am half Latino, we could relate on that, but I learned that we had different cultures, holidays and eat different foods. I felt more comfortable with them because they never judged me about being biracial. When I joined the Black Student Union at my high school, the teacher and some of the students would say, 'I’m not black enough' or that 'I was whitewashed' because of the place I was raised.

These early experiences shaped me into the person I am today by making me very comfortable with who I am, a strong biracial woman. In my early years, I was almost ashamed of being biracial and not being able to connect with a specific group. Now with everything that is going on in the news, like Black Lives Matter, I see the importance in embracing who I am as a person of mixed race. I see that a person doesn’t need to specifically connect with a group just because they are the same race but being able to connect with them because they don’t judge who you are and the actions you take."     

"Middle school was definitely harder because people were comparing themselves to each other and were less tolerant of individuals who were different. There were times when people said things about those in my race or other races, but this helped me to be kinder to others and tolerant. People have physical and cultural differences, but it’s the kind of person they are on the inside that really matters."

Source: Edutopia

"My early experiences with racial and ethnic differences began when I was in 5th grade and could start to realize what were the differences between me and other students. An experience I could remember was when in class I was being accused of something I didn’t do and when everyone else pointed out the person who did do it, the teacher was in denial because they saw the other kid as innocent because 'that’s not in him to do, and not in his nature.' When I started to figure out what she meant, I realized that people of color are targeted at an early age."

"My mom raised my brother and I in an environment that was very diverse so we wouldn't have to experience racism as children. When she finally tried to teach us about racial differences and the history of racism, we didn't believe a word. Instead, my brother and I were actually upset; we thought our mother was racist for acknowledging the differences between races, for we saw everyone the same. We sat and argued with her, so sure that 'those kinds of things don't happen anymore,' and 'no one cares about that stuff like they used to,' not because it held truth, but because it was something we genuinely believed. As I started to get older and my knowledge grew, so did the people around me. Kids I’d gone to school with since elementary became more curious and more vocal about each other's differences."  

"As someone wearing Hijab (headscarf) to represent my religion and modesty, I have seen people looking at me and treating me differently. It is challenging to live in a place where people think of me differently from other individuals. However, seeing minorities experiencing racial differences makes me stronger in different aspects. It makes me stronger in an encouraging way. It reminds me that I have a chance to prove them wrong for wrongfully hating us. My parents always taught me not to let racial discrimination or other issues in my life stop me from being who I strive to be. I was taught that if I have a chance to make a difference, nothing should stop me from achieving it. As an immigrant, I have an opportunity to prove to individuals that race doesn't affect whether someone can be successful."

"My first experiences with racial and ethnic differences was when I was younger and I would visit my sister’s house. My sister lived in a predominantly white town, and I lived in a predominantly Latino town. Her town was very quiet and everyone was in bed by 9 P.M. In my neighborhood the noise never stopped. It felt like being an outcast to be in her town because when people there saw a person of color, they often liked to stare.

Another time I experienced an aspect of being different was when my parents divorced. At first, I tried to hide it, but it was inevitable that people would find out. I didn't want to be seen as different. However, when people found out, such as students and teachers, I noticed I was treated a little differently at first. Teachers were more lenient accepting late work. My peers would avoid talking about their family outings around me. These experiences have shaped me into the person I am today because I learned that racism is not in the past and it still exists."

"My early experiences with racial and ethnic differences were good. As a kid, I grew up and went to school with people of all backgrounds and everyone got along. I thought of kids that looked different than me in class as just other fellow humans, not categorized as a different alien race. I still carry this mindset with me today as it feels easier on the mind because of its simplicity. In my opinion, if you try to simplify everything around your environment and not complicate things, it’s easier to achieve bliss."

"I’ve had a bit of a negative experience with dealing with differences such as caste. My family are Sikhs and part of the 'Jatt' caste (a farmer caste). My parents can sometimes look down upon other Sikhs that they would consider are part of a lower caste. I tell them to abolish this caste notion, that it’s outdated now that we’re in America. They don’t listen to me and still keep their biased view of thinking. These early experiences shaped me to be more welcoming of others and view everyone as a fellow human."

As schools prepare to re-open, afterschool program staff need to consider the experiences of youth who have been away from school and their friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know these vary greatly depending on family income and racial/ ethnic background. What are young people's needs? What should we, as afterschool staff, do to help youth thrive when they return to afterschool programs post COVID? How might we build back school and program culture and a sense of "family" spirit and connection in our afterschool programs? Join Stu Semigran and a panel of afterschool program experts to learn how best to help youth thrive as they return to school and afterschool. To get more information and to register for our next Speaker's Forum, click here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

2021: Expectations from Afterschool Leaders

By Sam Piha

Source: jackuldrich.com
In a recent blog we shared responses from afterschool workers on their lessons and take-aways from a turbulent 2020. Below we asked two respected leaders in the afterschool field, Dale Blyth (University of Minnesota) and Stu Semigran (EduCare Foundation), to look forward and share their thoughts regarding 2021. 

Can you name one challenge that we will face in 2021? 

Stu Semigran

"One major challenge will be the essential need for students and staff to reconnect and reestablish their relationships with one another and with their school community as a whole.  We will be faced with how to effectively process all that has taken place... for us individually, within our families, our communities, and our nation.  There will be attention needed on addressing trauma and concerns about learning loss.  There will be a need for deep listening and increased sensitivity to how individuals are doing, along with a boost of vitality, enthusiasm, and a strong sense of purpose as reassuring adults and positive role models." – Stu Semigran

Dr. Dale Blyth
"Uniting the many different parts of the youth sector and community youth programs so that we are able to be both more visible to the community as necessary not just nice and more powerful in creating learning and development opportunities that matter in these challenging times and complement and expand beyond those schools can offer." – Dale Blyth

Can you name one opportunity that you see in 2021? 

"These same challenges can be turned into uplifting and exciting opportunities that are in front of us in afterschool in 2021.  Within EduCare, we are actively developing our "return to school" (3Rs- Reconnect- Reinspire- Reignite learning) model for high school students returning back onto school sites hopefully in early 2021. The intent is to provide essential mental health support and social-emotional skills development while reestablishing a positive school culture that assists students restore themselves, renew their relationships, and step forward into learning." – Stu Semigran   

"I believe learning and development, both how important they are and how hard they are to do intentionally, has dramatically increased as a result of 2020. The opportunity for afterschool in 2021 is to position itself as a viable, valuable and versatile place where such learning and development can and is being done." – Dale Blyth

Source: eenews.net

What do you think we should be thinking about as we look forward to a new presidential administration?

"With the possibility of broader government support for social causes such as afterschool and expanded learning, we need to keep building our collective voices and advocacy for the essential increased funding for expanded learning programs." – Stu Semigran

"I think now is the time to push for a significant children and youth cabinet with a lead "czar" that focuses on what is best for the learning and development of children and youth in America. the type of people and places where real, forward thinking policy and practices might be promoted and resourced. Such a cabinet and czar needs to explicitly recognize and engage families but also child care and youth development programs in the community. A focus on all adults, all settings, and all approaches to learning and development in a strength- based approach." – Dale Blyth

As schools prepare to re-open, afterschool program staff need to consider the experiences of youth who have been away from school and their friends due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We know these vary greatly depending on family income and racial/ ethnic background. What are young people's needs? What should we, as afterschool staff, do to help youth thrive when they return to afterschool programs post COVID? How might we build back school and program culture and a sense of "family" spirit and connection in our afterschool programs? Join Stu Semigran and a panel of afterschool program experts to learn how best to help youth thrive as they return to school and afterschool. To get more information and to register for our next Speaker's Forum, click here.

Stu Semigran is the co-founder and president of EduCare Foundation and the executive director of EduCare’s ACE (Achievement and Commitment to Excellence) Student Success Program. Currently serving more than 45 high schools and middle schools in Southern California, EduCare also is the grant manager for the ASSETs after school programs at 17 LAUSD Beyond the Bell high schools and 1 middle school. Over 30,000 students are served each year through EduCare afterschool and youth development programs.

Dr. Dale Blyth is a senior research consultant and advisor who recently retired as Extension Professor in the College of Education & Human Development at the University of Minnesota where he served as the Howland Endowed Chair in Youth Development Leadership and Senior Research Fellow with the Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement. For 15 years he served as Associate Dean directing the Center for Youth Development. The Center was home for the Minnesota 4-H Program, the Youth Work Institute, Youth Community Connections (then the statewide Mott network), and conducting applied research and evaluation. Recently he led an initiative to advance social & emotional learning outcomes. He serves on several community, state and national groups related to out of school time, data systems, and youth development.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

The History of Black History Month

By Sam Piha

February is Black History Month. It celebrates the history and accomplishments of African Americans. It is especially important in the growing awareness of police brutality and systemic racism.

Even though the national recognition of Black History Month began in 1976, few people know about the history of Black History Month. According to a recent article published in Education Week, by  , “Many accept Black History Month as a special time of year, yet few recognize the role African American teachers played in establishing and popularizing this tradition during Jim Crow. Originally founded in 1926 as Negro History Week by the famed educator and groundbreaking historian Carter G. Woodson, Black History Month is the product of Black teachers’ long-standing intellectual and political struggles." 

Those who have no record of what their forebears have accomplished, lose the inspiration which comes from the teaching of biography and history.” – Carter G. Woodson

The article continues, "Woodson was particularly interested in using Negro History Week to infuse students’ learning with critical knowledge about racial domination as well as the long traditions of Black resistance and achievement. Negro History Week quickly became a cultural norm in Black segregated schools. According to surveys conducted by Black educator and journalist Thomas L. Dabney in 1934, it was celebrated in more than 80 percent of those high schools by the mid-1930s.” 

Read the full article here.

These educators insisted on the importance of providing students with cultural armor to repudiate the racial myths reflected in the nation’s laws, social policies, and American curriculum.” – Jarvis R. Givens

Young people may respond positively to discussion about African American people who are making important contributions to society today. For instance, the scientist who is leading the fight against COVID-19, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett. To learn more, click here to view a report on Dr. Corbett by CBS News.

Source: CBS News

Source: Glamour
Many of us do not need to travel very far to find Black History treasures in our own backyard. For instance,  is the oldest, living Park Ranger who gives presentations on her early experience as an African American in the Bay Area at Richmond's Rosie the Riveter Museum. A video of Soskin can be viewed here or you can read more about her here.

Below are websites that offer photographs, facts and videos dedicated to Black History Month:
Carter G. Woodson was an American historian, author, journalist, and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. He was one of the first scholars to study the history of the African diaspora, including African-American history. A founder of The Journal of Negro History in 1916, Woodson has been called the "father of black history". In February 1926 he launched the celebration of "Negro History Week", the precursor of Black History Month.

Jarvis R. Givens is an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) and the Suzanne Young Murray Assistant Professor at the Radcliffe Institute, having earned his Ph.D. in African Diaspora Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. As an interdisciplinary historian, Givens' research falls at the intersection of the history of American education, 19th and 20th century African American history, and critical theories of race and schooling. 

Dr. Kizzmekia S. Corbett is a research fellow and the scientific lead for the Coronavirus Vaccines & Immunopathogenesis Team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Vaccine Research Center (VRC).  A viral immunologist by training, Dr. Corbett uses her expertise to propel novel vaccine development for pandemic preparedness. In all, she has 15 years of expertise studying dengue virus, respiratory syncytial virus, influenza virus and coronaviruses. Along with her research activities, Dr. Corbett is an active member of the NIH Fellows Committee and avid advocator of STEM education and vaccine awareness in the community.

Betty Reid Soskin is the oldest National Park Ranger, serving at the Rosie the Riveter World War II/Home Front National Historical Park in Richmond, California. During World War II, she worked as a file clerk for the African-American local of the International Boilermakers Union in Richmond. She later served as a field representative for California State Assemblywomen Dion Aroner and Loni Hancock. As of 2021, Soskin is still employed as a park ranger with the National Park Service, and conducts park tours and serves as an interpreter, explaining the park's purpose, history, various sites, and museum collections to park visitors.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

VOICES FROM THE FIELD: Lessons and Take-Aways from 2020

By Sam Piha 

Between the COVID-19 pandemic, school closures, police shootings and the calls for racial justice, 2020 was a very difficult year. We asked people from the afterschool community to share any lessons or take-aways they've gained from this crazy year. Below are some of the responses we received. You can read all the response here.

Expanded Learning plays a vital role in the continuity of education during this time of pandemic, not only by providing staffing for a wide variety of educational configurations for distance learning, Expanded Learning is in a unique position to offering programming and learning experiences that not only address racial issues and equality, but gender issues and equality, marginalized groups and equality and Social Emotional Learning as whole. One take away is the need to identify more clearly the demographics that make up the Expanded Learning Field, who works in expanded Learning from a race perspective, gender perspective, cultural perspective, orientation perspective and so on.” -Director Expanded Learning, Los Angeles County, CA

Distance learning was good in that it showed us 1) How poorly many teachers support student learning and SEL development; 2) Online learning apps are not the panacea; 3) Educational bureaucracies get bogged down in regulations and labor rules. When this happens, resourced families and CBO's are able to overcome barriers to effectively serve students; 4) teacher-parent/caregiver communication has to improve even post-COVID.” -CEO Youth Service Non-profit, Alameda and Santa Clara County, CA

I think our organization has learned the important lesson of really listening to the community and developing plans that work for them! Flexibility and patience are key.” -Youth Worker, Harris County, TX

When the pandemic began, I was an Elementary School Assistant Principal. I was tasked with providing support to teachers as well as families in our at- home learning model that was not yet virtual. From the beginning our goal was to ensure student and family safety and well- being. What we all quickly learned is what we always knew, school is not just a building that students attend to learn curriculum. Our schools are the center of our communities and when they closed, we quickly rallied to ensure we did not miss a beat providing families with the support they needed to grow and nurture our students. During the pandemic, I was transitioned to a district level administrator working in Education Services as the Coordinator of Student Services. In this position I have several responsibilities that support the learning happening in schools but shifted my focus from curriculum and instruction, which had been my focus for my 15 year career, to supporting the social and emotional well- being of our students, families, teachers, and community. My role includes a focus on attendance, supporting the counseling departments, implementing professional learning with restorative practice, PBIS and focus SEL lessons, run the daily operations of the district community center and guide the work of the district and site nurses, the district social worker, and the community and site- based family liaisons. Through these interactions my takeaways are that in order to focus on teaching and learning the curriculum it is most important we meet the mental and physical well- being needs of not only our students, but our families and communities as a whole. My ability to be a strong instructional leader has only been strengthened by my understanding that stakeholder needs extend outside the classroom and the four walls of the school building.” -Coordinator of Student Services, Los Angeles County, CA

Have a fluid plan to help address new needs as they come. Work closely with partners to help meet the needs of the whole child and address needs specific to the community.” -Director of Programs, Los Angeles County, CA

Don't be afraid to try new ways of doing things and try and try again. Get ideas and reflections form the students you are serving. Don't under- estimate the tool that continued zoom meetings have on all participants. Take care to balance your time between work and home. Hold high expectations where necessary and let less important things go.” -Executive Director Youth Serving Non-Profit, CA

My take- away from 2020 would be thankful for my finances that saved me from having hard times. Be thankful for a job. My main take away is even though we marched for racial justice, until the cops who kill us black men are charged and sentenced, we still have a long way to go.” -EXLP Coordinator, Solano County, CA

The year taught us to put ourselves in a position where we must be more understanding, more flexible, and ready to expect and appreciate anything that comes our way. Working with kids has taught me that even they are having their own struggles, but they are willing to cooperate and put in the effort to be where they want to be. There are so many connections and differences we can make in their lives even if it is through a screen!” -After School Program Tutor, Fresno County, CA

Take-aways include needing to master better ways to have discussions about systemic racism and how to be anti-racist without stoking contentious anger...” -Youth Worker, Stanislaus, CA

I think the biggest take away for the year is to remember to appreciate what you have. Whether it's your family, your kids, your house, your job, friendships, relationships, love, nature, health, time... Appreciate it all. I know I've come to appreciate much more over this past year. Life goes too fast. Slow it down and enjoy it.”  -Program Coordinator, Fulton County, New York

Constantly adapt. Our staff members are outstanding. Love and connection are our strengths.” -Executive Director Youth Service Non-Profit, Mendocino County, CA

We are resilient; however, we need time to heal and mend. In 2017, we had the Oroville Dam crisis. In 2018, we had the Wall Fire. In 2018, we had the Camp Fire. In 2020, we had the North Complex Fire. Not to mention the COVID Pandemic. We are strong, dedicated and determined to serve our students and families with positivity and gratitude.” -Director of Expanded Learning, Butte County, CA

The lessons and take-aways for me, from 2020 are these: 1) put people first, focus on relationships; so many relationships have been fractured this year leaving people vulnerable and isolated. Our field excels at relationship-building we should be operating from our strengths and centering relationships, ensuring that staff have the necessary supports, tools and time to do so. 2) Funders can really make the difference between whether an organization not only survives but thrives in the coming year; they should focus on building and strengthening organizational capacity in a number of ways.” -President of Afterschool Training Organization, Philadelphia County, PA

We used to mistakenly think that success is the amount of time you put in at work. However, 2020 taught us that success is the quality of time we put in.” -Afterschool Coordinator, Solano County, CA

Relationships rule!” -Program Administrator, Alameda County, CA

Both personally and professionally, I've had two major takeaways from the year that was 2020. The first is that, as humans, connection with others is vital to our continued growth and development. The second lesson I learned is that we have to overcome the instinct to be fearful and engage in difficult and courageous conversations - with family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and leaders.” -Associate Executive Director/National Program Director, San Francisco Bay Area, CA

We have seen how many classrooms have tried to operate as they used to before the pandemic, employing the same curriculum but through distance learning. As afterschool programs, we cannot ignore the world around us. Our work is intricately tied to the issues, concerns, and ideas around us. We have to address and incorporate the current climate into our work with children. We cannot go on "business as usual," trying to hold on to old norms. We are skilled at adapting and meeting the needs, requirements, and new guidelines, coming from all directions, placed on us. We have been doing the work throughout the pandemic and have experience to share with those who'd care to listen.” -Assistant Afterschool Director, Contra Costa County, CA

The pandemic has laid bare that all our systems from education to healthcare to sustainability and every other system we live under are cracked at their foundations. Care for each other will be the starting point to reimagine new systems based on love and equity.” -Co-Director, National Afterschool Training Organization, USA

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

When There are Disturbing Events that Fill the Airwaves...

By Sam Piha

Source: cnn.com

When there are disturbing events that fill the airwaves, it is important that caregivers have resources to guide them on how to talk to young people about these events, and how to turn to self- care. Below are some resources that caregivers, including teachers, afterschool workers and parents, may find helpful.


Brooke Anderson is a Bay Area organizer and photojournalist. In the interest of self-care, she developed 6 Daily Quarantine Questions, which she expands on in detail in her article from Greater Good Magazine.  

Source: Greater Good Magazine

Source: samanthasbell.com

Temescal Associates and The How Kids Learn Foundation launched the My Pal, Luke project. My Pal, Luke features a virtual, talking comfort dog who promotes social emotional learning through his words and questions, including a “feelings” check-in with young children. Luke reads his favorite books with kids and educates them on how to make sense of current events. 

I am a clinical child psychologist and I've watched how Covid-19 has presented so many challenges for children and their parents. What children never forget how to do is play, even in the toughest of circumstances. And My Pal, Luke helps them do exactly that, with the added benefit of soothing and educating our children who are now pandemic on-line learners. What a great gift to all of us." - Dr. Diane Ehrensaft, Ph.D., Developmental and Clinical                                          Psychologist


Source: theconversation.com
Caregivers are struggling on how to best talk to young people about the historical significance of the violence that erupted in Washington D.C. on January 6th, 2021, when supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol building and disrupted the Congressional certification of Joe Biden's presidential victory. Below are some resources. The first is one that offers questions for different age groups and is available in English and Spanish.
More resources provided by EdSource are cited below:

  • Dr. Alyssa Hadley-Dunn, associate professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University and founder of Teaching on the Days After: Dialogue & Resources for Educating Toward Justice offers resources to help educators teach about the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
  • The American Historical Association has launched "The Assault on the Capitol in Historical Perspective: Resources for Educators." The site offers historical knowledge to help understand the current crisis.
  • Teachers on Twitter at #sschat are sharing lessons about the lessons they are teaching on the attack. Teacher Brianna Davis from Camarillo offers this lesson. Sam Mandeville of New Hampshire is sharing this @PearDeck lesson.
  • PBS NewsHour Extra is offering three ways to teach the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
  • The American Federation of Teachers' Share My Lesson website has been updated with information to help teachers facilitate meaningful discussions about the attack on the Capitol with their students.
  • Larry Ferlazzo, a Sacramento City Unified teacher with a popular blog on teaching, has posted "Ways to teach about today's insurrection."

Below are resources provided by the California Afterschool Network (CAN):


The 4-H Organization writes, “Being able to help young people understand topics such as racism, implicit biases, and discrimination requires facilitating difficult conversations and providing youth with information that will help them to learn and grow… Both adults and youth must challenge themselves to learn and grow through these conversations to be better prepared for a more culturally, racially, and ethnically diverse world.” 

To this end, 4-H’s Program Leaders Working Group developed Just in Time Equity Dialogues for Youth: Lessons Designed to Foster Honest Conversations with Youth About Social Justice Issues. They also published Supplemental Resources which offers resources, readings and other relevant content to support guide use. 


It is important to note that there continues to be a proliferation of partisan news sources peddling deeply skewed or even inaccurate information that has helped fuel conspiracy theories and other harmful perceptions of the integrity of U.S. elections. Below is a resource to help educators prepare their youth for deciphering fake news:

Brooke Anderson 
is a Bay Area-based organizer and photojournalist. She has spent 20 years building movements for social, economic, racial, and ecological justice. She is a proud union member of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, CWA 39521, and AFL-CIO. She’s on Twitter and Instagram at @movementphotographer.
Dr. Diane Ehrensaft
is a developmental and clinical psychologist, Director of Mental Health at the Child and Adolescent Gender Center and Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco. She has been a frequent contributor to our LIAS blog and the How Kids Learn conference. You can review her blog responses here and view a video presentation here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Best of 2020

By Sam Piha

This last year (2020) has been a difficult one, due to in part the needed calls for racial justice, a divisive election and the COVID-19 pandemic. You can click here to see how we worked to respond to these issues. Throughout 2020 Temescal Associates and The How Kids Learn Foundation have posted over 50 blogs, some featuring the words of guest bloggers and interviews with afterschool leaders. We also released a number of papers and new initiatives. Below are some of our favorites from 2020.


Blog Interviews

Guest Blogs


Speaker’s Forums/ Webinars- In partnership with the EduCare Foundation


  • My Pal, Luke: This project is designed to promote  social- emotional learning through his words and questions, including a check-in with kids. Luke also reads his favorite books and educates kids on how to make sense of current events and the COVID-19 pandemic. It can be easily embedded in distance learning efforts or used with in- person programming. To watch episodes of My Pal, Luke, click here.

How Do I Use Kidpower If I am Distance Learning?

By Guest Blogger Annika Prager, Go Girls! Annika Prager, GoGirls! Thank you to Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International for permission to ...