Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Programs Hungry for Recognition; Youth Ready to Weigh In

By Sam Piha

Sam Piha
Kim Boyer, Executive Director
Central Valley
Afterschool Foundation
Over the last few months, I've been honored to work with a dedicated group of afterschool advocates in Fresno, CA. This group included Kim Boyer (Central Valley Afterschool Foundation), Lori Carr (Fresno County Office of Education), Adam Valencia and Diane Wilcock (Tulare County Office of Education), Johannes Troost (California Department of Education - After School Division), Mike Snell (California Teaching Fellows Foundation), and Corey Newhouse (Public Profit). This group came together to donate their time to launch a program to acknowledge older youth afterschool programs that were well aligned with the  Learning in Afterschool & Summer (LIAS) learning principles with the awards coming in the form of digital badges.
Lori Carr, Fresno County
Office of Education

Now that the project is nearly complete, we asked them what stood out in conducting this effort. There were three themes: 1) programs are more than willing to put in some extra work if it will result in their being recognized for the good work they do;  2) young people are more than willing to take their time to observe and give feedback on the practices of afterschool programs; and 3) young people have plenty to say about what they consider as quality programs. 

Sharon Arce (Afterschool Program Site Coordinator)
 and Margo Perkins (Principal), Coalinga High


Brad Lupien, Co-President
ARC
Thanks to Brad Lupien and ARC for providing a one-day leadership retreat for those youth who observed and scored afterschool programs on their alignment to the LIAS learning principles. This may have been the first time in California that older youth have been involved in assessing the quality of older youth programs alongside local afterschool leaders. 

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