Tuesday, March 31, 2020

We Need to Save Afterschool and Our Non-profits

By Sam Piha

We can't stop educating the public and policy makers on the value of afterschool and our non-profit providers.

SAVE OUR NON-PROFITS: Congress has ignored the non-profit sector as they consider the COVID-19 Stimulus Package. Read more.
Source: Council of Non-profits

FEDERAL FUNDING FOR AFTERSCHOOL: Once again, the current Presidential administration is proposing a federal budget calling for the elimination of funds for afterschool and summer learning programs for 1.7 million young people. Policymakers in the House and Senate have the power to decide whether local afterschool and summer learning programs will receive the funds they need to remain open.

Tell your members of Congress to protect the programs America's children and families rely on, and invite a policy maker to visit an afterschool program. Also, participate in the next Lights On Afterschool event.
Source: www.afterschoolnetwork.org

Below are some resources to learn more:
Below are some resources for California programs:

Thursday, March 26, 2020

SURVEY: Afterschool Program Responses to COVID-19 Prevention Efforts

By Sam Piha

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, afterschool and youth programs are having to quickly adjust. This survey was developed to gather information and share the results back with providers, afterschool leaders, advocates and funders. We estimate that this survey will take about 8 minutes to complete. We greatly appreciate you taking the time to complete this survey. Please complete before April 9, 2020.
Source: www.marketingland.com

FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS TO YOUR COLLEAGUES AND AFTERSCHOOL NETWORKS. (Note: Since things are very fluid, we may send out another survey later in the year.)


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Online Resources for Remote Staff Development

By Sam Piha

With the COVID-19 prevention efforts, afterschool programs may be looking for resources and ideas that staff could use online and remotely. Below are some no cost resources that we have developed that may be useful.

History of Afterschool in America Documentary:
This 60- minute documentary can be streamed online. We also have related resources, such as a learning guide, that can be used to support staff development.

Learning in Afterschool & Summer Learning Principles:
This short video offers interviews with national afterschool researchers and leaders on the LIAS Learning Principles. It can be streamed online.

Brief Presentations by Afterschool Leaders:
These brief video presentations from prior How Kids Learn conferences (including Shawn Ginwright, Gil Noam, Karen Pittman, Jodi Grant and more) can be streamed online.

Temescal Websites:
We have several websites in which viewers can review and download resources (articles, reports, videos, etc.) These websites include:

For more information contact us at info@temescalassociates.com.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Coronavirus and Afterschool

By Sam Piha

We began tracking the spread of the Coronavirus several weeks ago. After seeing discussions in educational literature we grew increasingly concerned about the implications for afterschool. We had an exchange with national afterschool advocates, and decided that we would wait for schools, districts and public health officials to share their thoughts. We chose to follow their lead because it is imperative that we all speak with consistency.

Nobody really knows how much the Coronavirus will spread in the U.S. Below are some thoughts and resources that may be useful for afterschool providers. Please note that new information and resources are appearing daily.

Source: Exploring The New Coronavirus: A Comic Just For Kids

Know the Facts & Follow Developments: It is important that everyone understands the real facts about COVID-19, and not be influenced by rumors on the internet. It is also important that program staff are knowledgeable about prevention strategies which can be employed in the program. We recommend the following resources:

Coordination: For school-based afterschool programs, it is important to coordinate with schools and school districts on plans for responding to COVID-19. We recommend that program leaders are involved in these plans by meeting with principals and following developments on district websites. This includes any plans for school closures. Program leaders should also be aware of any efforts of the janitorial staff regarding cleaning and disinfecting the program space, especially those areas that are more likely to spread the virus.

For community-based afterschool programs, it is important for organizational leaders to ensure that staff are properly trained and informed, that the space is being cleaned properly, and they are in contact and coordinating with local health departments.
Source: Exploring The New Coronavirus: A Comic Just For Kids
How to Talk With Kids: It is best when programs have a regularly scheduled “Check-in Circle” where participants can bring up things on their minds, such as a fear of the COVID-19 virus. If programs do not have a regular check-in, they can call a “circle meeting” to discuss.

First, it is important that the adult staff know the facts. It is good to answer any questions truthfully, while communicating reassurances that adults are doing everything to keep children safe. We suggest that adult staff need not to offer detailed information that goes beyond young people’s questions- especially for young children. Second, empower participants with strategies to prevent infection, like staying home when ill and washing hands frequently. It may be helpful to demonstrate effective hand washing (20 seconds or 2 verses of “Happy Birthday”) and include hand washing as part of the program, especially before snacks.
“Youth workers should bring up that there is currently a heightened awareness of the importance of good hygiene to support everyone's health. For example: ‘It's flu season, and cold season anyway, plus a new virus going around which has prompted health officials and doctors to ask people in communities to do better about keeping themselves and everyone else healthy.  Your school and this program are each a community and we're making that effort here too.’ Then teach hygiene. Beyond that, my sense is that youth workers should only talk further about it in response to questions or concerns that kids raise. 
In the case of older youth, you can offer more content about the contribution that individuals in a community can make to the benefit of all. Research has shown that adolescents are more motivated to incorporate personal prevention efforts if it is framed as an example of other ways community members support each other. -Sheri Glucoft Wong, LCSW

Here is one useful resource- How to Talk to Kids About CoronavirusYou may also find this comic book format useful.

NPR, Just For Kids: A Comic Exploring The New Coronavirus

Stigma/Bullying Reduction: It is important that afterschool staff take measures to ensure that youth do not stigmatize or bully other youth. COVID-19 is not a “Chinese” virus.

“I request your careful attention to recent challenges that have been reported in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19). There has been an increasing number of news reports regarding stereotyping, harassment, and bullying directed at persons perceived to be of Chinese American or, more generally, Asian descent.”- Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Kenneth L. Marcus

Communication With Parents: It is normal for parents to be concerned about the health of their children. Reassure parents that afterschool staff are well-informed and working closely with their host school. Similar to afterschool staff, it is important that parents have the right facts about the COVID-19 virus and that they and their child stay home if they feel ill. (For school-based afterschool programs, check with your school to see if they already have “communication with parents” literature.)
In communicating with parents, afterschool staff could say something like: “The coronavirus and issues surrounding it is in the news and on the minds of many; we are leaving it to parents and classroom teachers to address it in detail; as a community, our afterschool programs will take on the relevant health/hygiene aspects of the issue in an effort to raise  students' awareness and provide training about staying healthy; youth workers are being informed and trained to respond to any questions or issues that the kids bring up; we will, of course, notify parents of any issues that arise that affect the health or social-emotional well-being of your individual child or the group.”-Sheri Glucoft Wong, LCSW

For more information on this topic, we recommend this resource- What Parents Need to Know About Coronavirus.

Afterschool Program Finances: Many afterschool programs receive payments based on average daily attendance. If attendance is down or schools are closed, how will this affect afterschool programs? Will they have to permanently shut down? Will staff have to be laid off? Ask funders (state, federal, city, or philanthropic) if there are provisions for this. For instance, in California, the Department of Education has a process by which programs can apply for Attendance Relief funding. Additionally, it is important that afterschool staff do not come to work if they feel ill. This works best if the provider organization provides staff with sick time benefits, which may have financial implications.

"I do think it reminds us that we should all stay home when sick, adults, kids etc – and that requires support financially; paid sick days for staff and paid sick days for parents/guardians to care for sick kids." – Jodi Grant, Afterschool Alliance

Sheri Glucoft Wong, LCSW is a family therapist, parent educator and consultant. In addition to her clinical practice, she has led workshops and seminars for public and private schools and childcare centers, medical centers, and private industry for over 30 years. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

A Look Ahead to Afterschool in the Next Decade

As we head into a new decade, we thought it would be appropriate to hear from afterschool leaders regarding how they viewed the opportunities and the challenges to afterschool moving forward.

EMERGING TRENDS/ OPPORTUNITIES: There are more and more options for expanded learning programs to specialize in certain kinds of practices, whether STEM, arts, CTE, culturally sustaining practice, and so on. How they navigate among these choices is an open question for me, and possibly an opportunity for additional support and guidance.

CHALLENGES: Challenges include a strong economy that creates more competition for talent, minimum wage laws in many cities and states, plus AB 5 in California. The cost pressures on programs continue to increase, and philanthropies are lessening their support for expanded learning rather than increasing it. Also, the distinction between social and emotional learning and positive youth development practices can use more clarification, especially from a practice perspective.

EMERGING TRENDS/ OPPORTUNITIES: The vision described here is THE FUTURE. In 2020 and beyond, the Expanded Learning field will leverage the Science of Learning and Development to strengthen the case and strengthen our practice that we create the conditions necessary for youth to thrive. Expanded Learning programs are also serving communities that have a lot of needs. In 2020 and beyond Expanded Learning programs will partner better with health, mental health, and social service sectors to offer relevant interventions when kids and families are in need of support beyond what we can provide in our programs.

CHALLENGES: The rates that support Expanded Learning programs are still woefully insufficient and decision-makers such as legislators are becoming fatigued with the message that Expanded Learning programs need more investment to meet baseline operational costs, let alone live up to their true potential. 2020 will be another critical year to rally our staff, families, and communities to communicate clearly and with large numbers that Expanded Learning programs are worthy of investment.

EMERGING TRENDS/ OPPORTUNITIES: I see the emerging trends include the issues of mental health and well-being (both for our students and our staff), school safety (anti-bullying / positive school climate), equity & inclusion, and student voice.  Some of the focus areas that address these emerging issues and trends include:  SEL, Trauma-informed practices Restorative Justice, Mindfulness, and Growth Heartset.

CHALLENGES: Adequate funding and developing and retaining quality staff.


EMERGING TRENDS/ OPPORTUNITIES: I see and hope for a rising priority in the shape and value of programs for older youth, and youth action and voice in society.

CHALLENGES: We need to rise to the challenge to systemically support the adults in the field with meaningful career pathways and preparation to support their critical role in youth learning and development.

EMERGING TRENDS/ OPPORTUNITIES: The emerging trend in Expanded Learning that continues to grow, and I believe is on the verge of doing so exponentially, is "Workforce Readiness", or the "Career" part of the new "College and Career" focus.  There is now a proliferation of Industry Pathways and Academies in high schools, which to produce great outcomes really requires important foundational work at both the middle and elementary school level.  The opportunities to create, develop, and innovate effective programming models in Expanded Learning Programs to support this Workforce Readiness movement are currently boundless.  This is truly an incredible opportunity for Expanded Learning Programs to provide more than multiple modalities of learning that directly support the Instructional Day.

CHALLENGES: The biggest challenge I see facing the field is the ability to find and retain program level staff.  With the dramatic increases in minimum wage, it is almost impossible for programs to financially compete for quality program level staff.  There is work now beginning which hopes to make work experience/internships in Expanded Learning Programs as a part of a course of study for post-secondary students on a Teaching Pathway.  Teachers that have Youth Development experience have better student engagement skills that directly result in excellent classroom management.

I’m thinking about:
  • The Census and its impact on Youth Programs/OST; also thinking about voter registration (of staff and participants/families). 
  • Equity and professional development (PD)- who gets to go to conferences for example, where do we invest our PD dollars in our organizations and in the field? 
  • The role of extended learning programs in addressing poverty (e.g, living wages, skills for 21st century employment, entrepreneurship).

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

For Effective SEL, Staff Need To Learn New Skills, Too

By Guest Bloggers Heather Daly, Courageous Hearts and Normandie Nigh, A World Fit for Kids (Note: This blog was originally developed for The Afterschool Alliance.)

Heather Daly and Normandie Nigh
So… you want to bring social emotional learning (SEL) to your afterschool program? Great! Before you decide which curriculum you’ll teach your students, it’s important to ask yourself if your staff are trained on how to deliver SEL content. Conveying SEL skills and modeling them to young people requires specific competencies in addition to an educator’s existing skill set. In a previous blog, we talked about the importance of teaching our young people methods to navigate stress and uncomfortable emotions. Today we will discuss why educators need training to deliver this type of content, and also share some common pitfalls when incorporating SEL content.

The etymological origin of “educate” comes from the Latin root “educaré,” which means “to draw out from within.” Many teachers are trained with an “outside-in” approach to education. The theory is that there is information out there that we as a society have decided young people should know. A teacher’s role is to get that information into them, like filling a bucket. However, the core of all SEL curricula is empowering young people and honoring their inner wisdom — an “inside-out” approach. Because of this, SEL curriculum must be facilitated, not taught. Traditionally, scholastic subjects like math, science, and English are taught using an outside-in approach; using the same method to deliver SEL content is doomed to fail.

“Whoever our students may be, whatever subject we teach, ultimately we teach who we are.”
- Author, Educator and Activist Parker Palmer 
Source: Afterschool Alliance

Additionally, for the population of students who need a trauma-informed approach, their social and emotional needs must be addressed before academics. Trying to get information into the mind of a young person while they are engaged in a stress response is futile. This can be frustrating for educators who don’t have the facilitation tools to address social emotional needs. Ideally, educators would become adept at learning when to teach and when to facilitate.

Another challenge for successful delivery of SEL content has to do with the need to model it to the students to effectively teach it. SEL is necessarily responsive and works moment-to-moment over time; because it’s all about behaving and interacting, a “do as I say, not as I do” approach doesn’t work. Students learn and emulate self-awareness from someone who is demonstrating it. For this reason, educators must continue to develop their own social emotional skills so they can set the example — working on their personal development, becoming more self- and socially aware, learning how to manage their own stress, and walking the talk.

Also, delivering SEL blocks once or twice a week is not nearly as effective as being immersed in an SEL-based culture in which all adults that interact with students are participating in continued social and emotional growth. It requires lots of buy-in from other adults in the community, but principals, afterschool staff, teachers, security guards, and janitorial staff all must be trained to support this SEL framework. (We recognize this can be a tall order! But the payoff is enormous.)

“With SEL-focused training that helps providers better understand and develop their own SEL skills, they can intentionally model SEL for kids, find teachable moments in everyday activities, and simply be the supportive and caring adult that all kids need.”- National AfterSchool Association 

Educators across the country are being asked to deliver SEL curriculum and attend to the social and emotional needs of their students. Training on how to facilitate this type of content is essential, as is supporting educators with developing their own social emotional prowess.

To be successful in creating an SEL-competent culture, educators must learn the art of facilitation to deliver this unique content and must model it to all students. By honoring our young people’s hearts, emotions and the inner wisdom that guides them on their own path, we will strengthen them from the inside out to stand forward as tomorrow’s leaders.

Heather E. Daly, Ph.D. is the Director of Courageous Hearts, an organization committed to educating afterschool staff with drug education and prevention content. Normandie Nigh is the Chief Executive Officer of A World Fit for Kids, whose mission is to prepare young people for fit and fulfilling lives. To learn more about the training opportunities available for afterschool staff and program providers, visit Courageous Hearts and Fit For Success, a project of A World Fit For Kids.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Making Afterschool Count in the 2020 Census

We know that opportunities for civic engagement and community service offer powerful experiences for positive learning and development. Afterschool programs are well positioned to engage older youth in the 2020 Census and the 2020 Fall Election. In fact, the Afterschool Alliance and others have developed toolkits and resources to assist afterschool leaders. 

We are interested in how afterschool programs are offering opportunities that engage youth in supporting the 2020 Census and Election. Please write us regarding any activities that you are conducting in your program. 

Below is a guest blog by Jodi Grant, ED of the Afterschool Alliance.

By Guest Blogger, Jodi Grant
ED, Afterschool Alliance
As both stakeholders and members of the community, afterschool providers are in an excellent position to help ensure a complete count for the 2020 Census. Afterschool providers play an integral role in their communities, and as such, they are an important resource to consider tapping into when trying to reach areas that have been hard to count in previous iterations of the census. Programs have the capacity to increase awareness around the census, educate their communities, and reassure families that it is safe to answer the census.

Why Does the Census Matter for Afterschool Programs?
Federal funding for afterschool comes from a variety of sources, including the Department of Education (21st Century Community Learning Centers), Health and Human Services (Child Care Development Block Grants), and the Department of Agriculture. Census data is used to determine the allocation of all of these funding streams. The ability of a community to provide afterschool programming is directly tied to and dependent upon getting an accurate count.

Source: www.southpalmbeach.com
Every school day, millions of children and families rely on afterschool programs and when they have access to quality programs, everyone benefits. These programs provide safe, supportive, and fun environments where students can learn anything from robotics to debate. Afterschool also helps children find mentors and develop social and emotional competencies that prepare them for all aspects of life. For many working families, afterschool programs keep kids safe between the hours of 3-6pm when parents are at work and juvenile crime spikes.
Unfortunately, many children and families that attend afterschool programs are too often missed on the census. Young children between the ages of 0-4 are the most frequently undercounted group and in the next ten years many of them will need access to quality afterschool programs. It is critically important to both their futures--and ours--that we count them now. These undercounts are more than inaccurate numbers—they can produce deficiencies in funding for programs that will endure for the next decade. 

Source: Afterschool Alliance

To activate the afterschool field, the Afterschool Alliance has created a toolkit that makes it easy for afterschool providers to learn about and get involved with the 2020 Census. It is a helpful resource that offers information and answers to frequently asked questions, sample materials, and suggestions for ways that afterschool programs can take action. For example, part-time afterschool staff and older students should be considered in Census-taker recruitment efforts because they are already trusted members of their communities. Additionally, many programs may be able to serve as a hub for filling out the census by providing computers and internet access to families, and the toolkit offers guidance in how to host a census night at a school or community center.

Hosting a Census Night
Recognizing that there are many barriers that exist for families who wish to complete the census survey, we encourage afterschool providers to invite families into their program spaces to complete their survey using the program’s facilities and computers. As many afterschool programs already run family engagement events throughout the year, this can be a great opportunity to turn the next one into a “Census Night.”

In addition to hosting one-night events, afterschool programs can partner with their local Complete Count Committees and become official centers, where families can fill out the census during pick-up or drop-off hours.
Source: Win McNamee / Getty Images
Getting the Word Out
Even if afterschool programs do not have the capacity to host a Census Night, program providers can still play an important role by getting information about the census out to families as trusted community voices, especially if they are familiar with the different languages spoken in the community. Teens and tweens who participate in programs can also be a resource to spread information and assist people in filling out the census, which not only helps get an accurate count, but also empowers young people to be civically active. In order to debunk misinformation and instill trust in the census process, it is vital for families to hear from members already embedded in their communities that the census is fair and safe to complete, as well as why it is important for them to complete it.
Afterschool programs are an incredible resource for our communities, and we should tap into their expertise and ask for their help to ensure an accurate count in the 2020 Census.


Since 2005, Jodi Grant has been Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs. The Afterschool Alliance serves as a national voice for afterschool and provides resources and materials to more than 25,000 afterschool programs. 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

2020 Presidential Candidates: Positons on Afterschool

By Guest Blogger Erik Peterson, Afterschool Alliance

With the 2020 presidential election only 10 months away and primary voting now under way, it is a good time to check in on where the presidential candidates stand on afterschool and summer learning as an issue. As we discussed in our blog last fall, education and childcare has been a popular campaign topic for many candidates, from student loan forgiveness to increasing teacher pay, however several candidates have gone on the record in support of afterschool and summer learning programs as well.

While the nonpartisan Afterschool Alliance does not endorse candidates, we do track their proposals related to support for afterschool and summer learning programs and have summarized the positions of the candidates that have gone on the record in support of afterschool, community schools, summer learning, and wrap around supports for school age children. Read more about the candidates’ (from both parties) positions on afterschool here.

Source: Getty Images
Stay tuned for updates from the campaign trail and review our election toolkit and candidate guide (being updated for the 2020 election).
Erik Peterson joined the Afterschool Alliance in July 2009 and coordinates and advances the Afterschool Alliance’s policy efforts at the federal level by helping develop policy goals and implementing strategies that advance access to quality afterschool programs for all. Erik works to build and strengthen relationships with policy makers and allied organizations to increase public support and funding for quality before-school, afterschool and summer learning programs. Prior to coming to the Afterschool Alliance, Erik worked for the School Nutrition Association (SNA) in the Washington DC, area and as both an AmeriCorps VISTA and staff for the Sustainable Food Center in Austin, Texas.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Teens Advocating for Civic Engagement

By Guest Blogger John Fuentes

What happens when adult allies continue to make authentic youth voice a priority? When High school students in various leadership groups from San Diego to Oakland, CA speak truth to power? When technology becomes a resource for across state collaboration? When young people meet up in Sacramento to speak to legislators about the challenges they’re faced with and how afterschool funding supports overcoming some of these challenges? Answer: a $50M ASES increase with the support of our “TACA”(Teens Advocating for Civic Engagement) youth.

TACA started a little over a year ago when a group of CA3 (California Afterschool Advocacy Alliance) members discussed how powerful it would be to bring more youth voice to the front lines of civic action. Myself, Brad Lupien (ARC), Donny Faaliliu (L.A. All Stars) and Aleah Rosario (CalSac) spent some time during 2018/19 school year unpacking what TACA should look and feel like.

Once a month from October to May in the 2018/19 school year approximately 8 to 12 students from 5 High Schools representing ARC, L.A All-Stars and Bay Area Community Resources (BACR) got on a Zoom chat and discussed issues they were facing in their communities and what action steps they were taking to help resolve some of these issues. With the support of CalSac’s resource guides and the support from afterschool leadership staff, TACA students learned the difference between service and civic action. They learned more about local government and what issues the local officials were passionate about. This work helped support an informed dialogue between TACA students and their local and state officials.

Source: The LA All Stars

We found that the reoccurring challenges students were faced with in their communities were affordable housing, violence, suicide, and lack of equity in education. Whether students were attending JFK high school in southern California or Oakland Tech high school in the Bay Area, these issues were similar. Using Zoom video chats, TACA students had an opportunity to see, hear and learn from other students across the state and know that they were not alone doing work. Students shared ideas, action plans and goals for sustainability and systemic change.

TACA students expressed how cool it was to be able to connect with other students across the state, share their ideas and get feedback. How cool it was to see each other on a Zoom chat once a month and then meet in person for the first time in Sacramento; to know that they played a part in getting the $50M ASES increase because they shared their stories and mobilized.

Now, in year two, TACA has over 25 members from San Diego to Oakland, CA representing 14 high schools and 4 middle schools. Me, Brad, Donny and now Ayala Goldstein (CalSac) continue to support the TACA members as adult allies and coaches. This year TACA is made up of 1-2 students who are part of an existing afterschool leadership group and represent that group during our monthly Zoom chat meetings. The goal is for the two TACA representatives from each school site to join the monthly Zooms and share their learning with their peers and mobilize for Civic Action and change.

Source: ARC

Affordable housing, violence, and education continue to be pressing topics for our TACA youth and their peers and we will continue to support them with their Civic Action goals. We have a few new goals this year which include: Supporting with the 2020 Census, getting people registered to vote and once again showing up in Sacramento on March 9th and 10th for the California Afterschool and Summer Challenge.

If you want to see, hear and learn more about TACA, please check TACA out at this year’s BOOST Conference as they lead a workshop on Thursday April 30th, 3:45-5:30pm entitled "Student- Lead Campaign for Civic Engagement." You can also email me at john.fuentes@bacr.org or Ayala Goldstein at agoldstein@calsac.org
John Fuentes is a program manager with Bay Area Community Resources in Oakland and Alameda. In addition, John is the lead facilitator for the “Heads Up” Saturday Leadership Academy program at Head Royce School in Oakland and an expanded learning quality support coach and trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area. John is a two-time Alameda Unified School District Salute to Education recipient and a 2018 Region 4-CDE Spotlight on Quality Award recipient. 

We Need to Save Afterschool and Our Non-profits

By Sam Piha We can't stop educating the public and policy makers on the value of afterschool and our non-profit providers. SAVE OUR ...