Welcome to the New Year. 2014 promises to be a wonderful year but before we launch, let’s take a look at what was learned in 2013. We have youth debrief every lesson and activity, so it’s time for us to debrief an entire year.
Insights from 2013
January: Attending the Ted-Talk style Learning in Afterschool and Summer: How Kids Learn II seminar on the 9th set the year up to focus on what is really important—youth!
February: There is definitely a new vibe in the Afterschool Division. The opportunity for the field to participate in Strategic Planning is a first and more than welcome opportunity. And this input is not a one-and-done but rather an opportunity for ongoing input. Yahoo!
March: Promoting “wellness” in afterschool can go a long way to change the lives of youth and their families. School gardens—even if they are in pots—are well worth the time they take to tend and nurture.
April: BOOST really is the Best Out Of School Time Conference. The joy of connecting with friends and colleagues is so wonderful. This Conference gives you a chance to catch up and learn more.
May: Kids are not looking forward to having the summer off from afterschool programs. There just aren’t enough investments to bring summer learning to every youth who would like to attend a summer learning program. Turning away youth is NOT a good thing!
June: Summer Learning Loss can counteract the success of the school year. By the end of 5th grade, kids without summer opportunities can end up 2-3 years behind those youth who did participate. Summers can’t be wasted—each youth deserve a chance to move forward!
July: Summer Learning Programs are not traditional remedial summer school programs. They are focused on submerging youth with a total learning experience that is active, collaborative, meaningful, supporting of mastery, and broadening horizons.
August: Starting an effective program each year requires a great deal of work and love. Millions of kids across the country rely on afterschool professionals to “get it right” and they do! Let’s celebrate this good work!
September: Sharing with afterschool program staff at the Mission Possible: Defining Success and Inspiring Action, 2013 21st Century Community Learning Centers Multi-State Conference in Indiana was a reminder of the amazing people who work with youth in out-of-school time programs across the country.
October: Lights ON! Afterschool is a wonderful event to bring focus to the great work that is done in afterschool programs around the United States. Sharing that information effectively with decision makers and legislators is essential to expand funding for this critical learning space.
November: The STEM Symposium in Sacramento provided real insight into the importance of STEM in both the school day and afterschool spaces. Key speakers enlightened and inspired.
December: Showcasing the accomplishments of youth in afterschool programs not only benefits the youth and puts “money in the bank” with their families, it highlights the amazing experiences that afterschool programs provide youth.
Wishing you a wonderful 2014!