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Vermont Afterschool, Inc. Receives McClure Grant

Posted on June 12th, 2017 in: Blog

Vermont Afterschool, Inc. is pleased to announce it has received a $30,000 grant from the J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation for the 2017-2018 school year to create meaningful job and expanded learning opportunities for students across rural Vermont.

This grant will support Vermont Afterschool to train high school students who will deliver content around science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to their local afterschool and summer learning programs. The grant also provides support to Vermont Afterschool’s ongoing efforts to improve the quality of STEM instruction in Vermont’s afterschool and summer learning programs.

Over the course of the year, high schools students at five different afterschool programs will receive training from STEM experts; practice delivering lessons with feedback; work on planning, goal-setting, and reflection; and receive ongoing support as they teach STEM lessons to elementary students in afterschool programs. The five selected sites will cover the Windham Northeast Supervisory Union, Franklin Northwest Supervisory Union, Windham Central Supervisory Union, Orange Windsor Supervisory Union, and Lamoille South Supervisory Union.

Executive Director Holly Morehouse emphasized that the grant comes at an exciting time when Vermont Afterschool is already expanding its STEM efforts in beneficial ways. “Our ultimate goal is to see measurable STEM-related gains for the high school students working in the programs as well as the younger afterschool students attending as participants,” stated Morehouse. “We see these types of out-of-school time work-based learning experiences as being essential to student success and connecting youth to careers and college.”

The J. Warren and Lois McClure Foundation collaborates with educators, organizations, and philanthropists to improve and promote postsecondary and career education opportunities within the state with the conviction that through this work Vermont’s most important resource — its people — will become more fully empowered.

Executive Director Holly Morehouse Awarded by KidSafe Collaborative

Posted on April 18th, 2017 in: Blog

Executive Director Holly Morehouse was recently awarded “Outstanding Professional” by KidSafe Collaborative in honor of her work to advocate for children and families in Vermont.

IMG_3579 Over 250 guests joined the KidSafe Collaborative on April 18th to applaud Holly and other outstanding individuals and partnerships at KidSafe’s Annual Outstanding Service Awards Luncheon at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center. The yearly luncheon recognizes members of the community working to support families and protect children from abuse and neglect, and honor the outstanding individuals and groups who have improved the safety and well-being of children and families in Chittenden County Vermont

Holly was nominated by the Vermont Afterschool Board of Directors for her tireless commitment to our mission; her dedication to quality; and her ability to inspire others to advocate for all kids in Vermont to have access to afterschool and summer learning programs.

The 2017 Awards were presented to:

  • Don Wright, Very Merry Theatre – Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Kelsey Francis-Fath, LUND – Promising Professional Award
  • Holly Morehouse, Vermont Afterschool – Outstanding Professional Award
  • Tracey Wagner, University of Vermont Children’s Hospital – Gregory Packan, Esq. Outstanding Children’s Advocacy Award
  • Ridmi Coe, VT Youth Development Program – Outstanding Volunteer Award
  • Chittenden County Children’s Integrated Services Intake Team – Outstanding Collaboration Award

The KidSafe Collaborative is a Burlington based non-profit that works with dozens of partner agencies, individuals and organizations to improve our community’s response to child abuse and neglect.

Need funding? Check out the CDD Afterschool Care Grants

Posted on March 27th, 2017 in: Blog

We excited to announce that we are currently accepting applications for the CDD Afterschool Care Grants!

All afterschool programs applying for these funds must be licensed or working on licensure through the Child Development Division, Vermont Department for Children and Families, Agency of Human Services and be in good regulatory standing for the past year.

The CDD Afterschool Care Grant Program is designed to increase the capacity and quality of regulated Vermont afterschool programs. The funds are available to serve children in grades K-12. Grant activities are to impact these children and their families in one of two ways: increase the number of children served in afterschool programs, or improve the quality of program services.

–> Applications will be accepted by May 1st, 2017.  The grant period for afterschool care grants is from July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018.

New this year, each grantee will work with a Vermont Afterschool coach throughout the grant period. As follow up to grant, each grantee must submit a summary of how coaching supported grant outcomes. Also, at least one afterschool professional from the grantee’s program is expected to attend the 2017 Vermont Afterschool Conference.

A technical assistance webinar is scheduled for April 12, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. This webinar is open to all prospective grantees and join here: https://zoom.us/j/6644193317. You can also email Tricia Pawlik-York to register or if you have further questions: triciapawlikyork@vermontafterschool.org.

Grant applications and further information can be found on our website here:

CDD Afterschool Care Grants

Meet Our New SEL Coordinator Sara Forward and Workforce Coach Tricia Pawlik-York

Posted on February 7th, 2017 in: Blog

We are very excited to welcome Sara Forward and Tricia Pawlik-York to our team! Our little office is growing and it’s wonderful to have two new hires who will be dedicated to improving program quality.

Sara joined us in January as our new Social Emotional Learning (SEL) Project Coordinator. Sara will be working on expanding our support for afterschool teams around social emotional learning. Sara will lead the initiative to help afterschool programs implement the PATHS® curriculum starting in grades K-3, build connections with school day staff and classroom teachers in the selected sites, and support family engagement and connections around social emotional learning. Sara is a licensed social worker and has worked as a mental health consultant to public school teams and preschool programs in Vermont.  Her previous work experience includes classroom teacher, school social worker, afterschool program director, children’s mental health clinician, and mom. She has a professional interest in developmental psychology, trauma-informed programming, behavior analysis and intervention, and in outdoor and nature-based curriculum.

Tricia, a long time trainer and mentor for Vermont Afterschool, has stepped forward in a new position as the Workforce and Program Improvement Coach. We’re excited to see Tricia lead in this role; as well as explore how our organization can change and grow with the times in order to best support afterschool staff in the important, rewarding, and yet sometimes difficult, work that they do in serving Vermont’s children, youth, and families. She has over 25 years of experience directing school age programs and developing youth programs. She was the director of Youth and Family Programs at the Greater Burlington YMCA, and also the Youth Director at the Clubhouse camp where she managed after school, vacation, school age enrichment and summer programs. Tricia is also a leader on the state level, serving on the STARS (Step Ahead Recognition System) oversight board as an afterschool representative, and was instrumental in developing Vermont’s afterschool core competencies for professionals.

If you would like to reach Sara or Tricia or just simply say hello–you can reach them at our office (802-448-3464). Welcome aboard Sara and Tricia!

 

New VT Data Highlights Learning Gains in Afterschool STEM Programs

Posted on January 10th, 2017 in: Blog

Vermont Afterschool is partnering with the PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education & Resilience (PEAR), an organization that creates and fosters evidence-based innovations such as the Common Instrument which is used to assess child and adolescent interest and engagement in science. We worked with the PEAR team to develop versions for the Common Instrument to be used by Vermont students in grades K-9 that attend STEM-related afterschool and summer learning programming.

Last spring, 13 programs throughout the state that provided tinkering programs had their students complete the Common Instrument. A total of 199 students in grades K-9 completed the instrument, which measured their self-report gains in science interest, critical thinking and perseverance over the course of attending their programs.

The team at PEAR analyzed the results and provided Vermont Afterschool with useful charts and graphs. PEAR found that overall, Vermont students reported significant gains in each of the three sub-scales (science interest, critical thinking, and perseverance). pear-tinkering-overall-results

Compared with the rest of the nation, PEAR found that Vermont students reported significantly higher ratings of science interest. In particular, Vermont students in grades 6-9 reported significantly higher gains in science interest compared with the national sample.

To view our interactive data dashboard with more results from the spring 2016 tinkering programs, visit: http://www.vermontafterschool.org/stem/data. The dashboard will be updated as we receive data from more programs that have their students complete the tool.

–> If you are interested in learning more about the Common Instrument, be sure to join a FREE webinar that we will be co-hosting with the PEAR team on Wednesday, January 11 at 11:30 a.m. To join, click on http://mclean.adobeconnect.com/ci when the webinar begins and enter the participant code 71089974. Phone number for audio is 1-646-560-7802.

21C Evaluation Results for 2015-16

Posted on December 14th, 2016 in: Blog

In 2015-16, over 13,000 PreK-12 students in Vermont attended afterschool and summer learning programs that were funded by the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) initiative. They attended over 100 programs that provided opportunities for engaging experiences such as woodworking, cooking, hip-hop dance, jazz band, graphic design, knitting, creative writing, gardening, engineering, theater, and much more in addition to opportunities for homework help and academic support. They participated in these programs for an average of 12 hours per week after school. In the summer, many students were involved in programs that ran for 40 hours or more during the week.

The most vulnerable students were well-served by these programs. Children and youth from low income households made up half of all of the students that regularly attended. These students may not otherwise have had access to such enriching opportunities outside of the school day. Some were likely to also have come from food-insecure households. Fortunately, most programs provided healthy food and opportunities for children to get exercise.

Highlights from the evaluation of the 2015-16 school year:

  • 31 projects consisted of 108 individual program sites.
  • 35% of Vermont’s public schools had 21C programming.
  • Approximately 16% of Vermont’s students were served by 21C programming.
  • 13,246 students attended programs, 6,075 of whom attended on a regular basis (at least 30 days during the year).
  • 3,651 students from low income families attended on a regular basis.
  • On average, school year sites were open for 34 weeks during the school year at a rate of 4.7 days per week (12 hours per week).
  • On average, summer sites were open for 5.1 weeks during the summer at a rate of 4.8 days per week (38 hours per week).
  • 79% of sites provided strategies beyond homework help to help students struggling academically.
  • 90% of sites provided opportunities for at least 20 minutes of physical activity for every 2 hours of programming offered.

You can read all about these facts and more in our newly released 21st Century Community Learning Centers Statewide Evaluation Report: 2015-2016. Download the complete 2015-16 21C Evaluation report and be sure to take note of areas of strength and improvement, areas in need of attention, and action items for future programming improvement.

Vermont Afterschool has been reporting on evaluation data for Vermont’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21C) since 2010 and thanks the Vermont Agency of Education for supporting this work.

Vermont Afterschool Receives STEM Policy Grant

Posted on November 14th, 2016 in: Blog

Vermont Afterschool is excited to announce that we have received an Advancing Afterschool STEM Policy Grant through the Afterschool Alliance with support from the Overdeck Family Foundation. The timing of this grant and the opportunity it provides could not have been better arranged for the policy decisions being debated at this time with recent education legislation in Vermont and discussions about the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Significant changes are happening across Vermont’s education landscape. Our challenge over the next few years is to ensure that STEM in afterschool and summer is a critical component of these initiatives, including personalized, student-centered, and proficiency-based learning. The window of opportunity for bringing STEM forward in Vermont with connections to workforce development, youth outcomes, and educational opportunity is now; Vermont Afterschool is committed to action that will ensure STEM in afterschool and summer is an integral and essential component of Vermont’s vision for education.

The $20,000 grant will support three short-term goals that will be undertaken in 2016-2017:

  1. Raise Awareness;
  2. Increase Local Funding;
  3. Establish State Priorities.

Ultimately, our goals under the STEM Policy Grant will align with our overarching advocacy work to ensure that all Vermont students have access to quality out-of-school time STEM experiences; that state and school leaders will include out-of-school time STEM experiences when looking at educational equity and opportunity; and that Vermont will have strong and viable funding streams in order to offer more quality out-of-school time STEM programs for students at all ages.

NAA Virtual Convention Free for Vermont Afterschool Members

Posted on October 19th, 2016 in: Blog

We are excited to make the following opportunity available to our members FREE OF CHARGE (a $49.99 value):

The 2016 Virtual Convention

Sponsored by the

National AfterSchool Association

virtual-conventionWhen?

At your convenience, as often as you would like, between November 6 and 20, 2016.

Where?

Completely online! We have a special promotion for all Vermont Afterschool members to access the convention at no cost. Email Karen to access your code. Not a member? No problem. You can sign up here and access other great benefits too.

What is this?

It’s a pretty new concept; fun and educational at the same time. You basically attend a conference online. You can create a space, add a picture, talk (or leave messages) for anyone else from around the country who is also attending, and actually attend workshops. You can be as involved as you want to be.

Workshops:

The top 25 workshops – those that received the highest ratings from participants – from the NAA convention in Florida last March will be available. All materials will be available as well. The best part is that you can attend a workshop at your convenience!

Additional details:
The convention is conducted entirely online – all you need is an internet connection.

http://naaweb.org/naa-events/virtual-convention

As a convention participant you engage at your convenience, through a website where you can access:

  • Recorded workshops—available on demand while the convention is in session. Unlike in-person events with concurrent sessions, you can “attend” everything!
  • A discussion thread related to each workshop.Post your comments and questions, and interaction with presenters and other participants.
  • Resource Library.Download and print or save handouts from all of the workshops as well as related resource documents.
  • Virtual vendor boothsin the Exhibit Hall.
  • Networking opportunities.Post a professional profile and find others with similar professional interests and specialties.

Lights On Afterschool Mini Grants for Programs

Posted on September 9th, 2016 in: Blog

threeline_bluetext_transparentbgVermont Afterschool, Inc. is pleased to announce that we are able to offer Lights On Afterschool Mini Grants for 2016. These mini-grants are offered to support local afterschool programs in helping offset event costs. This year we are able to offer 20 stipends of $250 each.

Eligibility
Afterschool and out-of-school time programs serving youth in grades K-12 are invited to submit a request for a $250 stipend to help to cover expenses, increase participation, and/or market their Lights On Afterschool event. Proposed events must be conducted outside of the school day, with the event occurring on or around October 20, 2016.

Application/Grant Requirements
2016 Lights On Afterschool Mini Grant Application

Deadline
Deadline for submission is September 23, 2016. Grant applications must be submitted by email: alissafaber@vermontafterschool.org.

Stipends will be awarded and distributed by October 1, 2016.

Annual Report Published for FY16

Posted on August 22nd, 2016 in: Blog

We just published our Annual Report for FY16 (July 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016). It covers noteworthy data and events, highlights from our year, members, and financial reporting. Take a look!

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