@paulrosengard is the Executive Director of SPARK , developer of the world’s most-researched and field-tested health and wellness programs for youth. SPARK provides After School, Physical Education, Early Childhood, and Coordinated School Health professionals with evidence-based resources, dynamic leadership training, and age-appropriate equipment.
During my first “real job” at the Chula Vista Parks and Recreation Department, I gained a lot of experience running afterschool programs. I realized afterschool leaders are blessed with the opportunity to teach youth valuable life lessons, like the importance of leading a healthy lifestyle. Our nationwide obesity epidemic makes it even more important for afterschool programs to work closely with schools and parents to ensure youth move a lot and make good food choices.
Part of this team effort includes fostering opportunities for youth to engage in structured and unstructured physical activity after school. As a former youth leader, I know there are a lot of challenges to making afterschool programs movement-rich including limited time, places and spaces to move safely, a lack of equipment, and/or sometimes just the wrong equipment (not age-appropriate). After conducting multiple research projects to develop and test the effectiveness of physical education lessons, I wrote my first afterschool curriculum. In the years following, our team has updated the curriculum to help afterschool leaders overcome the challenges they face implementing physical activity programs and developing environments that support youth wellness.
June 21 is Summer Learning Day—a national advocacy day offering an opportunity to showcase your community’s out-of-school time program, as well as spread the word about the importance of summer learning.Host an event during the week of June 21 or anytime during the summer!
During this national showcase, your program will want to highlight how you work to:
- Maintain and advance participants' academic and developmental growth
- Support working families
- Keep children safe and healthy
- Send young people back to school ready to learn
Are you having a Summer Learning Day event? Visit www.summerlearningdaymap.org and promote it on the National Summer Learning Association’s event map! Make sure to list your event by June 21 and you may win one free conference registration to NSLA’s Summer Changes Everything™ national conference on summer learning.
You can also visit NSLA’s website at www.summerlearning.org/SLD for more information and resources on Summer Learning Day.
We’ve gotten a TON of awesome Lights On Afterschool poster entries so far! (Shout-out to Albuquerque Public Schools YDI/Marmon After-School Program for the amazing banner!) One of these posters could be the winner—OR it could still be out there somewhere! Send us your entry by June 1!
A new grant competition will award $150,000 to libraries, museums, and other nonprofits to provide hands-on learning opportunities this summer for youth across the country to help make the online experience more civil, safe and empowering. The Project:Connect Summer Youth Programming Competition is administered by the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory (HASTAC), with support from the MacArthur Foundation through a grant to the University of California, Irvine, and in partnership with the Born This Way Foundation. Grants will support a series of local hands-on events July through September where young people collaborate and compete through activities such as hackathons, maker spaces, digital journalism and communications labs, and mentoring workshops. Programs must be based on the understanding that learning happens anywhere, anytime and should be equitable, social, participatory, and reflect kids’ interests. Applications are due June 10. More information can be found on the Digital Media and Learning Competition website.
Ed. note: This post was originally published by SparkAction. Read the original post here.
Juvenile justice professionals take note: a new resource launches this week that will make it easier—and more engaging—than ever to get in-depth journalism stories together with key research, data, guides and tool kits on critical issues in the juvenile justice field.
The Juvenile Justice Resource Hub, launching April 24, 2013, provides visitors an accessible, user-friendly point of entry to a repository of years of research into juvenile justice issues—with particular focus on the best practices and lessons from the MacArthur Foundation-funded Models for Change initiative which examines systems change approaches to make juvenile justice more fair, effective, rational and developmentally-appropriate.
The Hub is a project of the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE.org), published by the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University.
We’ve gotten some great submissions for this year’s Lights On Afterschool poster, but we think there’s even more afterschool talent out there—and we want to see it! That’s why we’re extending the poster deadline to June 1, 2013.
And to help afterschool artists explore their creative side, our friends at Discount School Supply are offering $500 art supplies to this year’s poster contest winner!
Win $500 in Art Supplies from Discount School Supply!
Enter to win $500 in Colorations Art Supplies from our valued partner, Discount School Supply! DSS salutes all the creative artists who participate in Lights on Afterschool and contribute their imagination and drive to the vital cause of increasing the peace in their communities.
We are Discount School Supply, where arts, crafts and creativity cost you LESS. You are the movers and shakers who change the world, one child at a time. Thank you for your business and for your inspiration. Anna Reyner, Director of Training, Discount School Supply. For free art ideas visit our Art & Creativity Blog at annareyner.wordpress.com
Receive a free copy of our Recreation or Arts & Crafts catalog by calling 800# 627-2829, or visiting our website at www.discountschoolsupply.com.
Herb Jones is the vice president of external affairs at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Herb oversees NCMEC’s community outreach and prevention education programs as well as its branch offices in New York, Florida and Texas. Under Herb’s leadership, the organization has reached thousands of communities and millions of children with safety messages from awareness campaigns and programs like NetSmartz Workshop, Take 25 and the Campaign Against Sexual Exploitation.
Childhood is full of rewards and potential risks. As babies become toddlers, they are more prone to bumps, bruises, falls and distractions. As children become increasingly more independent, the hours before and after school can be some of the most dangerous, with the hours between 2 and 7 p.m. being the most critical.
Fortunately, the potential risks children face can be lessened when adults discuss important safety concepts. Afterschool programs are a great tool to help keep children safer by preventing risky behaviors and teaching them safety skills. Just minutes of prevention can make a huge impact in the life of a child. To help educate communities on these risks and ways to better protect the children in their lives, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) created the Take 25 campaign.
Take 25 is a grassroots safety initiative created in honor of National Missing Children’s Day. Annually honored on May 25, this day serves as a reminder to the nation to make child safety a national priority. The Take 25 Campaign encourages child care providers, social service agencies, law enforcement, educators, parents and other trusted adults to take 25 minutes out of the day to talk to children about ways to be safer. With a focus on prevention, Take 25 provides FREE bilingual resources including conversation starters, child ID kits, safety tips and lessons that inspire an ongoing dialogue with children about safety.