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.
It seems these days that if you’re keeping up with what’s happening in education, you can’t help but hear about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Last week, our vice president for policy and research, Jen Rinehart, wrote a stellar blog that not only walks you through what the Common Core State Standards are, but explains why they were developed, what they mean for education policy and the valuable role the afterschool field can play to support learning under the Common Core.
To keep up the Afterschool Alliance’s drumbeat of providing the afterschool field with helpful information connecting afterschool and the Common Core, I tuned in to “Leveraging Expanded Learning Opportunities to Support Common Core Implementation,” a webinar hosted by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and America’s Promise Alliance. The webinar featured Jenell Holsted, Ph.D. of University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, who discussed a recent brief, “Making the Connection: Next Generation Learning and Expanded Learning Opportunities,” and Sarah Cruz, director of expanded learning opportunities at the Statewide Network for New Jersey’s Afterschool Communities (NJSACC), who shared information about New Jersey’s statewide pilot training program that helps providers align their programming with the Common Core State Standards.
By Jen Rinehart
While volunteering in my daughter’s kindergarten classroom recently, I noticed a stack of kindergarten math workbooks that proudly advertised, “Aligned with the Common Core State Standards.” It was a clear sign that the Common Core standards have arrived in classrooms across the country and a reminder to me that the Afterschool Alliance can help afterschool providers better understand Common Core and what roles afterschool stakeholders can play in supporting learning under the Common Core.
So what are the Common Core State Standards? They are a set of standards in reading/language arts and math that resulted from several years of collective thinking by teachers, researchers and leading experts in the education field about what students should know and be able to do in mathematics and English language arts. Prior to the Common Core, most states had their own individual sets of standards.
Why do the Common Core State Standards exist? Proponents of Common Core argue that with the adoption of the standards, students who move from state to state, and especially students in military families who might make multiple moves in a K-12 career, will have a smoother transition because the schools in each state will be working from the same set of high expectations about what kids in each grade should be able to do. They also point out that states can share instructional resources like textbooks and even assessments, which are currently under development and expected to be rolled out during the 2013-2014 school year. As you might imagine, there are alsoeducation leaders who question the value of Common Core, particularly since the Common Core were not pilot tested prior to roll out to nearly all states, and who view Common Core and the related assessments as costly (both for the country and our children’s futures) experiments in learning.
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.
My youngest brother absolutely hated reading when he was in elementary school. And then he was introduced to the Harry Potter series in middle school. Suddenly he couldn’t get enough of reading. Harry Potter was his gateway into the world of books. When he finished with the series, he proactively looked for other books that he would enjoy. His teachers commented that he was more attentive in class and making gains in his studies. It seems too simple to be true, but sometimes introducing kids to interesting and engaging reading materials can get them hooked on reading—a skill that helps foster academic benefits and positive attitudes toward school, career and life.
The recently released joint issue brief by Scholastic Family and Community Engagement (FACE) and the Afterschool Alliance explores the role of reading in a child’s life, and the unique ways afterschool programs can incorporate reading into their curricula and start kids on the path toward a lifelong love of reading. “The Life-Enhancing Benefits of Reading in Out-of-School Programs” points to research that demonstrate the number of positive outcomes associated with avid reading, such as academic gains, increased drive to do well in school and improved self-esteem.