The Afterschool Advisor 

May 2014

In This Issue
2015 Impact Conference
Free Summer Food
STEM PD and Networking
Good Read-Alouds
Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities
Grant Opportunities


the Afterschool Advisor

The Afterschool Advisor is a publication of the Iowa Afterschool Alliance for practitioners seeking resources to improve, sustain, and develop their afterschool program.

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Save the Date for Impact 2015! 

  Save the Date for Next Year's
Impact After School Conference:

April 23-24, 2015
Ramada Tropics Resort & Conference Center
5000 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, IA 50322
Guest rooms will be available at the Ramada for $55 per night (April 22 and 23, 2015). To secure this special rate, call the hotel at
515-278-0271515-278-0271 and mention the Impact After School Conference to make your reservation by April 1, 2015.


Stay tuned for more information on next year's agenda and registration in the coming months. We hope to see you next spring!

USDA Summer Food Service Program 

In 2013, 21 million children in the United States received free and reduced lunches during the school year, but only one in six of those students were reached by the free summer meals program. To learn more about how your program may be able to take advantage of this FREE food, please visit the SFSP website.

Information about the Iowa Child Nutrition Program and locations of sites already in operation in Iowa can be found here.

SySTEM Re-Charge and Networking Day  

Please join in a fun learning event sponsored by the STEM
Active Learning Community Partners Committee! This event will introduce the partnership opportunities that exist between the STEM Hubs and the Informal STEM Community, including:
  • Showcasing the STEM Hubs and their available resources
  • Providing updates on the Dimensions of Success (DoS) observation tool designed to help measure STEM program quality in out-of-school time, which may be valuable in your STEM planning activities
  • sharing STEM program activities that we've found valuable
  • collecting your input into the STEM Active Learning Websites updates that are underway
It will be a free, casual STEM professional development day with lunch provided. Think of this as your day to have a SySTEM recharge and networking day!


This event is FREE to all STEM Active Learning Community Partners! If you're not already a member, you can register by clicking here.

Registration is capped at 50, so please R.S.V.P. right away!  

What Makes a Good Read-Aloud? 

A good read-aloud models fluency, allows children to practice listening skills, and can expose them to text above their reading level. What makes a good read-aloud?
  • Facilitator/staff person is familiar with the book and has set a goal, such as identifying characters or particular vocabulary words.  
  • Facilitator shares the goal and frontloads students with background information related to the story and elements.  
  • Facilitator regularly interacts with students throughout the reading and allows them chances to respond to the goal as the story progresses.  
  • Facilitator relates story and vocabulary to students' personal and academic experiences.  
  • Images and descriptive language is used to deepen meaning.

Want more information on good read-alouds and other components of a balanced literacy strategy? Visit the OST Literacy Initiative wiki site at  

Professional Development Opportunities
Ordered by Scheduled Dates
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance keeps a calendar of opportunities regularly updated on our website. Visit it at
Character Counts in Iowa June Workshops 
Character Counts is offering workshops in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, and Pocahontas this June on the following topics:
  • Digital Citizenship for Schools and Students: Addressing Appropriate Technology Use, Online Safety, and Cyber Bullying  
  • Character Development Seminar
  • Classroom & Program Management:  Utilizing Curriculum Integration & Anti-Bullying
For more information and to register, click here. Early bird registration is through May 31st!


University of Illinois at Chicago 3-Day Leader Training for CryptoClub Project  

June 23-25, 2014  

Cryptography, the science of secret messages, is an intriguing STEM topic and an important application of mathematics. CryptoClub is a 16-20 hour afterschool curriculum designed for students in grades 6-8. It uses games, treasure hunts, and other informal activities to engage students in learning cryptography and applying middle-school mathematics. The CryptoClub curriculum has been developed and tested with support from the National Science Foundation.The CryptoClub Project of the University of Illinois at Chicago is offering a 3-day leader-training workshop for middle-grade teachers and afterschool leaders.  


More information is available on their website.  

Blank Park Zoo Educator Workshops
Various dates in June-August, 2014; Mason City, Carrol
l, or Tiffin, IA
The Blank Park Zoo invites educators and out-of-school time program providers to professional development workshops this summer. Learn lessons and activities for your program that are connected to the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards, learn research-based instructional practices, and gain knowledge and ideas that will be useful in your programs. Lessons are flexible, allowing teachers/providers to adjust for students' abilities, and relate to all age groups in several subject areas (science, literacy, mathematics, social studies, and the arts).

All workshops are two days, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days, with the following dates, locations, and topics:
  • June 11-12 - Swan Lake State Park, Carroll - Habitats and Adaptations
  • June 17-18 - F.W. Kent Park, Tiffin - Climate Change
  • July 8-9 - Swan Lake State Park, Carroll - Climate Change
  • July16-17 - F.W. Kent Park, Tiffin - Habitats and Adaptations
  • August 6-7 - Lime Creek Nature Center, Mason City - Conservation - People and Animals

See workshop descriptions and register here. Cost is $20 per workshop and includes breakfast and lunch each day, materials to use in your program/classroom, and a free Zoo animal program visit for your program/classroom. Teacher license renewal credit is available. With questions, contact Kathy McKee at 515-974-2557515-974-2557 or

NIOST Summer Seminars
July 14-18, 2014; Brookline, MA (near Boston)

The National Institute on Out-of-School Time offers a series of professional development courses for afterschool providers. NIOST Summer Seminars provides hands-on learning opportunities for youth development professionals to enhance their summer and school year programs. You can attend one, two, or all three.  
  • APAS (A Program Assessment System): For those interested in program assessment, learn how to use the tools and receive your free copy.
  • Advanced APAS Implementation: Take your organization to the next level in this interactive seminar where you'll practice how to collect and use data to strengthen your program and promote youth outcomes.
  • Courage to Lead: A one-day leadership retreat to recharge and energize your focus and passion on your work.

Visit the Summer Seminars webpage for more information and pricing.

Online Courses for 21CCLC Professionals

Short online courses are available for 21st Century Community Learning Centers program staff through You for Youth, the U.S. Department of Education's website for 21CCLCs. Courses cover topics like Project-Based Learning, Aligning with the School Day, STEM, and Strengthening Partnerships. Each course takes less than an hour and is available 24/7.  

Grant Opportunities

Ordered by Deadline
Sports-for-All Clinic 
Promote fitness and service learning in your community by hosting a Sports-For-All Clinic. can provide you with funding, support and guidance to host your own sports clinic for youth on the autism spectrum. is a non-profit corporation formed to inspire, engage and activate youth to get involved and volunteer in the community and provide grants to implement sports programs for youth with special needs led by youth volunteers.

Learn more on their
website and click here to apply!

Costco Grants

Costco Wholesale specifically focuses on programs supporting children, education and health and human services and is committed to supporting charitable and community activities in the markets where they do business.

For information on their donation and grant opportunities, visit their charitable giving website.

WaysToHelp Youth Grants

WaysToHelp awards grants to youth for projects that make a difference in the areas of the environment, democracy and equality, health, or community issues. Applicants must be no older than 19 and the project must be youth-initiated and youth-led.  


Learn more at and click here for grant application information.  


BNSF Railway Foundation

If your organization or program is in or serves a community near one of BNSF's rail lines, you are likely eligible to apply for one of their grants!  


Visit their website to learn more and apply. 


Finance Project Resource Center 

Click here for the Finance Project's resource center on finding funding for out-of-school time programs. 


Child & Adult Care Food Program

The federal "Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act" program provides meals and snacks for school-age youth in afterschool programs.




Find out more by visiting the Iowa Department of Education website.   


Iowa Grants Guide Online

The Iowa Grants Guide is a web-based directory of Iowa grant-making organizations. Program information only is provided; grant applications are not.  


Click here for the Iowa Grants Guide. Federal Funds Search Engine

Click here to search federal grant opportunities with a tool that lets you filter results by topic, such as Afterschool, Positive Youth Development, or Service Learning.  


Spark Grant Finder Tool

This online tool

locates national and state-specific grants for physical education, afterschool, early childhood and coordinated school health programs.  



Search for grants here.  

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance seeks to improve access to high-quality afterschool programs for all Iowa children, youth, and families through policy and partnerships, practice support and outreach and engagement.

To contact the IAA:

Michelle Rich, Iowa Network Coordinator 
2910 Westown Parkway, Suite 302
West Des Moines, IA 50266
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