The Afterschool Advisor 

June 2014

In This Issue
Iowa Afterschool Opportunities Directory Survey
Webinar on School Lunch Alt. Eligibility
NEW! Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities
Quality STEM Assessors Needed
Mark Your Calendar! 2015 Impact Conference
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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We Want to Know: What Would You Do With Statewide Info on OST Programs?   

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is developing an online statewide database of expanded learning opportunity programs that will be publicly searchable ansilver-keyboard2.jpgd provide data for aggregate reporting and analysis.

We've put together a very brief survey to get feedback from our afterschool stakeholders - that's you! - on how we can make this tool as effective as possible.

Please read a brief description of the database project and answer our short, 4-question survey here. Thank you in advance for your time and opinion!!

School Lunch Program Alternative Eligibility 

On Tuesday, July 8th, the Food Research and Action Center will host a webinar entitled "Community Eligibility: Everything You Want to Know but Were Afraid to Ask."
The Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) provides an alternative approach under the National School Lunch Program for offering school meals to districts and schools in low income areas instead of collecting individual applications for free and reduced price meals. 

Panelists will include U.S. Department of Education Title I experts, state Title I experts, and state and local child nutrition and school administrators with experience implementing community eligibility.

Click here for more information and to register!

NEW: Inaugural Edition of the Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities Released!  

The Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO) is a peer-reviewed, online, open-access publication of the Central Valley Afterschool Foundation.

The aim of the journal is to promote scholarship and consciousness of the ways in which students' engagement in afterschool and expanded learning activities contributes to their learning and development through the publication of original empirical, practical, and theoretical manuscripts.

Learn more about the journal and read the first edition here!
Quality STEM External Observers Wanted!

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance will be utilizing the Dimensions of Success (DoS), a self-assessment observation tool that pinpoints twelve indicators of STEM program quality in out-of-school time. It was developed and studied with funding from the National Science Foundation by the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency at Harvard University.  


The IAA is now seeking individuals in across the state who are interested in observing afterschool programs using the DoS tool. To ensure tool validity, observers must participate in a two-day online training via webinar. Thanks to funding from the Noyce Foundation, this training is provided at no charge.


There are still a few spots left for the webinar training taking place July 29 and 30, 2014. If you are interested in becoming a DoS observer, please contact Indira at  to register!

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
515-278-0271 and mention the Impact After School Conference to make your reservation by April 1, 2015.


Stay tuned for more information on the 2015 agenda and registration in the coming months. We hope to see you next spring!
Professional Development Opportunities
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance keeps a calendar of opportunities regularly updated on our website. Visit it at     

Blank Park Zoo Educator Workshops 
July-August, 2014; Mason City, Carrol
l, and 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:
  • 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  

EyesOpenIowa Webinar: Creating Successful Community Organization and School Partnerships

July 15, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Learn ways to become a better partner organization & tips for success!

For more information and to register, click here.

Summer Changes Everything National Conference on Summer Learning 
November 17-19, 2014
San Antonio, Texas
At the 2014 Summer Changes Everything™ national conference, the National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) and their colleagues will focus on the theme of "Accelerating Achievement." Presenters and participants will examine how summer is an accelerator for education priorities such as 3rd grade reading proficiency, college and career readiness, school transitions, STEM education, and more.

Learn more and register here!

Beyond School Hours: Every Minute Matters 
February 18-21, 2015; Orlando, Florida

What's the next big thing in education? What'll work right now for your programs? The answers are here, presented with flair via:  

  • Hands-on workshops and pre-conferences led by national experts
  • Motivating keynote presentations and panel discussions
  • Fascinating educational excursions
  • Exhibits unveiling the latest and greatest products and solutions
Learn more about this national professional development opportunity online.  

2015 Impact After School Conference  

April 23-24, 2015; Des Moines, Iowa

Join other Iowa afterschool professionals for two days of networking, learning, collaborating, and just plain having fun! This year we're moving to a larger venue to accommodate this successful event. Be sure to attend in 2015. You won't want to miss it!

Check the Iowa Afterschool Alliance website for more information in the coming months.

Webinar: Boosting Staff Performance

A previously-recorded webinar by the Older Youth Committee of the California AfterSchool Network is proud to release a webinar on "Boosting Staff Performance." This hour long webinar was created by practitioners from the field to provide valuable resources and strategies to help boost staff performance.

Watch at your convenience here!

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

Best Buy Community Grants  
The goal of Best Buy Community Grants is to help teens build 21st century technology skills. To be eligible, your organization must provide direct services to teens aged 13-18 and be located within 50 miles of a Best Buy store. Grants are awarded for one year and the average amount is $5000. Proposals are due June 27th, so hurry to their website if you are interested in applying!

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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