The Afterschool Advisor 

August 2014

In This Issue
Davenport Fall Workshop
Lights on Afterschool!
Afterschool STEM Guidebook
Afterschool Gardening
2015 Impact Conference


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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Join Us for This Fall Workshop!

Afterschool professionals are invited to join us on September 12th for our 

Fall Professional Development Workshop in Davenport hosted by 21st Century Community Learning Centers! Here's a look at the schedule and session topics that will be featured:


1st Block Session Choices (11:30-12:30):

  • GIS Geo-Mentoring
  • Engaging with Staff
  • STEM in Afterschool

Lunch & The Role of the Principal in Afterschool Presentation featuring local principals (12:30-1:30)


2nd Block Session Choices (1:35-2:35):

  • Budgeting
  • Summer Reading Intervention Programs
  • STEM in Afterschool

3rd Block Session Choices (2:40-3:40):

  • Sustainability/Partnerships
  • Serving the needs of the Whole Child
  • STEM in Afterschool 

+ a site visit option at the end of the day!


The $15 fee for the workshop will cover lunch for the afternoon.


The City of Davenport is hosting us at an excellent venue for this event - The River Center.  


Click here to register! We hope to see you there!

Governor Branstad Signs Lights on Afterschool Day Proclamation!
This month, Governor Terry Branstad signed a proclamation declaring September 15th to be Lights on Afterschool Day in Iowa. Since October 23rd will be the 15th annual National Lights on Afterschool Day, that gives us a whole month to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of afterschool!

The official website has lots of information and ideas for planning simple events and activities to celebrate this day, and one of our favorites is this downloadable light bulb for students to decorate. Their finished artwork can then be displayed at your site, and even sent to your government representatives, to help send a powerful message, shining the light on afterschool!

If you choose to register your event, the Afterschool Alliance will send you 10 free Lights on Afterschool posters (image above). The IAA would also love to hear about how you are shining light on afterschool, and how we can support you in doing so! Let Jillsa Aringdale know at

Free After School STEM Guidebook

The After-School Corporation (TASC), through its Frontiers in Urban Science Education (FUSE) initiative, has released the second edition of its guidebook for program leaders seeking to incorporate STEM into their activities.


This valuable tool contains information, ideas and resources that can help you design a science program that matches your kids' needs and interests and fits within your program. The resources described here can help you increase student engagement in science using methods specifically designed for after-school settings.


Read more and download a copy for free, here! 

Take Your Program Outdoors

If you've been thinking about getting the youth you serve more in touch with nature, now is a great time to enhance your programming with the help of grants like these that support gardening initiatives!


Wild Ones Grants, due October 15th, provide awards of $100-$500 for the purchase of seeds to be used in educating elementary through high school aged students.


The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation donates orchards, including trees, shrubs, equipment, on-site expert advise, and free workshops to grantees who pledge to care for the trees. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.


Annie's Grants for Gardens offers grants as well as a fundraising platform to help programs establish and maintain school gardens.


Project Learning Tree's GreenWorks! Grants, due September 30th, provide several options for programs looking to initiate gardening and other environmental projects. 

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     

Developing Brain, Developing Accountability
September 29th at Des Moines University
This conference will feature a series of brief, dynamic and interactive
presentations from some of the leading experts in the field on this important topic. Learn what's happening locally and, most important, learn what you can do to create a safe community where every child counts!
Visit their website to register today! Registration closes September 14th.

BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Twitter Chats
The #BOOSTChat is a shared online conversation among out-of-school time and youth development educators hosted by world-class experts on a specified topic. The BOOST Collaborative Team provides the forum for conversation through our Twitter Handle @TEAMBOOST. The #BOOSTChat format is a Q & A time for participants to ask questions and share their experiences on the topic.

EyesOpenIowa Webinars: 
Time to Talk: Preparing for Let's Talk Month
September 10, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

October is recognized national and locally as Let's Talk Month, an educational awareness month encouraging parents to talk to their youth about sexual health and relationships. Join this webinar to help you
prepare for this important month, get fresh new ideas on how to promote the month and events you can host. You'll leave this webinar with many easy to use tools and tips.

For more information and to register, click here.
Empowering At-Risk Youth
September 25, 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Participants will be given tools to answering sensitive 
questions, information on self-disclosure and activities and lesson plans specific to this population. The goal of this training is to help empower youth to make healthy decisions. 
For more information and to register, click here. 

Beyond the Bell Training of Trainers
October 9-10, 2014; Chicago, IL
This two-day opportunity will prepare you to facilitate Beyond the Bell trainings and use in your community. The training will introduce you to the Toolkit, provide guidance on how to use it as a training resource, and arm you with a host of materials that you can use for your own personalized trainings. You will leave as a certified Beyond the Bell trainer.

As a trainer, you will be able to:

  • Build your expertise in the field of afterschool and expanded learning
  • Meet other afterschool leaders through our Beyond the Bell trainer network
  • Facilitate Beyond the Bell trainings for afterschool staff in your community
Early-bird registration ends September 12. Early bird fee is $900 till this date. Register online 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!

Blank Park Zoo Educator Workshops
Mark your calendar for this school year's educator workshops facilitated by the Blank Park Zoo! The workshops are good for one hour of Drake University or license renewal credit and teachers will be eligible to schedule a free classroom animal program. The following dates and topics are scheduled:
  • October 3/4 - Zoo Structure and Design
  • November 21/22 - Conservation: People and Animals
  • January 23/24 - Wild Genes
  • February 20/21 - New workshop! Patterns in Nature
  • April 17/18 - Wonders of Water 

More detailed information and registration forms may be found on the zoo's website.


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 Iowa 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. 

2015 BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Conference

April 28 - May 1, 2015; Palm Springs, CA

The BOOST Conference is one of the largest, most recognized, and highly comprehensive professional development opportunities in the country, convening over 2,300 professionals who work with and serve youth in the out-of-school time hours. This all-inclusive conference supports After School Education & Safety (ASES) Programs, 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Programs and High School ASSETS programs.

Set in a retreat-like atmosphere, this extraordinary event will rejuvenate your passion and boost your direction for quality programming. 

Please visit the Boost Conference website for more information and to register.

You for Youth Online PD for Afterschool Professionals

Short online courses are available for afterschool and summer program staff through You for Youth, a website originally developed by the U.S. Department of Education 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. All courses are accessible by the public! 

Grant Opportunities

Target Field Trip Grants
Application deadline: September 30th
Awards of up to $700 to fund field trips that provide enriching experiences for children.
Please see Target's grants website for more information.
Classics for Kids Foundation: Stringed Instrument Grants
Next application deadlines: September 30th, December 31st
If your program needs help getting funding for instruments, the Classics for Kids Foundation could be just what you're looking for!
Find more information here!
Verizon Foundation Grants
Application deadline: October 14th
STEM education for K-12 youth is one of the Verizon Foundation's three focus areas for its grant program, which makes awards of up to $10,000.
Learn more about the application process and find your local Verizon Community Relations Manager's contact information here.

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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