The Afterschool Advisor 

October 2014

In This Issue
Happy Lights On Day!
21CCLC Deadline
Special LIteracy Webinar
Bullying Prevention
Iowa Duck Stamp Program
Mentoring in Iowa
STEM Observers Needed
Conservation Ideas
STEM Newsletter
Random Acts of Kindness
AmeriCorps Grants
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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Happy Lights on Afterschool Day! 
Today (October 23) is Lights On Afterschool Day, the national celebration of all things afterschool and summer learning!

Although Lights On is but one day a year, here at the Iowa Afterschool Alliance every day is a celebration. Why? Because every day a child's life is impacted by an afterschool program in big and small ways. We like to think that through our support to programs, we make a little difference each day.

You make a difference! Take time each day to celebrate the little ways you make a difference with the children and youth you serve.

Lights On events continue throughout the fall. The official LOA 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!

Have you done or are doing something for LOA this year? Let Jillsa Aringdale know about your event at

Deadline Approaching for Iowa's 21st Century Community Learning Centers 2015 Cycle 

The 2015 Request for Applications (RFA) has been released and is available on the Iowa Department of Education website, here.  

Important dates are listed below.  


October 31, 2014 - Letter of Intent Due: you must submit a letter of interest to be considered in the grant competition, however it does not require that you submit a final application for funding. If you are on the fence about submitting a full application, still submit a letter of interest to assure your final eligibility. The link to submit a letter of intent is


Q&A Webinar - Tuesday, November 4, 9:00-11:00 AM

Online via Adobe Connect

To log in:  

To access the webinar room, click on "Enter as a guest".  

To join the conference line for audio: Call: 1-800-444-28011-800-444-2801 Participant Code: 2895301  


The Iowa Department of Education uses a peer review process for 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant applications. This process is used to ensure quality proposals are selected for funding. Applications are now open for both grant reviewers and facilitators


The application to be a peer reviewer or facilitator is available on the Iowa Department of Education website, (scroll down to "Peer Review Process"), and is due by Noon on November 7, 2014.


For more information on the 21CCLC Grant Competition, please contact Indira Blazevic Karic at or (515)237-0324(515)237-0324 
Special Iowa Reading Research Center Webinar

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance will host a special webinar with Michelle Hosp, the director of the Iowa Reading Research Center, on Tuesday, October 28 from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.  


Ms. Hosp will share recently-released resources and information on literacy materials and strategies Iowa Reading Research Centeravailable now on their website,   


To access the webinar, click on this link at the scheduled time and enter as a guest:

To connect to the audio, call-in to 1-800-444-28011-800-444-2801 and use passcode 2895301.

The webinar will be recorded and made available for viewing at any time on both the Iowa 21CCLC wiki,, and the United Way of Central Iowa OST Literacy Initiative wiki at


This webinar is supported by Iowa's 21st Century Community Learning Centers.  

Prevent Bullying Year-Round
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Here are some great tips
for keeping afterschool programs safe and preventing bullying from ExtendEd Notes' Note of the Week:


"Quality, effective afterschool programs can help schools and communities combat bullying. With access to caring adults and a less formal, more open learning environment, students can feel safe from peer pressure, build confidence and learn how to deal with bullies in school and online. The following are four tips for building a safe, bully-free environment:


  • Build a strong afterschool community. Involve students in creating community rules that everyone must follow. Establish and enforce clear rules for appropriate behavior.
  • Keep parents and guardians in the loop. Maintain clear communication, and notify parents when a bullying incident has occurred, their child's involvement and the resolution.
  • Incorporate social and emotional learning (SEL) for all students. Provide activities that build core SEL skills - like empathy, emotion management and social problem-solving - which are important for bullying prevention. Learn more.
  • Train teachers and staff how to intervene to stop bullying. Establish a clear protocol for staff to follow when they encounter bullying and encourage them to model expected behaviors.

*Bonus tip: Keep a record of the bullying incidents that occur to detect trends and develop effective prevention strategies."


More ways to participate in Bullying Prevention Month and throughout the year can be found here.

Iowa Junior Duck Stamp Program
The Iowa Junior Duck Stamp (JDS) Program is looking for students in grades K-12 to submit a duck stamp art entry in a statewide competition. 
Official Web page of the U S Fish and Wildlife Service 
The art is judged in four grade groups with 100 Iowa students receiving awards. Each state's Best of Show is sent to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national contest.

Contest rules and entry information is available on the JDS website,

In Iowa, entries must be postmarked by March 15, 2015 and mailed to: Iowa Junior Duck Stamp Contest, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, 9981 Pacific Street, P.O. Box 399, Prairie City, IA, 50228.
Iowa Mentors!

It's an exciting time for mentoring in Iowa right now, and the IAA is glad to see these opportunities for youth across the state! 


The Coaches' Challenge is underway, with the goal of recruiting 15,000 new mentors in participating states by November 30th. Join Kirk Ferentz, Paul Rhoads, and Mark Farley, the football coaches of Iowa's Regents Universities, in closing the mentoring gap by taking the mentoring challenge, and spreading the word to possible mentors in your community!


Also in Iowa mentoring news is the announcement, made September 24th by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, that Iowa is joining the Million Women Mentors movement, with the goal of engaging the participation of 5,000 men and women across Iowa who work in STEM fields to mentor girls and young women and increase their interest in pursuing STEM careers. Visit Iowa's Million Women Mentors website if you'd like to learn more and get involved!


For more information on mentoring in Iowa, contact the Iowa Mentoring Partnership.

Do you know how to spot high quality STEM?


The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is using Dimensions of Success (DoS), an 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 seeking individuals across the state who are interested in observing afterschool STEM 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 a few spots available for the webinar trainings taking place November 20-21 *OR* December 16-17. This is your chance to become part of a growing network of active learning STEM experts in Iowa! 


If you are interested in becoming a DoS observer, please contact Indira at to register!

Energy Star Kids
During the month of October, the United States Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy promotes the importance of water and energy conservation practices. Now is a great time to help kids understand the environment and why we are all responsible for protecting it!

Here are several activities that can be used in your program to educate youth on conserving our planet's resources:
Keep In-the-Know on Active Learning STEM
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance, in partnership with the STEM Active Learning Community Partners Committee of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, seeks to build a stronger infrastructure at the state level for high-quality active learning OST STEM opportunities.

The very first edition of our SySTEM Building Newsletter was released last week! You can view it here. Partners from across the state contributed to the news items. Let us know if YOU have anything to share!

Join the mailing list to receive all future STEM newsletters and updates.
Random Acts of Kindness 
World Kindness Day is coming up on November 13th. The day offers a great opportunity to think about ways to add fun activities that build social-emotional skills and promote kindness in your afterschool program! 

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a plethora of free resources to use in teaching and modeling kindness with children and youth of all ages, from kindness posters and simple daily actions, to more involved projects.

We'd love to hear about the things students in your program are doing that make the world a friendlier place. Please, share your stories and activities with us by email or Facebook!

Funding Opportunity! Iowa AmeriCorps Grants 
The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) is pleased to announce the availability of federal funding in the form of AmeriCorps State program grantsAmeriCorps is a national service program that helps meet community needs through the efforts of AmeriCorps members. 
AmeriCorps programs are hosted by non-profit organizations, state agencies and local governments, elementary and secondary schools, Indian tribes, colleges and universities, community and faith-based organizations, and intermediary organizations representing a combination of these similar groups, working together. 
Different types of funding are available to meet the needs of various host agencies.
Notice of Intent to Apply is requested no later than October 30, 2014. Pre-applications are due November 17, 2014.
Please see this posting of the announcement, and contact Adam Lounsbery at 515-725-3099515-725-3099 or 800-308-5987800-308-5987 for more information.

Save the Date for Impact 2015!

  Save the Date for the 3rd Annual
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      

Juntos Facilitator Training

November 6-7, 2014; Altoona, Iowa 

ISU Extension and Outreach will host a  "Juntos (pronouced Whon-tos) Together for a Better Education" training for faciliators.  The Juntos program provides Latino parents and youth with knowledge and resources to prevent 8-12th grade students from dropping out and to encourage families to work together to gain access to college.

The two-day faciliator's training is being offered at the ISU Extension and Outreach office - Polk County in Altoona on November 6 and 7.  Community teams of two or more facilitators, including one bi-lingual facilitator, are encouraged to register.  Cost of the training, including curriculum and meals is $70 per person.


To register for the November 6 and 7 training in Altoona, contact the ISU Extension and Outreach office in Polk County at (515) 957-5785(515) 957-5785 , or email Michelle at

Registrations must be received by November 1. More information is available
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: 
Tools for Working with Pregnant and Parenting Teens
October 23, 2014; 12-1:30 p.m.
This training will help guide you to become more supportive and sensitive when working with pregnant and parenting teens. Learn how to help these teens be more successful and provide them with the support and encouragement they need. Fill your tool-bag with resources to help you along the way. 
For more information and to register, click here.
Bro Code: Tips for Teaching Boys
November 5, 2014; 3-4:30 p.m.
Boys are often left-out of sexual health education, through this training learn ways to be more inclusive when teaching boys and how to get them engaged and involved. During this training we'll look at how boys are left-out and what we can do to bring them back in. 
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!

"Family Storyteller" Facilitator Training
November 19, 2014; 9:15 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.; Fort Dodge, Iowa
Family Storyteller is an early literacy program designed to increase the amount and quality of time parents and young children spend together in literacy activities. Possible Family Storyteller partners include school librarians, public librarians, preschool teachers, elementary school teachers, Head Start, child care providers, school nurse, and other with an interest in early childhood. 
Registration deadline is November 14, using this form.
12th Annual EyesOpenIowa Conference: Listen. Connect. Support. 
November 20-21, 2014; Prairie Meadows Conference Center, Altoona
This one-of-a-kind conference brings together teachers, health educators, nurses, counselors, administrators and professionals from across Iowa and the Midwest. This is an excellent opportunity to learn from top professionals in the field of adolescent sexual health, network with partners from across the state, gather information from exhibitors and make lasting connections! 

To learn about keynote speakers, breakout sessions, and register, please use this link.
Blank Park Zoo Educator Workshops
Various dates and locations
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:
  • 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.


How Kids Learn IV Conference
December 11, 2014; San Francisco, California
Afterschool and summer programs are perfectly positioned to promote young people's social and emotional skills. These skills are also part of the 21st Century Learning Skills. They are associated with non-cognitive skills and the development of "grit" and a "growth mindset". This conference will focus on the research and practice of these things, with an eye on ensuring that all young people have equal access to these learning opportunities.


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 Association of Iowa Workforce Partners Annual Conference
March 26-27, 2015; Des Moines, Iowa
Featuring a youth track again this year, afterschool providers serving older youth and youth disconnected from school will be interested in this annual convening of workforce professionals and service providers. Topics include marketing services to older youth, entrepreneurial training, and motivating youth to build skills for future success.

Registration will open soon. Check regularly for updated conference information. 

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! 


New Literacy Content on Y4Y!
You 4 Youth is a free online professional development site that is designed to support 21st CCLC program staff, but is a valuable tool for any afterschool professional looking to build their skills! Just last month, Y4Y has rolled out a whole module on literacy.


Check it out, here!

Grant Opportunities

Good Neighbor Citizenship® Company Grants

Application deadline: October 31st

State Farm's charitable giving helps to build safer, stronger and better educated communities across the United States. Through their company grants, they focus on two areas: safety and education.


See their website for more information and to apply!


American Honda Foundation Grants 
Application deadline: November 1st 
The American Honda Foundation's funding priorities are STEM education, the environment, job training and literacy. Nonprofits, public school districts, private/public elementary and secondary schools are eligible to apply.
Please see their website for more information.
Bayer USA Foundation Grants
Application deadline: November 14th 
The Bayer USA Foundation awards funds to inquiry-based, hands-on STEM programs and programs that attempt to get minority or female students interested in STEM careers.
Learn more and apply here!
Brinker International Grants 
Brinker International's goal is to Make People Feel Special, and they aim to do so by giving money to projects focused on health, social services, arts and education, and diversity. 
Visit their website 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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