The Afterschool Advisor 

November 2014

In This Issue
IAA Directory Now Live!
America After 3 PM
Summer Learning Success
Family Literacy
STEM Observer Training
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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Iowa Afterschool Opportunities Statewide Directory Launch! 
Now live! Check out the directory and list your program at!

The IAA is hosting a number of meetings across the state to share this new tool to identify afterschool opportunities exclusively with program providers like you. We would like you to join us to be a leader in this project! 

We've already begun our outreach events in eastern Iowa, and will be working across the state to make sure as many programs as possible can have the opportunity to learn about the directory. 

Please see this flyer for more details on dates and locations for our upcoming meetings!

2014 America After 3PM Report Released!  

From the national Afterschool Alliance

"More and more, parents understand the benefits of afterschool programs and are enrolling their kids in record numbers. Participation in afterschool programs continues to grow, but for every child who participates, there are two more who would like to - if a program were available." 


Read the full report here. Also, make sure to check out the Iowa-specific data page, which includes the exciting news that afterschool program participation in our state has risen from 11 to 14 percent since 2009, and the number of Iowa children alone and unsupervised between 3 and 6p.m. has fallen from 32 to 23 percent!



Program Spotlight: CFUM's 
Awesome Summer Days

Children and Family Urban Movement (CFUM) in Des Moines has exciting data on the impact that their 2014 Awesome Summer Days program had on student learning! 


87% of participants' reading levels progressed or stayed the same over the summer break. 58% of these students made gains of at least one reading level over the summer. Of this group that made improvements in their reading level, almost one-third improved by two or more reading levels over the summer! 


Check out this profile to learn more about how CFUM was able to combat the "summer slide" and best practices they want to share with other programs looking to make learning strides with their students.

Family Involvement = Student Success!

We all know how crucial parent engagement is for students' success, but getting families involved in afterschool and out-of-school time programs has always been a challenge. Many parents already feel pressed for time as it is, and don't always have a clear understanding of the academic value that many afterschool programs provide.


One great way to get parents involved is through Family Literacy Events! This Afterschool Training Toolkit from the SEDL National Center for Quality Afterschool has all of the resources needed to plan and implement these events from start to finish. 


ExtendED Notes offers these tips for ensuring success for your Family Literacy Events:


  • Gather a group of parents and invite them to participate in the planning process. The families in your own community and school are the best guides to what will work for your event.
  • Whenever possible, offer food and child care at your events to welcome parents and make it convenient for families to attend. 
  • Provide opportunities for families to view student work, attend a presentation or meet the afterschool staff. 
  • Aim for a few family literacy events each year to build relationships and encourage parent involvement year-round. 

For even more resources on parent engagement, you can check out this webinar that Parenting Way recently presented to Iowa afterschool programs.

Dimensions of Success Observer Certification 


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 training taking place 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! 

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      
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: 
What happened to my body? Teaching puberty to older students.
December 2, 2014; 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Puberty? You went through it, you don't know what happened? Unfortunately your students may not have a grasp on puberty, making it difficult to begin teaching about reproductive anatomy. This webinar will give many tools and numerous activities that are specific to 7th-12th grade students.

For more information and to register, click here.

Healthy Relationships and Dating Violence 
December 12, 2013: 12-1:00 p.m.
Sadly among Iowa teens in 9th through 12th grades, 8% have been hit, slapped, or physically hurt on purpose by their boyfriend or girlfriend during the past 12 months. This session will look at the most up-to-date statistics on teen dating violence and how we can empower teens to make healthy decisions around relationships and what to do if they're in an unsafe situation.

For more information and to register, click here.
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:
  • 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! Recently, Y4Y has rolled out a whole module on literacy.


Check it out, here!

Grant Opportunities

Junior League of Des Moines Seeks Project Proposals

Application deadline: December 31, 2014

For the upcoming 2015 year, Junior League of Des Moines would like to invite you to think big for your projects. They are looking to partner with an organization for the next couple years and together, create a big impact in the community.


For more information and to apply, visit their website.  


The Awesome Foundation Grants 

"The Awesome Foundation is open to all people and organizations. There are no prerequisites to apply (beyond, of course, being awesome)."


Visit their website to learn more and apply.


Bank of America Charitable Foundation 
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation provides philanthropic support to address needs vital to the health of their communities through a focus on preserving neighborhoods and educating the workforce for 21st century jobs.
Learn more and apply here.
Wells Fargo Corporate Giving
Wells Fargo's Corporate Giving focuses on Community Development, Education, Human Services, Arts and Culture, Community Engagement, and Environment.
More information can be found at this website.
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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