Wishing you and your family happy holidays and a wonderful New Year!

The Afterschool Advisor

                  December 2014

In This Issue
Afterschool Legislation
Iowa AmeriCorps Award
IAA Directory Outreach Update
New Math Resource
Building Compassion
Marathon Kids Program
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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Good News for Afterschool out of Washington!
On November 19, President Obama signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 into law, reauthorizing the child care program for the first time since 1996! You can read more about the law and the recent improvements to the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program here.

In other news from Washington, the FY15 spending bill that was passed by Congress on December 13th includes an increase in federal afterschool funding! "This increase brings 21st CCLC back to its FY12 pre-sequester funding level. Thousands more young people will have access to quality programs as a result of the increase."
IAA's VISTA Recognized by State of Iowa

Jillsa Aringdale, an AmeriCorps VISTA serving at the Iowa Afterschool Alliance, has been honored as the Iowa AmeriCorps Member of the Month for December 2014! 


Since the start of her service last April, Jillsa has supported the IAA's work to expand access to high quality afterschool programming across Iowa.


Through close collaboration on projects including United Way of Central Iowa's OST Initiative, the Noyce Foundation-funded Iowa SySTEM Building Initiative, and Iowa's 21st Century Community Learning Centers, the objective of Jillsa's service is to build capacity to integrate STEM and literacy in out-of-school time programming.

Iowa Afterschool Opportunities Statewide Directory Outreach Continuing in the New Year!
Now live! Check out the directory and list your program at www.iowaafterschoolalliance.org/afterschool-programs!

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 completed our outreach events in eastern Iowa, and will be travelling across western and central Iowa starting in Januray to make sure as many programs as possible can have the opportunity to learn about the directory. 

Please visit the IAA's website for more details on dates and locations for our upcoming meetings!

New Afterschool Math Resources from IPTV 

Math Adventures: A Math Engagement Program is based on the Iowa Core Standards. The goal of the program is to help Kindergartners improve their math skills. Studies have shown that early math skills are consistently associated with higher academic performance in later grades.


Kindergarten students are paired with an older student or an adult. There are 11 sessions and one optional session, each aligned with a piece of the mathematics core for kindergarten. 

The Kindergarten Edition and its accompanying Big Buddy Guide are free and available now! First and second grade editions are still in development, and should be ready by February 1, 2015.

Character Counts!

In a recent guest blog for Character Counts In Iowa, Dr. Michele Borba writes that "the seeds of empathy, caring and compassion are present from early in life, but to become caring, ethical people, children need adults to help them at every stage of childhood to nurture these seeds into full development."

Read her 7 Tips for developing care and compassion in children, and explore the other resources offered by Character Counts in Iowa that feature easy-to-teach and understand ethical values that are critical to showing good character and 21st century skills!

Program Partnership Spotlight: Marathon Kids  

Are you looking to enhance the physical activity services that your program provides? Marathon Kids works with schools, families, and communities to develop healthy eating and fitness habits in children and adults alike. They have already served over 240,000 children this year!


Marathon Kids' evidence-based programming helps elementary-aged children, families, schools, organizations, and communities overcome the health effects caused by sedentary lifestyles and poor food access. Marathon Kids is motivation, inspiration, and yes, a little bit of perspiration.


To learn more about bringing the 26.2 Mile Challenge and Marathon Kids to your program, contact the Marathon Kids Program Team at (512) 447-1259 or email programs@marathonkids.org.


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 January 8-9, 2015. 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 iblazevic@sppg.com 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 http://www.iowaafterschoolalliance.org/resources/.      

EyesOpenIowa Webinars: 
How to Combat Bullying in Your Classroom
January 14, 2015; 3:00-4:30 p.m.
Over half (57%) of Iowa youth in 6th, 8th, and 11th grade reported having been bullied. Bullying is not a new topic and with the increase of technology the landscape of bullying is becoming easier to maneuver. This webinar will help educators to identify how they can eliminate bullying in their classroom.
To register, click here.
Host a Rockin' Parents Event!
February 3, 2015; 12-1:00 p.m.
This webinar will explore ways of engaging parents/caregivers in these ever important conversations. Useful strategies and tips will be provided that can be easily implemented in your community. This is one webinar you don't want to miss!
Click here to register.
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.

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.

4th Annual Iowa Statewide STEM Conference 
March 30, 2015; Des Moines, Iowa
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center (part of the Iowa Events Center complex), 833 5th Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa. Room Block for March 29 at the Quality Inn near the Iowa Events Center at 929 3rd Street, Des Moines. More information along with a registration site coming soon, at http://www.iowastem.gov/.
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 http://www.iaworkforcepartners.org/professional-development/ 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

Sodexo/ Youth Service America Hunger Service Project Grants

Application deadline: January 15, 2015

One in five children in America are at risk of hunger. This is a problem that can be solved, and kids are a part of the solution! YSA and Sodexo Foundation are looking for 100 of the best ideas from young people about how they can help end childhood hunger in their communities. $400 grants are available for youth leaders ages 5-25 across the U.S. to turn their ideas into action and make an impact on the issue of childhood hunger on Global Youth Service Day, April 17-19, 2015, and beyond.


Visit their website for more information!


Canvas Grants 2015

Application deadline: January 23, 2015
Have you ever wished you could transform education by empowering teachers and students to learn and do more? For the second year in a row, Canvas Grants are granting your most inspired wishes for K-12 and higher education!


Learn more about past grant winners and apply here.


Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants

Youth Literacy Grants provide funding to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. 


2015 Youth Literacy Grant applications will open in January. Visit their website for more information!   


Toshiba America Foundation Grants

Toshiba America Foundation believes science and mathematics are exciting fields in which all students can succeed with the proper tools and instruction. Grant applications must be for project based learning, and they do not consider requests solely for computers.


For more information, 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 WaysToHelp.org 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


FindYouthInfo.gov 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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