The Afterschool Advisor 

January 2015

In This Issue
Legislative Reception
Indoor Activities
Free Books!
STEM Quality Survey
Promoting Peace
Western Iowa Forum
IA Reading Research Center
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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Have an Afterschool Snack at the Capitol!  


Iowa Afterschool Alliance Afterschool Snack


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

3:00-4:30 p.m.


State Capitol

First Floor Rotunda 

1007 E. Grand Ave.

Des Moines, IA 50319


Learning happens everywhere. High quality afterschool programs make learning meaningful while providing a safe environment for children and youth after school and over the summer. Let's ensure that access to these opportunities is supported - even expanded!


Share an afternoon snack and your expertise, passion, and experiences in afterschool programming with your legislators! All are welcome, especially children and youth participating in afterschool programs. Please RSVP here so we can have name tags ready for everyone.
The great indoors?

Are the kids in your program going stir crazy from being cooped up inside during the cold winter months? The National AfterSchool Association has just what you need! 


Download this free Afterschool Guide for Creating Outstanding Indoor Games to help keep kids active and engaged in any season. 


(And hopefully you'll be able to enjoy being outdoors again soon!)

Receive FREE New Books!

First Book has a program called the National Book Bank that distributes donated (new) children's books to youth-serving organizations across the country. 


You must register to be considered, then select the books you are interested in when a distribution becomes available. If books cannot be picked up in person, you only pay around 45 cents in shipping per book.


They also have a marketplace that offers heavily discounted books. Check them out!

Survey: How is Quality Defined?
An interim edition of our SySTEM Building Newsletter was released last month! You can view it here. This edition of the newsletter was focused on defining, identifying, and carrying out quality STEM activities in afterschool settings. 

We are seeking to build consensus in Iowa on a definition to use for quality OST STEM, and hope you will take this very brief survey on the working definition that we have proposed.

If you haven't already, please join the mailing list to receive all future STEM newsletters and updates!

Let's Promote Peace!

There's never been a better time to emphasize the importance of peace in our communities and around the world! A peaceful environment allows young people to feel safe and focus on learning, resulting in higher achievement.


World Citizen, a non-profit dedicated to empowering communities to educate for a just and peaceful world, offers five Peace Actions that can be taught and practiced with children and youth:  

  • Seek peace within yourself and others.
  • Reach out in service.
  • Protect the environment.
  • Respect diversity.
  • Be a responsible citizen of the world.
They also offer resources, peace education training, and the opportunity to become a Peace Site.
The Western Iowa Regional Forum culminates the second stage of statewide outreach to raise awareness of the Iowa Afterschool Opportunities Directory.

Please attend this important and exciting event to be a part of this growing area of education and youth development!

This event is designed to share data collected up to the date of the event and have discussions focused on next steps and telling the story of afterschool in Iowa. 

Click here for more information and to register!
Iowa Reading Research Center Survey
Iowa State University, on behalf of the Iowa Reading Research Center, will be reaching out to community programs that offer activities or instruction related to reading during the summer. They will be asking program leaders to complete a survey to provide information about their program. 
The purpose of the survey is to better understand programs that are currently offered so that the Iowa Reading Research Center can develop guidelines to help schools and their community partners establish high quality programs and community-school partnerships. 
Many of you will be receiving an email from Dr. Amy Hutchison Iowa State University asking you to participate in the survey. Your participation is extremely valuable! Please take time to complete the survey. 
If you have information about a summer program but do not receive a request to take the survey, please let us know by contacting Dr. Amy Hutchison at  Thank you for your support!
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 February 25-26. 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! 

Coming Soon: 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 agenda and registration coming soon. We hope to see you there!  
Professional Development Opportunities
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance keeps a calendar of opportunities regularly updated on our website. Visit it at      
Webinar: Engaging Families Using High and Low Tech Strategies
January 21, 2015; 1:00-2:00 p.m.
This session will feature Joe Mazza, an expert in using technology to support family engagement. Click here to register.
EyesOpenIowa Webinar: 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.

Dimensions of Success STEM Observer Training
February 25-26, 2015

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. 


If you are interested in becoming a DoS observer, please contact Indira at to register!
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 is now open. Register here online. 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

Excellence in Summer Learning and Founder's Awards

Applications Deadline: February 13, 2015

The Excellence in Summer Learning Award and NSLA's new Founder's Award recognize summer programs or models that demonstrate excellence in accelerating academic achievement and promoting healthy development for young people. Just by submitting an application, your program will receive feedback outlining its strengths and areas for improvement.


Award winners and finalists receive even more detailed feedback, similar to having a full CASP (Comprehensive Assessment of Summer Programs) assessment and a consultation phone call with the NSLA Program Quality Team.
Please visit their website for more information.

Dollar General Youth Literacy Grants

Application Deadline: May 21, 2015

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

Grant funding is provided to assist in the following areas:

  • Implementing new or expanding existing literacy programs
  • Purchasing new technology or equipment to support literacy initiatives
  • Purchasing books, materials or software for literacy programs
Click here for more information and to apply!
The Actuarial Foundation Advancing Student Achievement Grant 
ASA grants support innovative math programs that open your students' minds to the practical power of math! The purpose of an ASA grant is to support innovative math enhancement programs that bridge the gap between classroom and real world mathematics. 
Learn more and apply here.

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.


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.


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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