The Afterschool Advisor 

June 2015

In This Issue
Giveaway Winner!
7 Things on Teens
Iowa Grad Rates
Summer Learning Day 2015
The Proof on Summer Learning
Thinking about Thinking
How to Engage
Upcoming Professional Development Opportunities
Grant Opportunities
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Congratulations P.A.W.S. of Winterset!

We proudly announce P.A.W.S. as the winner of the Afterschool Opportunities Directory giveaway! As our winner, they will receive a new iPAD and iTunes giftcard. Congratulations P.A.W.S. of Winterset!

About P.A.W.S.
P.A.W.S. offers games, activities and chances to work on cool projects. They are open before and after school. Check out this cool place for kids to hang out with friends! 

Let people know where to find you! Have them check the 
Directory for a full list of after school programs across the state.

For questions about this giveaway or the Directory, please contact Michelle Rich at  
7 Things You Should Know About Teens
Summer's a time of transition for children of all ages. For teens, this transition may be from junior high to high school or high school graduation to college. Everyone working and living with teens should understand these 7 personal challenges of teens.

Guess Which State Has the Best High School Graduation Rate?

On June 9th, National Public Radio (NPR) released the story "Guess Which State Has The Best High School Graduation Rate?" in which Iowa was named the state with the best high school graduation rate at 90 percent. This is well above the national average of 81 percent. 

Des Moines, Iowa, was spotlighted because of its public and non-traditional schools. As quoted in the story, "...a good place to view a state's sincerity on graduation rates is in its largest city, where it's easy to find students living in poverty with solo parents."

To find out more about how Des Moines Public Schools are making an impact on graduation rates (including a commitment to afterschool for all their students!), visit their website at  
The Power of Summer Learning Recognized
On Tuesday, June 17, Iowa Governor Branstad proclaimed the day Summer Learning Day in Iowa!

Nationally celebrated on June 19, the Governor and Lt. Governor recognized Summer Learning Day with a visit to MLK Park in Des Moines. The program integrates reading instruction and enrichment to build on the kids' school-year learning to ensure they don't lose ground over the summer - a common problem, especially for low-income children.

In recognition of United Way of Central Iowa's contribution to summer learning, they have been recognized by the Campaign for Grade Level Reading as a 2014 Pacesetter.

Find out more about the United Way of Central Iowa's Summer in the City! program on their website.  
Research and Practice Shows Need for More Summer Learning Opportunities

Research shows that students from low-income families typically lose two to three months of math skills during the summer. America After 3pm includes studies, as well as a state-by-state breakdown of summer school data.  


To learn more from America After 3 PM, click here.


In a report funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the National Summer Learning Association provides a comprehensive resource for program providers, education leaders, policymakers, and funders who are making important decisions about how to strengthen and expand summer learning programs.

Hands-Off Teaching Leads to "Thinking about Thinking"
young-boy-reading.jpgOut-of-School Time professionals work hard to make lessons engaging and accessible as possible.

Unfortunately, not reaching every stu
dent can be frustrating. According to a new article, classroom engagement all boils down to who's truly using the best learning in the classroom. This fascinating article examines the issues related to activity overload.

To read more click
Promising Practices in Youth Engagement
"Leave Them Wanting More!: Engaging Youth in Afterschool," by M. Elena Lopez, is commentary from the Harvard Family Research Project discussing the importance of youth engagement in students' learning, relationship building, and development. The resource also provides promising practices in engagement as evidenced by HFRP research.   
Professional Development Opportunities
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance keeps a calendar of opportunities regularly updated on our website. Visit it at

Iowa DHS Child Care Registry Opportunities:
Mentoring Methods 

On-going Self-Study Online Class
Mentoring is a powerful and popular way for people to learn a variety of personal and professional skills. Learn more about the process and how to be an effective mentor.

For more information click here

Understanding Each Other: Communicating with Families, Staff and Your Community
On-going, Self-Study Online Class
This course will help you to improve your verbal, written, and nonverbal language skills to ensure effective and positive communication with families, staff, and the community.

Blank Park Zoo Patterns in Nature
July 8 & 9, 2015 - F. W. Kent Park, Tiffin, IA
July 22 & 23, 2015 - Swan Lake State Park, Carroll, IA
August 5 & 6, 2015 - Water's Edge Nature Center, Algona, IA 
This course will explore patterns in nature using science, mathematics, art, and literature.  Participants will gain knowledge about camouflage, biomimicry, aposematism, fractals, Fibonacci, and sound and movement patterns in plant and animal populations.

Click here to register for the Patterns in Nature courses

Summer Changes Everything Conference

Save the date for the 2015 Summer Changes Everything™ national conference on summer learning in Baltimore, Maryland, October 12-14!

Click here to register! 

CryptoClub Summer 2015 Leader Training Workshop
June 25-27, 2015; University of Illinois at Chicago
Cryptography, the science of secret messages, is an intriguing STEM topic and an important application of mathematics. CryptoClub is a 16-20 hour afterschool curriculum designed to teach cryptography and mathematics to students in grades 6-8. It uses games, treasure hunts, and other informal activities to engage students in learning cryptography and applying middle-school mathematics. The CryptoClub curriculum has been developed and tested with support from the National Science Foundation. 

Click here for more details!  

Dimensions of Success STEM Observer Training
Available once monthly; please contact Indira for more information 

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. 


DoS July 15-16, 10am-4pm EST; Registration Deadline: June 28


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


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

Before You Seek a Grant: A Checklist for New Nonprofits
Free Recorded Webinar! The class will address such questions as:
  • What groundwork do I have to have in place before approaching foundations for funding?
  • What are the steps to obtaining incorporation and nonprofit status and where can I get some help to do so?
  • What are the characteristics of successful nonprofits?
Click here for more information.

Reiman Foundation Grants

Deadline: Rolling 

The Reiman Foundation focuses its giving in four main areas: Health Care, Education, The Arts & Children. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to apply. We review and make decisions on applications received on an ongoing basis throughout the year.  


See more here! 

U.S. Department of Education Announces New 'Skills for Success' Grant Competition
Deadline: July 29th
The U.S. Department of Education announced a new grant competition to support the social and emotional development of middle-school students called Skills for Success. This competition will award $2 million nationally this year to help educators develop students' resilience, growth mindsets and other essential skills for academic success. These projects will help identify effective approaches that can be replicated in middle schools across the country.

Find the full listing here.  
Do Something Funding
Deadline: Rolling

Do Something is an online tool for funding youth-led service projects.


See more here! 


"From Failure to Promise" K-12 Educators Grant
Deadline: June 31, 2015
How would $500 help you move students/youth "from failure to promise" in literacy, math, science, or technology? To support educators, Dr. C Moorer & Associates, Inc., will award several $500 mini-grants in 2015 to community-based organizations, libraries, or schools with creative ideas for adopting and using "From Failure to Promise" in their curriculum.

Find out more and apply

Prudential Foundation Grants

Deadline: Rolling 

The Prudential Foundation provides funding in the areas of Education, including Youth Development and out-of-school-time programs for young people, Economic Development, and Arts & Civic Infrastructure.  


Visit the website to find out more!


National Alliance for Accessible Golf Grants  
Deadline: Rolling
Through a grant from the United States Golf Association, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf will provide financial assistance and resources to help make the game of golf more accessible to people with disabilities. The Alliance is particularly interested in applications that demonstrate a focus on the inclusion of people with disabilities in programs that involve those without disabilities with the ultimate goal of enhancing their inclusion into the fabric of their community.

Learn more and apply on their website.  

American Family Insurance Corporate Giving and Sponsorship

Deadline: Open
American Family Insurance protects dreams by helping strengthen and support individuals, families, neighborhoods, and communities. They also sponsor events and activities that build stronger ties with customers through memorable, beneficial experiences.

Learn more and apply for a financial contribution or sponsorship here.


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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