The Afterschool Advisor
November 2015
State Service Plan Input
The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS) is collecting feedback about the latest edition of the State Service plan and want to invite as many groups as possible to share their thoughts about how Iowa can improve volunteer and national service. ICVS commissioners invite you to participate. You may download the draft plan HERE; and access the online feedback survey HERE (survey is available through the end of November).
Save the Date for Impact 2016!

Joins us for our 4th Annual Impact After school Conference!
April 28 - 29, 2016. 
Ramada Tropics Resort & Conference Center
5000 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50322
Stay tuned for more information on the 2016 agenda and registration in the coming months on our website. We hope to see you next spring!
Holiday Kick-Off at the Science Center


The Science Center of Iowa is celebrating the holidays with a Season Kick-Off event. The event will be held on November 28th from 5:00-8:00pm. The event will include FREE general admission to the Science Center's traveling exhibits including RACE: Are We So Different?  and the Geometry PlaygroundTo learn more about this event, check out the Science Center event page.
Fun Crafts for the Day of the Dead!
On November 1st, the Iowa Afterschool Alliance attended the 15th Annual "Day of the Dead" celebration, which is observed in different parts of Latin America. Families, youth and afterschool programs came together to celebrate the life of loved ones with arts and crafts.
The Des Moines Arts Center is a hub for afterschool programs including the Outreach program, which uses art education to inspire students and at-risk youth to acknowledge their abilities and sense of worth. 
(Pictured Above Folkloric Dancers- Los Jovenes Embajadores)
To learn more about the Des Moines Art Center and their out-of-school time activities click here.
Increasing Cultural Awareness in Afterschool

Educators and youth program coordinators were invited to Lincoln High School on November 1st for the "Window Shopping for World Cultures" event.CultureALL ambassadors from around the world connected with classroom educators in Des Moines Public Schools and beyond. CultureAll  ambassadors provide enriching, hands-on experiences that bring culture and life to the classroom.
 For more information on CultureAll's out-of-school time opportunities, visit or contact CultureAll at

(Pictured to the Left: CultureAll Ambassador of Kenya)
Building Nonprofit Capacity in the 21st Century 
On November 9th-10th, The Iowa Nonprofit Summit facilitated informational sessions on increasing capacity building resources and networking opportunities between nonprofits. The Iowa Afterschool Alliance would like to thank the collaborating partners of the Iowa Nonprofit Summit for organizing such a successful event!

Michelle Rich, IAA Network Lead, presented at the Iowa Nonprofit Summit. Rich co-led a presentation called "Leveraging Your Leadership" with Heidi Brown. The workshop was dedicated to understanding individual leadership styles. Rich also presented "Storytelling with Data" which emphasized the importance of using data to communicate organizational effectiveness to local stakeholders in the community.  Below are highlights from the Iowa Non-Profit Summit.
(Pictured above: Nonprofit Spotlight Award-Big Brothers Big Sisters)

(Pictured Above: "Leveraging Your Leadership" session with Michelle Rich and Heidi Brown)

For more information regarding the Iowa Nonprofit Summit click here.
Ways to Promote High Quality STEM

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 to you and you keep your certification which you can use at your own program.

There are spaces available at the following times: 
  • January 14-15, 10am-4pm EST; SPOTS AVAILABLE
  • February 9-10, 10am-4pm EST; SPOTS AVAILABLE
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 (NSF) by the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency (PEAR), along with partners at Educational Testing Services (ETS) and Project Liftoff.

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 Karic at to find out more and register!
Community Champion Spotlight: Whiz Kidz Afterschool Program
The Whiz Kidz after-school program at Freedom for Youth Ministries is an elementary program for K-5th graders across Iowa. The youth program encourages youth to encounter Jesus, build healthy relationships with volunteers and excel in academics.  

On December 5th, from 10:00am-1:00pm, Freedom for Youth Ministries will be hosting WinterFest! Stop by their location on Hickman road for student performances, food and samples of Freedom Blend Coffee. Also, handcrafted gifts made by middle school and high school programs will be available for purchase.

To learn more about the Whiz Kidz Program at Freedom for Youth Ministries click here
 or contact Kayla Klopfenstein at

Nominate Your Own Community Champion!

If you know a program, staff member or volunteer who is making an impact in the out-of-school time community, we are currently taking nominations. We will highlight them in our newsletter and send them a congratulations letter! To nominate a local Community Champion, click here.
How Can We Better Serve You?
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance strives to support afterschool professionals with resources regarding program sustainability and professional development. By filling out this short survey, we can see how we are doing and what we can improve to better serve YOU!
Professional Development Opportunities
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance keeps a calendar of professional development opportunities on our website at  

Out of School Time Professional Development Center
The Out of School Time Professional Development Center provides Out of School Time training to OST professionals. The classes provide in-depth curriculum and certificates. If you or your staff are interested in signing up for courses visit the Out-of-School Time website. Check out the entire course catalog here

Blank Park Zoo Educator Workshops
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 licence renewal credit and teachers will be elligble to schedule a free classroom animal program. The following dates and topics are scheduled:
November 20/21, 2015 - Conservation: People and Animals
January 15/16. 2016 - Wild Genes
February 19/20, 2016 - Climate Change
April 15/16, 2016 - Wonders of Water

All academic year workshops are held at Blank Park Zoo on Friday evenings and all day Saturdays.
More detailed information and registration forms may be found on the zoo's website.

Bullying and The Brain: Webinar
EyesOpenIowa; December 2nd  12:00-1:00pm
This webinar will focus on how bullying affects the brain of both the bully and the person being bullied. They will take a look at the science behind bullying and new approaches to prevent it. To register, visit EyesOpenIowa

How Kids Learn V Conference
December 10;  Berkeley, California, 8:00am-4:00pm.
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.This confrence will focus on the research and practice of these things ensuring that all young people have access to learning opportunities. View more about the conference here

Literacy Content on Y4Y!
You 4 Youth is a free online professional development site that is designed to support 21CCLC 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. Click here to register.

Beyond School Hours:Every Minute Matters
March 9-11, 2016; Dallas, Texas
Get big ideas and use them for your programs! The ideas will be presented via:
  • Hands-on workshops and pre-conferences led by national experts
  • Motivating keynote presentations and panel discussions
  • Fascinating educational excursions
Get ready to learn about Out of School Time professional development
Grant Opportunities 
Along with various other resources, the IAA maintains a list of grants that afterschool programs may access. Check out our Resources Page on our website for more information.