The Afterschool Advisor
January 2016
Storm the Capitol January 28!
Iowa Afterschool Alliance Afterschool Snack
The 2016 legislative session began on January 11, 2016. Throughout the year advocacy groups host events to bring local providers and advocates to the Capitol to meet with their legislators to tell them what's happening locally related to policy issues.

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is hosting an Afterschool Day at the Capitol on Thursday, January 28. The day consists of several ways to engage with legislators. Beginning with a breakfast from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., the IAA will be at the Capitol all day to bring together afterschool providers and supporters and their legislators. The day will culminate with an Afterschool Snack from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. This is a great time for kids to come to the Capitol!

Please let us know you're coming! Click here to register to attend. That way we can prepare you for a great day!
Presenters Needed for Impact 2016
  Join us for our 4th Annual 
April 28 - 29, 2016 
Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center 
5000 Merle Hay Road
Des Moines, IA 50322

We hope you will join us for our annual conference for afterschool professionals! 
In the meantime... 
We are now accepting submissions for presentations and student speakers! Please click on the link to apply:  

Submissions will be accepted until January 15, 2016 at noon (12:00 CST). 
If you have any questions about the conference, or suggestions, please contact Indira Karic at Your input is very valuable to us!   

What Makes a Great Conference? Win $100.

Youth and Shelter Services, Inc. is conducting a survey to identify the qualities of the best conferences you've been to. The short survey should only take 10 minutes of your time. In return, you will be entered to win a $100 Amazon gift card!

To take the short survey, follow this link:

Youth and Shelter Services thanks you in advance for your time!
January is Iowa Mentoring Month
Governor Branstad has proclaimed January Mentoring Month in Iowa! Celebrate with the Iowa Mentoring Partnership with the following events:
  • January 14, 2016: "I Am a Mentor Day," when volunteers across our community and the country will share their stories about being a mentor on social media using #MentorIRL.
  • January 18, 2016: Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, when our nation will shine a spotlight on volunteerism and inspire people seeking service opportunities to learn more about mentoring.
  • January 21, 2016: "Thank Your Mentor Day," when we encourage anyone who has had a mentor to say thank you by sending a note, a card or sharing a story on social media.
  • February 3rd:  Volunteer Iowa/IMP Day at the Capitol-11.45am-1pm: IMP certified programs are encouraged to attend this important day at the state capitol in Des Moines and to advocate for mentoring in Iowa by inviting and speaking with their legislators.
  • February 3: Excellence in Mentoring Awards-1.30 Ceremony at the state capitol honoring exemplary mentors in Iowa. Day at the Capitol attendees are encouraged to stay for the ceremony

For more information on National Mentoring Month, visit the Iowa Mentoring Partnership website .
Follow IAA on Facebook for Latest Updates
Facebook Follow the Iowa Afterschool Alliance on Facebook at for the latest updates on the Every Student Succeeds Act (formerly No Child Left Behind), PD opportunities, IAA activities, and grant opportunities. Expect an update on an issue of interest every day! You can also follow us on Twitter by following @iowaafterschool.
SEDL Resources for Afterschool
Looking for resources on how to run a high-quality program? SEDL, an affiliate of the American Institutes for Research, has no-cost resources on lesson plans, practitioners' guides, and training toolkits. Visit the National Center for Quality Afterschool here:  
Summer is Just Around the Corner!
The time for planning for summer is now. Don't let too many weeks pass before you start thinking and planning for summer 2016! The National Summer Learning Association can be a resource for developing your summer programming. Check out their Summer Learning Library, publications, and resources for programs, including their "Summer Starts in September" planning guide.
Iowa Literacy Blog
The Iowa Reading Research Center (IRRC) applies current research for the development and dissemination of best practices in literacy so that every child in Iowa will achieve reading proficiency. The IRRC has resources for programs and parents on reading and writing that can be valuable in implementing literacy in your programs and with families.

Follow the Iowa Reading Research blog for literacy-specific content.
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:
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.
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
National Afterschool Association Annual Convention
March 20-23, 2016; Orlando, Florida
Join NAA in the Sunshine State at the 27th annual Convention, at the beautiful Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in the Greater Orlando area. Gathered will be the brightest, most passionate, and talented minds in the afterschool community.

Afterschool professionals are superheroes that go above and beyond the call of duty. NAA is committed to helping you grow, share and connect, and our annual convention offers all of that and more across four days of engaging, insightful programming and networking.

BOOST (Best of Out-of-School Time) Conference 
April 26-29, 2016; Palm Springs, CA
The BOOST Conference is the largest, most recognized and comprehensive global convening for after school, expanded learning, and out-of-school time professionals. Set in a retreat-like atmosphere, this annual, extraordinary event will rejuvenate your passion, boost your direction for quality programming and provide tools and resources that will inspire you to create change.

Register online at

Iowa Association for the Education of Young Children Spring Leadership Institute
May 7, 2016; Des Moines, IA
This year's Spring Institute will feature STEM and Dr. Douglas Clements leading the Institute in a discussion of the importance of mathematics in the early childhood setting. Registration materials will be available in February.

For more information on IAEYC, visit their website at   

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.