The Afterschool Advisor
February 2016
President's Budget Slashes 21st Century Community Learning Centers
Last week President Obama released his budget for the 2017 fiscal year. Items related to afterschool include:
  • $1 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers. This is a cut of $167 million from the previous year.
  • $15 billion for Title I grants
  • $120 for a new Stronger Together Grants program, which aims to increase socioeconomic diversity by expanding existing efforts through the states and local communities.
  • $100 million for Computer Science for All development grants for school districts.
  • $3 billion for STEM education

For more on the President's budget, read the Afterschool Alliance's blog here.  


To send a message that afterschool is important, please get involved in the We Love Afterschool social media campaign. Find out more on the Afterschool Alliance's website

Afterschool Programs Show Up in Numbers At Iowa Capitol
On January 28th, the Iowa Afterschool Alliance hosted its 2016 legislative receptions at the Iowa State Capitol in Des Moines. Afterschool program providers, students, and parents from across the state met with legislators and their staff to educate and advocate on afterschool policy. A total of 35 legislators visited IAA events in person or by their staff. Advocates also visited personally with their legislators outside of events. 
David Welter and students of Holmes Jr. High School visit with Senator Steve Sodders of Marshalltown.
Michelle Rich of the IAA (right) and Amanda Avenarius and Dawn Cogan of St. Mark Youth Enrichment in Dubuque speak with legislators at the IAA Legislative Breakfast. 
President of the Senate Pam Jochum of Dubuque speaks with a student about his afterschool program.
House of Representatives Education Committee Chair Representative Ron Jorgenson of Sioux City poses with students at the Iowa Afterschool Legislative Breakfast.

To find out more about policy activities you can do throughout the year, visit the IAA Policy Page of our website.
Apply for STEM Programming Today!
The STEM Scale-Up Program of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council exists to bring quality STEM learning opportunities directly to Iowa youth. A top priority of the STEM Council is to help improve learner interest and achievement in STEM areas. To help meet this goal, 11 exemplary STEM programs have been competitively selected to be implemented throughout Iowa in 2016-17, six renewed from last year, plus five additional programs.

Eligible applicants include public and private school PreK-12 teachers, youth organization leaders, informal education professionals, home school associations, and others who deliver STEM education programming.

To find out more and apply today, visit the Governor's STEM Advisory Council Scale-Up page.
What is SEL?
SEL stands for Social and Emotional Learning and is defined as the cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies necessary for a young person to be successful in school, work, and life. With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act and its expansion of the definition of student success, SEL has become a buzzword in education. Learn more about SEL with these resources.

The American Institutes for Research has published a brief titled, Supporting Social and Emotional Development Through Quality Afterschool Programs.

The American Institutes for Research has also published a guide called, The In-School and Afterschool Social and Emotional Learning Connection.

For additional AIR resources on SEL, visit their SEL Planning Tool webpage.

CASEL - the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning - is a great resource on the topic. Visit their website at for more information.
Federal Child Nutrition Policy Shaping Up
The Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 passed out of the Senate Agriculture committee last month and is expected to reach the Senate floor for debate this spring. The bipartisan child nutrition reauthorization bill, crafted by Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), includes a number of provisions of interest to afterschool and summer learning providers, including:
  • Streamlining summer and afterschool meal coordination, which will allow afterschool meal sites to choose to operate year-round through the Summer Food Service Program. This will allow sponsors to operate one program rather than two, and significantly reduce duplicative paperwork and confusing administrative rules.
  • Creating the opportunity for a six state pilot program that would allow summer food sponsors to provide a third meal, particularly important for summer learning programs that provide programming for children six to eight hours per day.
  • Including summer and afterschool meals in the Farm to School program. Additionally, under the bill funding for the USDA Farm to School Grant Program is doubled from $5 million to $10 million per year.
  • Adding a role for afterschool programs in the nutrition education portion of the bill.
For more information about this legislation, visit the Afterschool Alliance's blog on the subject.

Honor a Great Woman, Win $500
To celebrate Women's History Month in March, the Iowa Department of Human Rights' Iowa Commission on the Status of Women hosts the Write Women Back into History essay contest for students in grades 6-9. This year,  the Iowa Department of Human Rights' Office on the Status of Women (with financial support from the Friends of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women) is introducing its first ever video contest to celebrate women's history and opening up the entries to grades 5-12 students.

The top two districts (one winner in each category) will be awarded a $500 prize to be used for school supplies for the winning classroom. Submitted videos may be featured on the Iowa Department of Human Rights' website, screened on YouTube, and/or featured on other promotional venues.

Find out more on their website. Entries due March 1, 2016. 
Mentoring Day at the Capitol Rescheduled
Due to inclement weather, the Volunteer Iowa/Iowa Mentoring Partnership Day at the Capitol  has been rescheduled for March 15th at 11:45 am

The Excellence in Mentoring Awards has been re-scheduled for April 15th at 10:00 am (this time is tentative) and will now be a part of the Governor's Volunteer Hall of Fame Awards.

Spread the word and don't forget to check out the Day at the Capitol Facebook event page and the Excellence in Mentoring Awards Facebook event page for more information.
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.

2016 Impact After School Conference April 28-29; 2016; Des Moines, IA
The premier out-of-school time conference in Iowa, Impact After School is back for its fourth year! Join the Iowa Afterschool Alliance for two great days of learning, networking, and having fun! Registration to be released soon.

Check the Iowa Afterschool Alliance website regularly for updates.

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.