volunteer frontline staff members walking together and laughing

Staff are the Key to Quality OST Programs

October 16, 2018

Even though our legislators and government don't always appear to see the importance of out-of-school time (OST) programs, those of us who have worked in the field or have children who attend these programs, know that they make a huge difference in the lives of children and families. Why are they so effective in supporting youth success?

Making Connections to STEAM Careers

Making Connections to STEAM Careers

September 25, 2018

At an early age, I discovered a talent for drawing and painting. I recall my Kindergarten classmates telling me, "You should be an artist when you grow up." Over many years, that talent grew into a passion. However, as I got older I had a difficult time seeing potential careers within my passion for the arts and creativity. I ended up pursuing a career in graphic design.

paint in cups with paint brushes

What is STEAM?

September 11, 2018

Recently, STEAM has caught on as a buzzword in K-12 and afterschool learning. Short for Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math, STEAM is more than a subject area. It is meant to be an interdisciplinary way to develop creative problem-solving skills in youth. The arts have a profound impact on youth, educators, and educational environments (Fiske, 1999). In fact, the arts have the ability to:

STEM Celebrations in September

STEM Celebrations in September

August 30, 2018

Read a New Book Month Month of September It's read a new book month! The perfect time to add a few books to your STEM afterschool program! Here are four titles I love that take on STEM topics and practices.

adult volunteers huddled in a team circle

Secrets to Successfully Onboarding New Staff

August 21, 2018

Everyone wants to get new employees onboard and working effectively with youth as quickly as possible. What does it really take to prepare a new employee to work in out-of-school time programs?

back to school supplies

Four Back to School Tips to Share with Families

August 14, 2018

Across the country, August can be a time of transition and stress. Starting the school year is a change for the whole family. Here are some tips to share with the families in your summer programs to help them prepare for these changes.

Connecting to Community Partners

Connecting to Community Partners

August 7, 2018

Summer is winding down, and everyone's gearing up for the next school year. It always seems to go by so fast! I feel like every summer I have a long to-do list, both personally and professionally, and it never fails that I don't complete everything on my list (or like this summer any of the things on my list).