Purple Up! for military kids

Creating Safe Spaces for Military Youth

April 10, 2018

For the past 10 years, I have had the honor to serve Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard children and youth across the county, and the month of April always holds a special place in my heart as it is the Month of the Military Child. The Department of Defense has dedicated a whole month to recognizing and thanking military youth for the selfless sacrifices they make each and every day for their family and country.

child hugging father dressed in military uniform

Month of the Military Child

April 3, 2018

Sponsored by the Department of Defense Military Community and Family Policy, the Month of the Military Child is a time to applaud military families and their children for the daily sacrifices they make and the challenges they overcome. As we celebrate this month, we want to stress the importance of providing military children the support to help them thrive in a military lifestyle.

handwritten calendar with doodles

Events & Celebrations in April

March 29, 2018

World Autism Awareness Day, USA Science and Engineering Festival, National Robotics Week, National Encourage a Young Writer Day, Purple Up! Day, National Bat Appreciation Day, Earth Day, Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, and more!

staff coaching a colleague

Transforming Staff into Leaders in Out-of-School Time

March 27, 2018

Transformational leaders inspire their followers through relationships and are characterized by positivity, a focus on developing their followers, and transparent communication. Yukl (2002) recommended the following 4 ā€œIā€s to transform followers into leaders:

afterschool staff listening to child

Building Leaders in Out-of-School Time

March 20, 2018

Every role in OST indeed has the potential for leadership ā€“ from directors to site coordinators, teachers to assistant teachers, volunteers to youth enrolled in the programs. We often think of the leaders in OST as the program directors and administrators, the behind-the-scenes people. The 'bosses' as the students in my programs say (they always want to know who is in charge of who).

frontline staff member observing youth working through an engineering problem

Taking Advantage of Leadership Opportunities in Out-of-School Time

March 13, 2018

I began my work in the OST (out-of-school time) field as a transition leader at the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan, KS. Transition leaders were in charge of maintaining smooth shifts between activities and monitoring behaviors within grade groups. From that position, I was promoted to a program leader and eventually became a director of a first-year 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program.

facilitator engaging with student using charts and graphs

Using Science & Engineering Practices in Leadership Development

March 6, 2018

Did you use the 4C's today? Of course, you did! How? You made a phone call. You held or participated in a meeting or training. You connected with someone via email. You solved a problem or coached someone in solving one. You came up with a new idea either alone or with a colleague. You wrote a touching blog. You interacted positively and constructively on social media. And much more. You may have taken the ability to do these things for granted, but don't sell yourself short.

facilitator welcoming a student with a handshake

How to Prevent Bullying by Making Classrooms More Inclusive

February 28, 2018

Bullying is a problem for many children, but those who have a disability, like cerebral palsy, or are perceived by their peers as being different, are at a greater risk. That risk is as much as 63% greater than for other children. Teachers have a responsibility to create a safe environment for all children. One way to prevent bullying and to support all kids is to make classrooms more inclusive.

youth excitedly pointing out of frame

What Motivates Students to Pursue an Engineering Career?

February 20, 2018

Pursuing an engineering career is a lot of work! I have the privilege of teaching undergraduate engineering students. They take full course loads of fundamental math and science classes while leading student clubs, pursuing internships and serving in the community. I sometimes wonder if they have any down time!