Trainings & Events

To achieve its goal of expanding access to high-quality afterschool programs, the Iowa Afterschool Alliance provides professional development and training to help improve and maintain the quality of programming available to children and families.

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2022 Agenda

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Thursday, September 22, 2022

8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

Registration and Breakfast

8:45 to 9:00 a.m.

Welcome and Opening Comments

Vic Jaras, Iowa Department of Education

9:00 to 10:00 a.m.

Plenary Panel: Creating STEM Experiences in Out-of-School Time - Connecting Kids with their Passion • Holmes Foster Event Center

Karen Peterson, Rebekah Domayer, Shannon McManus 

When you think about STEM, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Astronauts? Engineers? Scientists? These are all great examples of STEM career pathways but there are so many more opportunities out there! Join us in discussing how to help your students explore how STEM appears in many aspects of their everyday life. We will explore different ways to engage in STEM activities, how to make STEM more accessible for not only the students but staff and families, and simple steps to get started on your STEM journey. 

Special Session: 21CCLC RFA: Technical Assistance • Discovery Center - Waterfall Room

Vic Jaras, Department of Education

Join us for this technical assistance session covering the updates and changes to the new online Request for Applications (RFA) process connected to the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center program. These grants are designed to support before school, after school and summer programs serving youth who meet a 40% Free or Reduced-Price Lunch criteria. 

10:00 to 10:15 a.m. 

Break and Visit Exhibitors

10:15 to 11:45 a.m. Breakout Sessions

Connecting to Nature in Afterschool • Discovery Center - Palm Room

Jessica Schellhorn, Blank Park Zoo

With numerous forms of technology at our fingertips and packed schedules, it is no wonder that, on average, children spend less than 10 minutes playing outside each day. In this session, participants will take away ideas and resources for nature activities while discovering the developmental value of playing outside.  Participants will explore how outside play utilizing nature and natural elements help children build STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) learning skills. Participants will learn how to articulate what they learn about nature play outdoors into their indoor curriculum as well as giving children opportunities to utilize nature resources and activities while playing indoors. 

Engineering Mindset • Discovery Center - Waterfall Room

Shannon McManus, Institute for Educational Initiatives and Senior Professional Learning Developer

To create a generation of innovative problem solvers that will shape their world, we need to engage youth in engineering activities. This hands-on session introduces engineering mindset, how youth can start to think like engineers, and why it is beneficial to develop an engineering mindset in youth. Participants will engage in an engineering activity and consider how they can incorporate learning experiences that foster an engineering mindset. We will highlight ten practices that help youth develop and strengthen an engineering mindset. 

Getting Started in Service Learning: Guide to Facilitating a Service-Learning Project for Your Program • Discovery Center - Tamarin Room

Kamryn Ryan, Volunteer Iowa and Kayla Powell, Department of Human Rights

Service-learning is an approach to teaching and learning the places youth voice and community needs at the forefront. This style of social-emotional learning allows youth to identify their passions and skills while addressing genuine needs within their community. It fosters civic engagement and encourages real-life application of learning. This session will walk through the service-learning process for adult partners who may act as a facilitator of a service-learning project. Learn the what, why, and how of service-learning and leave ready to implement a project with your youth! 

STEM Journeys: Exploring Diverse Career Pathways Into STEM • Holmes Foster Event Center 

Karen Peterson, National Girls Collaborative Project 

Exploration of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) careers and career pathways is a key strategy to encourage youth’s participation in STEM opportunities and identification with STEM, especially girls, rural youth, and other youth who have been systemically underrepresented in STEM. This workshop will introduce strategies and resources for effectively integrating STEM career information into afterschool programming, including high-quality online resources that showcase diverse STEM professionals and STEM careers. Resources will focus on engaging youth in STEM career exploration and guidance for connecting to STEM professionals locally. Participants will also engage in an activity designed to help youth see a variety of interesting (and sometimes surprising) career paths STEM professionals have experienced. 

11:45 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Working Lunch and Visit Exhibitors • Holmes Foster Event Center

1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Engineering Mindset • Discovery Center - Waterfall Room

Shannon McManus, Institute for Educational Initiatives and Senior Professional Learning Developer

To create a generation of innovative problem solvers that will shape their world we need to engage youth in engineering activities. This hands-on session introduces engineering mindset, how youth can start to think like engineers, and why it is beneficial to develop an engineering mindset in youth. Participants will engage in an engineering activity and consider how they can incorporate learning experiences that foster an engineering mindset. We will highlight ten practices that help youth develop and strengthen an engineering mindset. 

 

Freedom Schools • Discovery Center - Tamarin Room

Crystal Hall, Tanager Place

Tanager's Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Freedom Schools is a six-week summer program designed to increase literacy, self-esteem, socio-emotional skills, and a love of learning for children in grades K-12, with a local focus middle school. Through a research-based and multicultural program model, Freedom Schools inspires "Scholars" to believe in their ability to make a difference in themselves, their families, and their communities with hope, education, and action. Come learn about this program, how it could be beneficial to your program site, and how we are expanding into school year programming. Additionally, we will demonstrate examples of high-quality enrichments to focus on social-emotional development in addition to academic support. 

Trauma Informed Care • Holmes Foster Event Center

Hillary Jones and Yana List, You4Youth

Our experiences shape who we are and how we behave. As a result of traumatic experiences, children may act out, withdraw or struggle with social interactions. That’s why it is important for us to understand trauma and take a trauma-informed approach in 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Join Y4Y to develop your knowledge of stress and trauma and learn new skills for managing stress and trauma in children. You’ll learn the signs of trauma and will renew your knowledge of mandatory reporting standards. This session is crucial for all 21st Century staff that work with children.   

Discover What Iowa 4-H Can Do For You! • Discovery Center - Palm Room

Nicole Hanson, ISU Extension and Outreach

Iowa 4-H is the premiere youth development program of Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. Did you know we offer an extensive catalog of research-based educational opportunities designed to help you run a quality program? This session will showcase innovative K-5 resources covering a variety of topics including literacy, STEM, arts, robotics, and cooking. Participants will receive sample lessons, learn how to develop their own high-quality learning experiences using our unique framework, and discover opportunities available through partnerships with local 4-H Youth Development professionals. 

2:30 to 2:45 p.m.

Break and Visit Exhibitors

2:45 to 4:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions

Utilizing the Zoo in OST Settings • Holmes Foster Event Center

Teagan Roberts, Blank Park Zoo

Blank Park Zoo offers an array of resources for connecting people of all ages to nature. We provide fun opportunities to engage with the natural world that inspire responsible stewardship. Join this session for some hands-on demonstrations and a comprehensive list of what the Zoo has to offer you.  Whether a spark of wonder from watching a live feed of the aquarium or a meaningful conversation with a Zoo educator, Blank Park Zoo is ready to engage with OST programs across the state of Iowa.

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6 Types of Work Genius • Discovery Center - Waterfall Room

Kaitlin Schmidt and Danielle Willis, St. Mark’s Youth Enrichment 

The 6 types of working genius is an assessment tool and model that transforms how individuals and teams approach work. The assessment identifies each person’s areas where they are naturally gifted and find joy as it relates to work and getting things done. The model can be transformative for individuals and teams to find greater understanding with one another, increase empathy, and provide a foundation of language to work more effectively. This tool is different from other personality and leadership models because of how incredibly simple it is and how immediately it can be put into practice. The model can be applied for program planning, project management, managing teams, etc. 

Introduction to 21st Century Community Learning Centers • Discovery Center - Palm Room

Hillary Jones and Yana List, You4Youth 

Are you a new program director, or are you considering operating a 21st Century Community Learning Center? Perhaps you have been running one for years and need a refresher. 21st CCLC programs provide students across the country with opportunities for academic support, enrichment activities and family engagement during out-of-school time hours. Join the U.S. Department of Education’s You for Youth (Y4Y) Technical Assistance Team as we review the federal legislation and guidance that directs our work. Then, we’ll introduce strategies for using student needs to intentionally design activities. Finally, we’ll address planning for program sustainability, a continuous process that should begin early and continue throughout the grant cycle.  

How to Create Sustainability for Your OST Program • Discovery Center - Tamarin Room

Dave Welter, Iowa Afterschool Alliance Strategic Leadership Team 

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance is reaching out to communities and non-profits to assist in planning for new and established before and after school programs. This presentation will provide information on the structure of high quality before and after school programs, how to assess community needs related to before and after school programming, financing strategies, as well as engaging stakeholders on how to come together to build a solid foundation for programming in your community. The main thread of the interactive conversation will revolve around SUSTAINABILITY.

4:15 to 5:00 p.m.

Snack and Program Networking • Holmes Foster Event Center

9:00 to 10:15 a.m. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

7:45 to 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast • Holmes Foster Event Center

8:30 to 9:45 a.m. Breakout Sessions

Diverse STEM Role Models: Creating a Meaningful Role Model Experience • Holmes Foster Event Center

Karen Peterson, National Girls Collaborative Project

Engagement with diverse STEM role models is a key strategy to encourage youth’s identification with and participation in STEM. This workshop will introduce research-based strategies and resources for planning a role model experience, including how to recruit and connect with diverse role models using NGCP resources. Key program components from NGCP’s implementation of Brite, an online role model-focused program for girls, will be shared. Participants will have time to reflect on and brainstorm how to apply the learnings to their work. 

 

Improving Digital Literacy • Discovery Center - Palm Room

Hillary Jones and Yana List, You4Youth

Are you concerned about your students getting reliable information online? Do they know how to avoid bots, spam, and catfishers? Do they know how to get their message out effectively? Join the U.S. Department of Education’s You for Youth (Y4Y) Technical Assistance Team to learn how to help students find information online while remaining safe. You will be introduced to a series of guiding questions that students can use to evaluate the information they find. We’ll then explore tools that help students create and communicate content online effectively using the best formats for their audience and message. With these skills your students will become good digital citizens, using technology in all areas of their lives as they continue to learn.   

 

21CCLC RFA: Technical Assistance • Discovery Center - Waterfall Room 

Vic Jaras, Department of Education

Join us for this technical assistance session covering the updates and changes to the new online Request for Applications (RFA) process connected to the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Center program. These grants are designed to support before school, after school and summer programs serving youth who meet a 40% Free or Reduced-Price Lunch criteria. 

Finding Your Inner Magic • Discovery Center - Tamarin Room

Mikayla Oz, The Magician School

In this session, professional magician Mikayla Oz presents her work and findings teaching magic to students as an after school program. This session is part show, part hands on workshop and will go over how you can adapt our structure into your own out of school program. We go over the many unexpected happenings of leading a magic after school program. Also we talk about how magic can open up a ton of unexpected opportunities for staff and students. Come be a part of the magic!

9:45 to 10:00 a.m.

Break and Visit Exhibitors

10:00 to 11:15 a.m. Breakout Sessions

Creating Positive Learning Environments • Discovery Center - Palm Room

Hillary Jones and Yana List, You4Youth

What is the culture and climate of your out-of-school time program? Is your program a positive place where all students have the opportunity to learn and grow? If you’re not sure about your answer, this is the session for you! We’ll identify the characteristics of a positive learning environment, review strategies for building trusting relationships, and plan for positive behavioral management. This session is a great learning opportunity for all staff, and we will highlight many free Y4Y resources that you can leverage to build a positive learning environment for your entire program community. 

 

IQ4K: Navigating the New System • Discovery Center - Tamarin Room

Mykala Beard, Quality Program Manager, DHS and Jessie Mireles, IQ4K Specialist with Child Care Resource & Referral

Are you interested in learning more about Iowa’s new Quality Rating and Improvement System – Iowa Quality For Kids which includes a specific application for School Age only programs? IQ4K provides five levels of quality programs can achieve and continue to improve on. By implementing Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI), IQ4K allows programs to assess their current grade across all areas of programming and devise a structured plan to increase the overall level of program quality. Join us and learn more about the new system, requirements and how to get started applying today! 

 

How to Change the World – Perspectives on Youth High-Risk Behavior • Holmes Foster Event Center

Peter Komendowski, The Partnership for A Healthy Iowa & AC4C

Youth high-risk behavior, an inherent risk of building social order within youth culture, has evolved in both scope and complexity.  We will explore the trends, changing dynamics of youth culture, and the evolution of risk in the context of social media, menial health, wellness, and social emotional learning. Participants will learn some of the tactics and strategies important to building effective youth engagement and partnership. 

 

Holistic Healing and Social Emotional Wellness • Discovery Center - Waterfall Room

Jodi Miller, Kid Grit

Participants will examine their own self-awareness and life balance in order to assess how they are managing life during this time of recovery from one of the most unprecedented times in history. We will introduce mindfulness and emotional intelligence strategies that help staff stay healthy and productive. Participants will be prompted to develop healthy activities and accountability forums addressing- Mindfulness, Body Awareness, Community and Connection, and Digital and Social Media Consciousness in order to build new habits that promote learning, connection, and a sense of community. 

11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Networking • Holmes Foster Event Center