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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.

IAA Trainings

The Iowa Afterschool Alliance offers a variety of trainings that can be tailored to your program’s needs. If you are interested in any of the trainings below or have an idea you’d like to discuss, please contact Heidi Brown at

Trainings are available in the following categories. Click the category to jump to that section.


Mindful Leadership 
The Mindful Leadership Virtual PD Series is tailored to address the unique challenges faced by educators in the out-of-school time space. This series aims to empower you with practical strategies, insights, and mindfulness techniques that can enhance your overall well-being. Register here to secure your spot and embark on this journey towards mindful leadership. 

Leadership Series 
The Iowa Afterschool Alliance Leadership Series is designed for afterschool professionals in leadership roles. Executive leadership, Program Directors, and Site Coordinators overseeing staff implementing youth programming are encouraged to apply. The Leadership Series is a 5-month leadership intensive designed to help program leaders develop the self-awareness and skills needed to successfully grow, retain, and inspire a team that provides excellent service and meets unique the needs of youth and families in your community! Applications are due by December 14, 2022. Submit your application here.  

Leveraging Your Leadership Style

Take time to reflect on your own leadership style through interactive activities, then consider how you interact with others based on your own personal style. Talk through strategies for engaging other leadership styles to get what you need and fulfill your mission as a team. 



An Introduction to Dimensions of Success (DoS)

This session will introduce you to the Dimensions of Success – twelve indicators of high-quality STEM activities and a lesson planning tool that will transform your STEM programming.

Dimensions of Success 2.0

Looking for more training on Dimensions of Success? This session will take a deeper dive into the DoS tool and focus on how to implement the tool in your lesson planning and activity facilitation.

Youth Development in STEM

This session will focus on youth development in STEM and bringing more youth voice into programming. Using the Dimensions of Success tool, participants will discuss strategies to engage and empower students through STEM activities and leave with sample lesson plans.

Activity Engagement and Reflection in STEM

This workshop will provide strategies and techniques for developing purposeful STEM activities and learning goals, and building in time for meaningful reflection throughout your activity. This workshop is a deep dive into specific domains of the Dimensions of Success tool, completion of the intro level DoS workshop is recommended as a prerequisite.


Afterschool and Summer Program Quality

An Overview of the Iowa Afterschool Alliance (IAA) Quality Standards

Dig into the Iowa Afterschool Alliance’s (IAA) quality standards through this interactive and informative training! Focusing on the IAA’s 10 quality standards:

  1. Positive Human Relationships

  2. Appropriate Indoor and Outdoor Environments

  3. Effective Programming

  4. Strong Partnerships

  5. Effective Administration

  6. Effective Staffing and Professional Development

  7. Youth Development Principles and Practices

  8. Outcome Measurement

  9. Fiscal Management 

  10. Advocacy


Participants will get a well-rounded idea of how a quality program functions and what steps they must take to get there. 


Facilitating Engagement  

Do you struggle to facilitate an advisory group – either adult or youth? This workshop will give you the skills necessary to facilitate engagement of individuals in a group through interactive approaches to getting people to participate in discussions, feel like they are a part of something important, and go above and beyond the call of duty. 


Strategic Planning 101

This training is intended to provide an overview of the strategic planning process. It covers all topics including: 

  • programming

  • governance

  • sustainability

  • infrastructure

  • external relationships

  • communications


Participants will learn how to facilitate a process that engages their stakeholders and creates a well-developed plan that is executable and easily communicated internally and externally.



The Grant’s Over: Now What? 

Now that that big grant is gone, what do you do? All organizations struggle with sustainability of effort and this workshop is designed to make the process more manageable and ultimately successful! The workshop will utilize the following modules: 

  1. Building a Sustainable Initiative

  2. Developing a Vision and Results Orientation 

  3. Creating a Strategic Financing Plan

  4. Building Organizational Capacity and

  5. Community Support

  6. Developing and Writing the Plan

Ideally a multi-day course, participants will leave the session with an outline for a good, executable sustainability plan for
their program. 



Evaluating for Impact

Are you tracking numbers and not doing much else? This workshop will arm you with the tools you need to effectively track impact data that matters through case studies and discussion.


Storytelling through Data

So you’ve got data, but you’re not sure what its saying about your program. This workshop will lead you through a process that identifies which stories can be shared and what data best tells that story. The participant will come out of this workshop with a clear plan for better telling your story through data. 


Funding and Budgets 

Fiscal Management for Nonprofits

This workshop focuses on the basics of good fiscal management for nonprofits. From spreadsheets to communicating your bottom line, this workshop will help you better understand what techniques work best for tracking multiple funding sources, creating and tracking budgets, and planning for unexpected situations. 


Grant Writing for Youth-Serving Programs

This workshop will cover all the basics of effective grant writing, including searching for the perfect funder, developing a relationship with funders, writing the grant, and maintaining strong relationships with your funders. 


Advocacy and Communications

Promoting Your Program – A Guide to Communications 

From working with media to developing your “elevator speech,” this training helps you to understand the many modes of communication available to you, how best to utilize them, and strategies for making the most out of communication methods. This training is extensive, and is best facilitated over several days. Can be condensed into a shorter block of training. 


Advocacy in the Real World

Looking to get more involved in advocacy but not sure where to start? Join the Iowa Afterschool Alliance to learn more about the legislative process, issues affecting afterschool, and how to be a champion for youth. Participants will leave with concrete actions they can take to advocate for the issues they care about and plenty of resources to help along the way.

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