The Iowa Afterschool Alliance and its work to improve access to high quality out-of-school time programming is supported by passionate staff, a dedicated leadership team, and generous partners.
Crystal Hall is the Director of Community Based and Prevention Services at Tanager Place in Cedar Rapids. She joined the team in February of 2022 and oversees the BHIS (Behavioral Health Intervention Services), PIH (Pediatric Integrated Health) program, Autism and Social Skills Programs, and Freedom Schools. Hall has over 25 years' experience working with children and families and a strong background in out-of-school time programs. Hall believes that programming before school, after school, and in the summer is a vital component to a healthy community.
The Iowa Children's Museum
After nearly 15 years in non-profit management with Habitat for Humanity, Jeff Capps took over in January 2019 as executive director of The Iowa Children's Museum (The ICM) in Coralville. He holds a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia and spent the first several years of his career as a fine arts teacher in Germantown, Tenn. It was this experience that instilled in Jeff a true appreciation for active learning and the need for young people to have a range of educational experiences outside the classroom. Jeff lives in Iowa City with his wife, Amber, and two elementary school-aged daughters, who had some of their best early childhood experiences at The ICM! When not playing at the museum, Jeff can be found at home writing songs and performing them for audiences throughout the Eastern Iowa Corridor.
Iowa State University Extension/4H Youth Development
Nicole Hanson is the Iowa 4-H Clover Kids (K-3) Specialist. In this position, Nicole provides leadership to the statewide Clover Kids program including in partnership development, educational product development, and professional development for staff and volunteers implementing K-3 curricula. In addition, Nicole provides support and leadership to Iowa 4-H Afterschool Programs. Nicole joined the Iowa 4-H Program with over 10 years of experience coordinating before and after school programs. She believes in out-of-school time programs because they provide youth experiential learning opportunities that inspire them to explore their passions and develop skills that empower them to reach their full potential.
Iowa Department of Education
Vic Jaras is a Community Education and Service-Learning Consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. He heads the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21CCLC) federal grant program in the state for before and after school programming that targets students in need. 21CCLC funding provides about six million dollars in funding for afterschool in Iowa. These centers provide a safe environment for children to overcome achievement gaps and become engaged in learning. Prior to his work at the Iowa Department of Education, Vic developed innovative afterschool and tutoring programs in Michigan, created a technology curriculum that was used by the Michigan Department of Education for state technology standards, and taught courses for Delta College, Great Lakes College, Davenport University, Saginaw Valley State University, and Miller College.
Scott County Kids Early Childhood Iowa
Diane Martens is the Early Childhood Iowa Coordinator with Scott County Kids, where she has worked since 2008. In this position, Diane works with the local Scott County Kids Early Childhood Iowa Board to determine community needs. She also contracts with community agencies to provide identified services and help create an early care and education system for Scott County. Prior to Scott County Kids, Diane was the Decat and Early Childhood Iowa Coordinator for Clinton and Jackson Counties. She originally started in this field with Child Care Resource and Referral. Diane has a degree in elementary education.
Siouxland Human Investment Partnership
Matt Ohman is the Executive Director of Siouxland Human Investment Partnership (SHIP), a nonprofit organization in Sioux City that administers the Beyond the Bell program. Beyond the Bell provides before, afterschool and summer programming at 23 sites in the tri-state Siouxland area. Matt is a lifelong Sioux City resident, and has been working at SHIP since 2006. He has been serving on the Iowa Afterschool Alliance Strategic Leadership Team since 2017.
Iowa Department of Human Services
Ryan Page is the Child Care Regulatory Program Manager and Team Lead of the Child Care Bureau with the Department of Human Services. One of her main duties is to assess and implement Federal and State policy requirements for licensed child care providers throughout the State. Ryan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Iowa State University and a Masters of Criminal Justice from St. Ambrose University. Ryan completed the Certified Public Manager Program at Drake University in 2018 and is enrolled in the Masters of Public Administration Program. Ryan has worked for the Department for 15 years in child welfare and child care services. Ryan is a member of the Early Childhood Governance, Planning, and Administration Committee, the Early Childhood Iowa Steering Committee, State Child Care Advisory Committee, and the Iowa Afterschool Alliance's Strategic Leadership Team and recently completed the White-Riley-Petersen Fellowship through Furman University.
“Out of school time opportunities are extremely important to me. Access to quality out of school time for our youth encourages safe environments when parents are not available, raises student achievement, encourages physical activity, provides nutritious snacks, reduces crime during peak hours, and reduces summer learning loss. All of these things help build a strong foundation in today’s communities and for our future."
Child Care Resource & Referral
Lindsey was born and raised in the Des Moines area. She attended Grand View University where she received her BA in Elementary Education. During college, Lindsey worked at a Before and After School program, which is when her passion for OST programming really ignited. She realized how important it was for OST programming to reinforce what children had been learning in school, by giving children opportunities to practice what they learned through play. Lindsey decided to use her degree towards creating quality OST and summer programming. She worked at the before and after school program for 14 years before becoming a Child Care Consultant with CCR&R (Child Care Resource & Referral) for the past 2 years.
Retired Principal and Afterschool Advocate, Cedar Falls
David Welter recently retired from the Cedar Falls Community School District after serving a 40-year career in education. During that time, he taught social studies and was involved with baseball at the high school, college and professional levels while also serving as a Jr. High principal for 16 yrs.
Coaching and educating young people have formed the core of Welter’s life over the years. He established an After School program in 2000 with the help of a 21st Century Grant and that program has been self-sustaining for the past 18 years. He has been a passionate advocate for After School and Out of School Time programming having witnessed the positive impact it has had on student achievement and engagement over those years.
Since retiring, Welter continues to scout for the Atlanta Braves, works as an education consultant, is involved in a number of community organizations, farms and enjoys precious time with his granddaughters. Welter has been inducted into the Iowa High School Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame as well as being named Iowa’s Middle Level Principal of the Year.