6th Annual Soaring Beyond Expectations:
A Statewide Afterschool - Showcase June 11, 2014

The 6th Annual Soaring Beyond Expectations: Statewide Afterschool Showcase highlighted best practice methods utilized by New Jersey's 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) Programs. This Afterschool Showcase was open statewide to all school districts, faith-based agencies, community-based agencies and others interested in utilizing after school, before school or summer school as a strategy to improve youths' knowledge and skills and engage them in meaningful learning opportunities.

Workshops offered covered a variety of areas that relate to program quality such as: aligning with the school day through cross-curricular support and professional development, maximizing student engagement and attendance, and increasing learning through hands-on experiences.  Ellen Gannett from the National Institute on Out-of-School Time was the keynote speaker addressing the importance of developing high-quality afterschool programs to help close the academic achievement gap.

Booklet

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

Ellen Gannett, Director of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time at the Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College

WORKSHOP DESCRIPTIONS:

Session 1: 9:30-10:30

A. Title: Developing, Implementing, and Sustaining Innovative Programming Strategies

Presentation

Presenters: Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Description:
At Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School (OLMCS) we strongly believe that every day is a learning opportunity for our students. Through this workshop we will share our afterschool program design and implementation journey – two years of growth, intentional learning, and most importantly, structured reflection. Come learn how some simple strategies such as "mindfulness practice", "inquiry based learning approach" and "meaningful partnerships" can build and sustain a strong culture where it is easier for students and staff to succeed!

B. Title: How to Connect the Dots: Mission, Partners, Program and Sustainability

Presenters: Hope Cares After School Program

Description: Over the past 5 years, Hope Cares has successfully leveraged and maintained partnerships and collaborations with over 46 community agencies! These relationships have enabled us to enhance program offerings, create program visibility and recognition, broaden our reach in the community, foster civic responsibility and neighborhood pride, and secure additional funding that will ensure program longevity.  Workshop participants will engage in an interactive presentation that will highlight the impact of connecting the dots and receive innovative tools that will enable them to form and maintain mutually beneficial relationships.

C. Title: Introduction to Program Management

Presenters: Gloucester City After School Program

Description: Program managers have to make decisions that are in the best interest of students and staff, while keeping programs on track, even in the toughest and most unpredictable times.  The daily laundry list of tasks includes family contact, staff relations, serious student incidents, evaluations and reports, day to day operations, and of course more than our fair share of he said/she said.  This can all be overwhelming for new project directors or program managers.  How do we keep it all together while maintaining program integrity and aligning educational standards?  In this interactive workshop we will discuss program management skills and strategies to help new program managers, coordinators and team leaders so they can hit the ground running.

Session 2: 10:40-11:40

D. Title: Engaging High School Students through a Teacher Assistant Program

Presentation

Presenters: Keansburg School District

Description: The Keansburg 21st CCLC engages high school students in the 21st CCLC afterschool and summer program by using them as teacher assistants.  As this is a new experience for many students, a job coach helps to navigate the process from writing a resume to preparing for an interview.  The high school students receive job & career readiness, leadership development, improved self-esteem, self-efficacy, and goal setting.  This workshop will include samples of materials such as handbooks, evaluation forms, journal entries, and career exploration activities. Workshop attendees will leave with tips on how to implement a program that trains high school students as staff in their afterschool program, while helping them develop marketable, transferable skills for college and the workforce.

E. Title: Youth Recruitment and Retention Strategies

Presenters: Mullica Township School District

Description: Sometimes it takes a little convincing to get students to stay an additional three hours after the school day ends.  It takes engaging programming and creative collaboration with multiple partners and stakeholders to retain them.  Participants will receive strategies for recruiting and retaining students in afterschool.  We will share our program's success stories as well as struggles and obstacles, while discussing possible solutions.  Come learn how to tap resources and discover opportunities within your district to recruit and retain students in your afterschool program. 

F. Title: Using Academic Enrichment to Provide Data Driven Outcomes to Help Find Funding

Presentation

Presenters: St. Peter's University

Description: This workshop will present the data driven outcomes and the academic model of the Saint Peter's University 21st Century Grant. We will provide you with a step by step process that is used to implement the academic rigor of this model. The benefits of a structured data driven, school aligned academic component can position you for Title 1, School Improvement Grants and other district dollars. The importance of an effective academic component can be instrumental in the sustainability of our programs. Participants will learn how the measured outcomes of this model can demonstrate that a 21st Century afterschool academic  component will increase student achievement for participating students as compared to the non-participating students. This approach is directly beneficial to programs that are in priority and focused schools.

Session 3: 1:05-2:05

G. Title: Aligning Your After School Program to Common Core State Standards

Presenters: Plainfield Public Schools

Description: Plainfield Public Schools' afterschool program aligns itself with the school day curriculum to supplement student learning. By doing so, we can address the achievement gap by providing students of all learning levels with standards based, innovative instruction, whether one-to-one, small group, paired, or project based, to reinforce content skills students are to know at the end of a grade level. This workshop will emphasize methods used by the Plainfield Pubic Schools staff to complement school day learning in an engaging way. Workshop participants will define and review the history of CCSS as well as learn how to effectively integrate CCSS into after school lessons, particularly in the areas of ELA and Math.

H. Title: Power Groups: A Mental Health Component Geared to Empower, Engage, & Support Our Youth

Presenters: ASPIRA of New Jersey

Description: ASPIRA has adopted the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program model which views youth at-promise as opposed to at-risk.  It seeks to fulfill the promise of a young person by removing the obstacles that inhibit growth, while offering services to nurture it. Our mental health component accomplishes this goal by providing three levels of intervention:   Clinical, Power Group, and Community Organization.  The session will focus on the Power Group which I. Title: Using Academic Enrichment to Provide Data Driven Outcomes to Help Find Funding

Presentation

Presenters: St. Peter's University

Description: ASPIRA has adopted the Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program model which views youth at-promise as opposed to at-risk.  It seeks to fulfill the promise of a young person by removing the obstacles that inhibit growth, while offering services to nurture it. Our mental health component accomplishes this goal by providing three levels of intervention:   Clinical, Power Group, and Community Organization.  The session will focus on the Power Group which concentrates on student cognitive, social, and emotional development through interactive, hands-on activities. The Power Group enhances opportunities for relationship-building, clinical observation, and permits a greater tolerance for the expression of intense negative emotions while identifying participants who may need more intensive mental health intervention. Participants will walk away with a better understanding of the importance of group work, a list of developmentally appropriate stages and warning signs that a child may benefit from intervention services as well as a repertoire of fun interactive group activities students are sure to enjoy.