Workshops by Conference Strand

Sessions & speakers subject to change without notice.

Customize your professional development experience to meet your unique needs. BSH workshops cover six strands of greatest significance in education today, presented by the nation's renowned experts. See our workshop descriptions below organized by conference strand.

Building Momentum through Family and Community Engagement

Be Strong Families Taking Care of Yourself Parent Café

Would you like to increase parent engagement in your community, school, etc.? Discover how small intimate conversations using Strengthening Families Protective Factors can help families keep their children safe and their families strong. Grades K–12

Building Community Partnerships - Not Being Afraid to Reach Out and Ask

Do you want to find new and unique enrichment opportunities for your after school program? Are your students getting bored with the same programs coming through continually? In this workshop, learn how to think outside the box when it comes to bringing programs into your after school program and finding resources in the community that might not be thought of otherwise. Grades K-8.

Bye Bye Biases! Drop your PRECEPTIONS at the Door!

Come explore the culture competence continuum and discover how your unconscious biases can impact your interventions with students. Participants will use real scenarios and case studies to examine their own cultural assumptions and look beyond disability, orientation, gender, family status, race, and ethnicity and begin to develop a plan to progress on the cultural competence continuum. Grades K–12

Circles of Support: Tools for Engaging Families

The Circles of Support family engagement toolkit is built around three key elements that are vital to successful family engagement - communication, participation, and partnership. In this participatory workshop participants will discover resources, tips, and strategies to assist organizations and program staff to develop their own tools for successful family engagement activities, and gain access to an online toolkit that will help them strengthen their family engagement practices. Grades K–12

Citizenship Lessons: Civic Education in the Out-of-School Time Space

Afterschool and summer learning programs have opportunities to engage children and youth in civic education. By leveraging community partnerships, students learn to be active participants in self-government. This session will feature a program that uses a unique model to engage students in civic education by training them to become afterschool advocates. Grades K–12

Creating Parent Action Plans to Promote Parent Engagement and Develop Parent Leaders

Working with immigrant families and those in poverty to create a college going environment and to understand the college application process can present challenges. Come and receive tools we've designed and network with others to develop action plans focused on meeting your program's goals and outcomes for family engagement, advocacy, and leadership. Grades K–12

Family Time is Party Time!

No one can resist a good P.A.R.T.Y.! This hands-on session empowers staff to transform mandatory parent events into meaningful family engagement moments. Using P.A.R.T. Y. planning strategies, activities, and resources, participants can move the party from school to home. By learning about games and teaching strategies during family engagement events, families will be far more likely to practice these skills at home. Grades K–12

For You, For Them, For Us: Creating Authentic Communities of Support for Young People and Those who Serve Them

"It takes a Village to Raise a Child" is not only a mantra for many of those who work within the education and social service fields, but it is also an important concept that can be used to create authentic communities of support, guidance and nurturing for all youth. In this workshop, participants will learn how government agencies and community-based programsand organizations can work together to serve older youth within the foster care system and youth who are at-risk for outcomes that are not representative of the promise they each have.


Healing Invisible Wounds: Helping Youth Overcome Trauma While Enhancing Their Well-Being

In this interactive workshop, participants will gain an understanding of what the cutting-edge research on trauma and trauma-informed care has to do with the work they do every day with all of their youth. They will learn to identify early risk factors and the long-term effects of undiagnosed or undertreated trauma on social, emotional, and academic development. Participants will engage in a case study simulation and community resource audit to help create strategies that will work with existing programs to help youth overcome trauma while enhancing their overall well-being. Grades K–12

How Schools Can Partner with Faith-Based Organizations

Local congregations can be excellent resources for schools in organizing afterschool activities. This is a workshop on how to recruit local congregations and other faith-based organizations to help schools with out-of-school activities for students. Grades K–12

Lights on Afterschool: Planning your Event and Engaging your Community

Never heard of Lights On Afterschool? Looking to expand your celebration? Regardless of your experience with hosting a Lights On Afterschool celebration, this session will provide you with tips and tools to plan a successful event and use it as a strategy to increase the participation from community members and leaders. Grades K–12

Maslow was a Working Parent: Engaging Parents Beyond the Carpool

If it takes a village to raise the child, how do you get the villagers to partner with you beyond permission slips and carpool pickup? Don't miss this tool and example-filled workshop that will showcase six different strategies and approaches to effectively attract and engage parents and caretakers! Grades K–12

Nurturing Lifelong Philanthropists by Sharing Time, Talent, and Treasure

Do you want to teach youth in your programs how to share their time and talent with others? This workshop will explore how specific social factors and influences impact philanthropy development and how you can empower youth through impactful philanthropic programming and experiences. Attendees will learn how youth can exhibit caring behaviors that impact the greater good by serving, giving, leading, and engaging others. Grades K–12

Philadelphia’s PLAN (Parent Leader Advisory Network): Help Parents Help Themselves

PLAN is one of 11 Race to the Top grants awarded in Pennsylvania with a focus on grades K-2. Through parent education and the development of parent leaders, the goal is to help parents help their own children, then share their new expertise with other parents. In this session, participants will take part in sample lessons used at PLAN family nights, complete with references and math topics that address Early Learning Standards and Common Core. Participants will receive lesson outlines and other materials that include suggestions for at-home follow up. Join us and learn how to help parents help other parents and their kids by reading books and doing fun math activities. Grades K–6

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Not Guaranteed but Earned, You’ll See…

Have you ever wondered why it is that when you change your hairstyle, get a new pair of shoes, and/or change anything about your appearance, your students let you know the following: WHAT they think of it, WHY they think it, WHERE you went wrong, and HOW you need to change back to your former state ASAP? Becoming an emotional resource for students is all about respect, time, patience, and boundaries. Attend this workshop and learn how to EARN the respect of your students, no matter what the grade! Grades 4–12

Satisfied Customers? Or Raving Fans!

Who are your "customers?" Children? Parents? Higher-Level Teachers? The Community? The relationships we have with the customers we serve are an integral part of our work. Attend this workshop and discover how to transform the relationships you have with key stakeholders to ensure they are huge, raving fans of your staff and your organization. Grades K–12

Summer 16: DREAM! EXPLORE! DO!: Strengthening Partnerships and Coalitions to Engage More Youth in Summer Learning

Summer 16: DREAM! Explore! Do! will provide thousands of local children with educational learning activities. The goal of Summer 16 is to engage 16,000 children and youth, grades K-12, throughout the city and county in meaningful summer learning opportunities. Learn how government, nonprofits, and corporations engaged an entire region on increasing summer learning opportunities for youth that are designed to boost academic performance, promote physical health, and provide a safe structured environment. Grades K–12

Supporting Literacy through Family and Community Engagement

This workshop will provide practical, turnkey, and hands-on solutions for developing and maintaining strong collaboration in building partnerships necessary to create a culture of learning and achievement in schools, homes, and communities. This session focuses on the missing link in closing the gaps of student achievement - family and community partnerships - and recognizes and builds upon resources that schools, parents, and communities provide in creating school and student success. Grades K–12

With this Ring: The Proper Engagement

Are you "dating" your community but there is no commitment? Put a ring on it and find the perfect "fit" from community partners and funders. The Right People in the Right Relationship will help your organization fulfill its purpose and support stronger outcomes. Participants will learn proper engagement strategies for securing volunteers, funding, and community resources, while learning how to leverage those currently in the organization. Through hands-on group activities and discussion, build your skills to take your program/organization to a new level of effectiveness. You will learn to increase your "appeal," creating the right "proposal," and "seal the deal" with community partners. Grades K–12

Summer Learning: Having Fun while Moving the Needle

A Summer Strategy: Theme Weeks that Include MATH!

Many summer day camps have theme weeks focused on a field trip or special event at camp. They also want to include academics. Find out how to read books and engage children, grades K-5, in fun math activities related to camp themes that will keep them on track with the academics needed for school success! Participants will receive lesson outlines! Grades K–5

Classroom/Group Management through Behavior Management

Participants will engage in an interactive session where strategies for keeping all students engaged during the long summer days will be explored. Through small group discussion, scenario participation, and role playing, attendees will learn how to use strategies that can make for a fun summer for both students and staff. Join us and discover how to make those challenging behaviors of students into progressive points throughout the day.

Developing Creative Thinkers in Math and Beyond

Problem solving and collaborative learning are key components in developing strong math learners. Math is the single strongest indicator of future academic success in all subjects and social behaviors. Learn the research and come solve some great math-based problems to incorporate into your afterschool programs. Grades K–8

F.A.C.E.S.: A Framework for Improving Teaching and Learning

Afterschool programs are the perfect place for incorporating activities that supplement and enrich - rather than duplicate - regular school activities. Using the "FACES" framework for promoting student engagement and achievement, participants will learn how to design powerfully engaging activities that fulfill the emotional as well as the intellectual needs of students. They will develop lesson plans describing how the lesson will implement the five FACES features of Fun, Affirmation, Challenge, Expression, Success. Grades 7–12

Healthy Habits are CATCHing On: Activities to Keep Kids Moving and Eating Right

The summer slide doesn't just apply to academic subjects. Changes in routine can derail physical activity and healthy eating habits, leaving children less ready to learn. Discover how you can keep kids moving, eating right, and having fun. Participants will receive sample curriculum materials and learn useful strategies for delivering nutrition education and structured physical activity for children in grades K-8.

How Long Should your Summer Program Be? Using Data to Inform Instructional Time Decisions

It's hard to design summer programs with enough instructional time to get struggling students back on track. It's even harder when students don't attend regularly! This session will help you use data to design a right-sized program for your elementary and secondary students. Grades K–12

How to Make Learning Irresistible by “Storifying” and Gamifying Content

This hands-on, multi-media workshop will demonstrate how five elements of Hollywood storytelling and three principles of gaming can make everyday lessons irresistible for students. Participants will leave the session armed with eight different principles for increasing engagement in any afterschool or summer program. Grades K–12

Improv and Activities: Engaging Students with Social Skills Training

Channel your inner starlet in this hands-on session created to experience techniques designed to teach and reinforce social skills. Participants will use improv and group activities intentionally chosen to engage students while building a collaborative, safe classroom. Grades K–12

Inspiration and Imagination All Summer Long

It's a challenge to hold student attention during the summer if they suspect that any learning is happening. For the past two summers, ACE-BCC has successfully engaged Pre-K-8 students with academic enrichment camps that keep students coming back every single day. Families are also coming on a weekly basis. Join us and learn how to schedule a successful summer program and find out about a variety of curricula that has been successful in summer programs. Grades PreK–8

Math Clubs: Meaningful Mathematics Beyond the Bell

Join us as we explore ways to make math relevant and meaningful during afterschool hours. This award-winning presenter will share her how-to guide for designing Math Clubs, including several activities to help struggling K-5 students master math. Grades K–5

Rubik's Cube Clubs

Exploration of the Rubik's Cube naturally embeds 21st century and STEM skills. In this hands-on, interactive workshop, you will learn Rubik's Cube enrichment activities and discover the academic, social, and emotional benefits to youth who participate in Cubing Clubs. Participants will learn methods for teaching youth to solve Rubik's Cubes, how to use Rubik's Cubes as a collaborative activity, and will begin to solve a Rubik's Cube. Grades 3–8

Sliding into Summer with Y4Y

Planning for summer is in its last inning. Come and let us help you understand the planning steps necessary to hit a summer learning program homerun and strike out summer learning loss. In this workshop we explore components of high quality summer programs and provide you with tools and resources to help you carry out your game plan. Grades K-12.


Summer Blockbuster: Epic Learning…Maximum Fun!

Say "hello" to epic summer learning wrapped in maximum fun! Join us for a hands-on, pre-summer extravaganza that will provide you with a foundation for setting up the OST summer of a lifetime! If you are looking for creativity, inspiration, and fun, this blockbuster summer workshop is for you! Grades K–8

Summer Brain Gain: Incorporating Literacy Interventions, 21st Century Skills, and Good Old Summer Fun to Stop the Summer Slide!

Reduce the summer slide with an innovative summer camp for K-2, incorporating literacy interventions with 21st Century skills such as digital storytelling. Presenters  will describe Drew's program structure and academic outcomes.  Attendees will work hands-on, in teams, to recreate interactive summer camp activities focusing on literacy and STEAM that can be used in their programs.


Summer Learning Fun

Presenters will share the benefits of a hands-on approach for summer learning fun for children entering kindergarten through sixth grade. Attendees will take away a tested summer camp formula that fills to capacity every year without promotion. The session includes an interactive component with innovative methods for parent engagement, project ideas/themes, easy-to-use informational apps, and a workable schedule. Grades K–6

Summer Time Engineering

Engineering will engage youth, reduce summer slide, foster creativity, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Doing science and engineering helps youth understand how scientific knowledge is developed and used. In this hands-on session, participants will engage in an engineering challenge as we focus on the skills staff need to facilitate engineering activities. Join us at #EngineeringSummer and be prepared to create experiences that transform youth as they develop confidence, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration skills through engineering. Grades 4–12

SummerBoost Camp: An Integrated Approach to Academic Success and Healthy Development

Want to learn how your summer program can reduce the summer slump and move the needle to close the reading achievement gap for struggling readers? Come join this exciting and engaging workshop to learn how an integrated approach to summer learning during our SummerBoost Camp is making a difference. Attendees will gain fun and exciting ideas and resources that can be implemented during any out-of-school time program to make learning fun and engaging. Grades K–6

Transition to Transformation: How the YMCA Builds Upon Strong Youth Development Principles to Prepare Youth for Academic Success

This session will highlight two Y-USA Signature Programs focused on summer learning loss prevention. Participants will learn about the process the Y used to develop and identify evidence-based programs that improve academic outcomes and align the Y's strengths in youth development with key educational milestones. They will learn about the Y-USA Youth Development Roadmap, an interactive tool that allows users to identify the specific cognitive, social-emotional, and physical developmental milestone on a youth's cradle to career journey and better understand how these milestones are connected to each other and essential to a youth's journey. Grades K–6

Turning the Summer Slide Into the Summer Swing

In Covington, KY - student success starts in the summer. Learn from Covington Independent Public Schools and their non-profit collaborator, Covington Partners, on how to build a successful and sustainable summer learning program. Participants will learn skills such as how to form a collaborative team, engage community partners around common goals, and link school-day curriculum with summer learning programs. Grades K–8

Walk the Talk: What Do We Really Mean When We Talk About Positive Youth Development in 2017?

Parents, boards, and funders all want to know what young people get out of attending high quality OST programs. "Youth development," or "positive youth development" are hardly new terms or ideas, but there is strikingly little agreement about what they mean and how you "do" them. This session features a mash-up of history, stories, and discussion to go beyond the statistical results (yes, studies show the value of high quality youth development programs) to get to a place where participants are comfortable both talking the talk and walking the walk. Grades K–8

Walk, Listen, and Learn with the Walking Classroom

The Walking Classroom program builds core content knowledge, as well as the physical, mental, and academic health of upper elementary and middle school students while engaging different learning styles and providing them some desperately needed fresh air and exercise. Attendees will "test drive" the program by taking a brief walk. They will experience the walk, listen, and learn method and discover how it can be customized to fit their needs and the needs of those they serve. Join us to find out how to apply for a grant to receive a fully donated set of the award-winning Walking Classroom program materials. Grades K–8

Wellness Sessions to Prevent Obesity: Empowering, Educating, and Motivating Our Students Into Action

Obesity is the number one health issue confronting our nation today. As a pediatrician, I know the importance of capturing our students' attention to the importance of great health and obesity prevention. In this workshop, attendees will find out about the power of the "Try a Bite" rule and learn about the importance of meal patterns and the concept of "My Plate." You will learn how to use a Pedometer and discover the important feedback information this simple device can provide. We'll try some simple exercises that can be done during T.V. commercial breaks or before and after school. Join us and learn about these and other ways to help avoid or decrease obesity in our elementary school age children. Grades K–6

Mobilizing Leadership Strategies to Sustain Quality Programs

25 Tools in 75 Minutes: Free Rockstar Tools to Raise your Game

Get ready for a lightning round of NEW proven tools and strategies to raise your student engagement game. We'll cover the BEST of technology, program design, media, funding, and even parent and participant communication methods. You'll leave with your head spinning, a handout of resources, and NEW ideas to take back to your OST program! Grades K–12

After School Zone: Breaking Down Walls, Building Bridges

Come join us for an exciting look into how Orange County, Florida's award winning After School Zone helps middle school youth achieve and exceed measurable outcomes in the area of GPA, school attendance, and reduced juvenile justice involvement through proven program strategies for supporting the "whole child" resulting in increased student recruitment, youth retention, and family involvement. Grades 4–8

Bringing Intentional Planning of Activities to the Outdoors: S.E.E.

The benefits of outdoors are boundless. OST administrators and practitioners must be vigilant to specific complexities of outdoor areas. Join us in an engaging and interactive manner as we explore a planning tool that utilizes the three main components of a well-rounded outdoor experience that ensures that the outdoor environment is well Supervised and safe, includes Enriching activities that support learning goals, and embraces an Engaging environment that promotes peer and adult interactions. Grades K–3

Building Teams – SEL is the Key!

How can we get the diversity that is human to be on the same page and go in the same direction? Social/Emotional Learning is essential is this quest. Come learn the strategies and techniques necessary to build effective teams that communicate well and get things done. Participate in activities that help your staff to build the necessary skills that help them be effective team members. Grades K–12

Changing the Odds: The Race for Results in Atlanta

Although Atlanta is considered an economic powerhouse and "black mecca," its wealth and promise don't extend to many of its residents, particularly those of color, who struggle to make ends meet, get family-supporting jobs and access quality education and other key resources. Hear about a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Changing the Odds: The Race for Results in Atlanta, that highlights the city's north-south divide with data showing that where children and families live - often synonymous with their racial or ethnic background - can determine their prospects for success in life. Grades K–12

Creating a Unified Vision to Serve Youth through A Collaborative Effort

This workshop is for policy makers, public agency representatives, and other stakeholders interested in creating a partnership that ensures the well-being of youth within their state. Participants will learn about Georgia's comprehensive effort including afterschool quality standards, workshops, outreach, and the steps Georgia took to create this state-level collaboration. Grades K–12

Ethics in Afterschool: How Do you Measure Up?

Come discuss and learn the basics of ethics and your ethical responsibilities in afterschool working with all grade levels. We will dive into and explore the NAA AfterSchool Code of Ethics. Come see which areas you are excelling in and where you can focus on improvement. We will engage in some situational-based discussions to explore the application of ethics and the NAA AfterSchool Code of Ethics concepts. Grades K–12

Hire for Attitude – Train for Skill

Today, many Fortune 500 companies employ the adage, "hire for attitude, train for skill." In the afterschool world, this means ditching the traditional job interview that often mismatches people to positions and employing techniques to find the best staff - kid magnets who are passionate about afterschool and reflect the ethnic and gender balances of our children. We refer to this as the hunt for "real models - not role models." Learn about cutting edge, common sense interview protocols used extensively by many Fortune 500 companies along with techniques for implementing cooperative group interviews to find the right people to engage our children for three additional hours each day. Grades K–12

Hiring and Coaching Staff for Continual Improvement: Beginning with the End in Mind

Join us as we explore the human resources and professional development strategies implemented by the Kid's Involvement Network of North East Independent School District, one of the largest afterschool providers for grades K-8 in Texas. The workshop will provide an overview of efforts employed for continuous program improvement with staffing. We will share practical recruiting ideas and will showcase our unique multi-tiered interviewing process. We will also share information about our best practices training and professional development model. Grades K–8

Invest, Inform, Inspire: How Georgia’s Innovation Fund is Seeding a Student Achievement Movement

Georgia's Innovation Fund invests in programs with the potential to dramatically improve student achievement. Learn about the Innovation Fund's model, how K-12 schools and districts are transforming instruction and learning, and leave with ideas for how you can innovate to tackle education's toughest challenges. Grades K–12

It’s About Time!

So often, we are overwhelmed by the demands in our lives. Managing our time and stress are essential for us to maintain our health and effectiveness. This session will provide an opportunity to practice various techniques and strategies to help us work through, cope with, and overcome some of the things that keep us from reaching our goals and reaching our true potential. Grades K–12

Make Yourself: Apply the Maker Mindset to your Authentic Leadership

This hands-on workshop will provide you with transformative tools to encourage children's curiosity for learning and your staff's curiosity for self-growth. Experience how the Maker Mindset and Authentic Leader Mindset can be used to build the most important project of your life - yourself! Grades K–8

Moving from At-Risk to At-Promise

How our youth are perceived directly affects how they engage in the world. This workshop will challenge the old way of what we focus on and help you to deliver intentional services that are effective and fun. We will look at labels and explore ways to change how we approach young people, what we call them, and how we engage them in the world. Learn how to empower our youth in a different way to help them become productive and caring citizens. Grades 4–12

Music, Power, Action: Using Today’s Music and Movies to Connect with Young People!

What's the connection between Kendrick Lamarr and Coldplay? From Twenty-One Pilots & Taylor Swift? XMen & Hunger Games? Come to this tool-filled (and often standing-room only) workshop to learn how to use over 20 different LEGAL and FREE media tools, including TODAY'S MUSIC and MOVIES in your cutting-edge work with young people. Grades K–12

Powerful Peer-to-Peer Leadership Strategies

We all have dedicated and talented professionals in our out-of-school time programs - but how do we support and cultivate their leadership potential to sustain quality programs? This workshop explores how to implement powerful peer-to-peer leadership strategies with reflections, small group work, demonstrations, and professional action planning. Participants will complete a "Peer-to-Peer Leadership Inventory" to assess and select strategies they can implement in their programs. Grades K–12

Quality Improvement: One Process for any Program

Every program has room for quality improvement, and one process can help you improve any aspect of your program. Discover this process and free tools and templates that make it easy. Leave with a plan to incorporate this process into your everyday work to lead to a more effective program. Grades K–12

Raising the Bar for Afterschool Programs: Georgia’s New Afterschool and Youth Development Quality Standards

Research is clear - high quality afterschool programs have positive impacts on youth academic and social-emotional outcomes, but how can you be sure you are providing high quality, engaging programs? This workshop will provide an overview of Georgia's new afterschool quality standards, interactive activities, and practice using the self-assessment tool. Grades K–12

Recruit, Train, Retain

Great programs begin with great staff. In this workshop geared towards new directors, learn how to interview and identify effective staff. Gain training tools and resources to understand your staff strengths and areas of growth and discuss ways to set staff up for success in your program. Grades K–12

Self – Regulation – Behavior/Active Supervision

What if we could get our students to manage their own behavior? What if instead of punishing misbehavior, we could use these moments to teach them how to make better choices that result in more positive outcomes? This session explores the forces behind misbehavior and gives practical ways to create the kinds of opportunities that teach our children to make better choices for themselves and help us handle misbehavior in a positive and constructive way. Grades K–12

Serve from a Place of Passion: How to (RE)Ignite Your Fire!

Do you want to have engaged students, bursting with energy and passion? It starts then with examining ourselves. Our students will reignite their fires once we reignite ours. They will take a genuine interest in their program when we take a genuine interest in them. In this workshop, participants will explore their "WHY." Why are you in your current afterschool position? Kadesha will help you define and/or re-evaluate your "WHY" as you learn the six keys to reigniting your fire if/when it gets lost. At the completion of this workshop, participants will have a system in place that will help them connect with their students on a greater level. The ultimate goal is to produce leaders and staff with passion and vigor, so they can then create that same passion in their students. Grades 7–12

Shifting the Focus: Strengths-Based Supervision

Supervising in afterschool can be very demanding. Youth workers are often from diverse backgrounds with a variety of skills and experience, making for a unique set of challenges for any supervisor. Understanding the strengths of your staff is an asset-based approach that benefits everyone! In this workshop, participants will be able to dive into the Principles of Strength-Based Supervision and identify ways to use these principles to coach staff for excellence. Grades K–12

Staff Development Resources for Sustaining Quality OST Programs

Designed for trainers, evaluators, program directors, and others to learn about staff development designed to sustain quality OST programs by building skills and confidence in the front-line staff who work with youth. We will focus on how leaders can grow a culture of quality in their program. Grades K–12

Step-by-Step - New Implementation Guidance from You for Youth

Through the You for Youth (Y4Y) protal (, the U.S. Department of Education provides a wide range of free educational and professional development resources for out-of-school time professionals.

A new step-by-step implementation guidance section is now being developed for each course on the Y4Y protal. This exciting and practical new content walks you through how to plan, design, implement and assess your program. The online course also contains all the tools and resources you will need to accomplish the work. In this listening session, after walking through the new section with our experienced facilitators, you'll have the opportunity to help shape future Y4Y offerings by validating the benefits of these new resources and identifying areas for improvement.  Whether you're a youth worker, an experienced site leader, or a brand-new program director, Y4Y has something for you.


Strengthening Quality in Afterschool and OST Programs

What makes a program good or high quality? How do you determine if your program is one? How do your improve your program's quality, and where do you begin? Come discuss and learn about quality in afterschool and out-of-school time (OST) programs, begin to develop an improvement plan customized to your own program needs, and learn about some resources that are available and how to use them. Grades K–12

Success in the Middle Matters! Understanding Interests of Middle School Youth to Purposefully Design Meaningful Learning Experiences

Students in the middle grades face unique challenges in the transitional years between elementary and high school. Programs also face distinctive challenges while striving to meet the needs of this age group. In this workshop you will learn about research on youth and practitioner perspectives regarding what makes a program attractive and the conditions that foster young people's desires to attend and participate. Learn how to develop your afterschool expanded learning program into a thriving learning zone.


Super Tools: Behavior Management for Super Afterschool Programs

Have you ever experienced a behavior problem with a child in your program? Of course you have, we all have? Would you like some powerful and practical brain-based discipline tools to help you get the kind of behaviors that make you love working with kids? Learn tricks for preventing undesirable behavior: superior interiors, tremendous agendas, rituals, framing, and super powers. Learn techniques to use once misbehavior has occurred: peace out, positive mental images, proximity, logical consequences, and restitution. Learn many tools that are guaranteed to make guidance and building self-discipline easier and make working with school-age kids more enjoyable! Grades K–12

The Making of a Leader

What does leadership mean? How does someone become a leader? At what age can someone step into a leadership role and make a difference in their community? We believe that leadership is something unique to each of us, and that leadership is like a spark just waiting for the right thing to ignite it. Once ignited, there is no limit to the potential within your staff and your students. Come to this workshop to discover strategies that you can immediately apply with your staff and students to ignite the leadership in both. Grades K–12

Empowering Youth through STEM and Project-Based Learning

Addressing the Summer Slide in Math

Summer is a season packed with distractions and diversions, which can make addressing summer learning loss a challenge. Join us for an action-packed, hands-on workshop that will provide you with easy-to-use activities and tools to approach math in interactive ways that support different learning styles and combat the summer slide for grades K-3. Participants will learn strategies for making math activities meaningful and fun along with tips and techniques for fitting it all into any busy summer schedule. Grades K–3

Bolstering 21st Century Learning with Digital Media and Technology

Discover how innovative technology can be used to effectively incorporate core academic areas using technologies. Acquire strategies and easy-to-use guidelines for infusing technology into various program components. Don't forget to bring your own device to fully participate in this session. Grades K–12

Break Down Barriers by Building a Coding Pathway

What does it mean to "code?" Instead of focusing on learning to code as the goal, it's time to use coding as the means and make it purposeful. In this workshop, participants will learn how coding and computer science programs can be implemented to address a variety of youth interests, skills, and time levels with practical, real results. Best practices will be highlighted. Participants will take part in hands-on activities including a small group-based app brainstorming session and presentation. Grades 4–8

Chess, STEM, Standards, and Fun: Facilitate Chess in your Program

Chess improves math, reading, and problem-solving; increases concentration; and boosts creativity. Join Steve as he demonstrates how to use chess in out-of-school time, whether or not you know how to play. Support strategic thinking at all ages, K-12, beginners through tournament players. Grades K–12

Citizen Science Project-Based Learning with Y4Y

Citizen Science projects empower youth to have an impact on the world through Project-Based Learning. Learn how to plan and get involved in authentic, purposeful scientific research that enhances students' knowledge and 21st century skills. Explore real life examples of 21st CCLC Citizen Science projects with NASA and NPS. Grades K-12.


CSI Creative Science Investigations

Have you ever wondered what happens when your fingerprint is found on a piece of glass? How about what you would do to solve a mystery? During this session, you will explore the hands-on world of creative science investigations. Participants will get down and dirty with experiments and mysterious substances while attempting to solve crimes and mysteries. This session will investigate the ways that creative science is able to connect clues from evidence left behind to what actually happened at a certain place at a certain time. Participants will leave this session with the knowledge of materials and the "recipes" that make for a good CSI experience. Grades K–12

CyberPatriot – The National Youth Cyber Education Program

CyberPatiort is the premier national youth cyber education program created to inspire high school and middle school students towards careers in cybersecurity or other science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines critical to our nation's future. The workshop will cover the program's history and how it is effective in attracting students to STEM fields. Grades K–12

Developing an Effective Global Learning Environment

Using materials developed by the Asia Society, participants will explore strategies and resources to help staff and young people define the important elements of an effective global learning environment and steps staff can take to create such an environment within their programs. Grades K–8

ECHO YES! (Empowered Children Have Opportunities to Yield Extraordinary Successes)

Participants will explore the process of building STREAM interdisciplinary, multi-grade level project-based learning activities designed to capitalize on and inspire student interest while encouraging student choice and ownership through inquiry-based, hands-on learning. Grades K–12

Engaging K-8 Youth with a FREE Educational, Game-Based, STEAM Focused Academic and Physical Fitness eLEARNING Resource!

Join this engaging eLEARNING workshop and take with you the skills and knowledge to easily implement this FREE,FUN,SAFE on-line resource that helps boost attendance and participation while building strong minds and healthy bodies. Grades K–8

Engineering for the Non-Engineer

Want to engage students in fun engineering activities? Nervous to try? This workshop is for you! Engage your inner engineer with activities for you both as learner and educator. Learn how to support students as they work through engineering design challenges and build their problem-solving, teamwork, and creative skills! Grades K–6

Fact Fluency Games to Help Your Students Reach Automaticity with Understanding

"If my students would just learn their math facts, everything else would come easier for them." If you share these sentiments, come join me as we play engaging and motivating fact fluency math games that will build automaticity and deeper levels of understanding and connection for your students. The games integrate strategies and incorporate all learning styles. You will leave with ideas to implement immediately. Grades 4–6

Global Learning: Connecting the Bridge Between Project Based Learning and Program Sustainability

Through an interactive workshop, attendees will discover how global learning and project based learning engages students, develops critical thinking and widens students' world view. The training will also show step-by-step how to integrate global and project based learning activities in the after school curriculum that supports quality programming and sustainability. Grades K-12

Hands-On STEM Projects: Making Science Easy for Staff and Fun for Children!

Not a "Science" person? No problem! Here's a way to make science fun and educational for children...and easy for you! Come prepared to "make and take!" Grades K–6

Incorporating STEM Into your Program

The best way to engage youth in STEM is through engineering design challenges tied to real-world problems. Participants will learn the essential components of an engineering design challenge and how this activity could be tied to age appropriate content in an afterschool setting. They will engage in an engineering design challenge from the learner's perspective and learn strategies that can be immediately implemented in their program. Grades K–12

Integrating STEM with FUN Physical Activity

Numerous studies have shown that children who are active and healthy have a lower risk of juvenile behavior, an increase in academic achievement, and tend to have a much better self-image. This workshop integrates STEM and physical activity in a unique format that helps develop healthier, more productive children. Don't miss this opportunity to participate in a one-of-a-kind workshop! Grades 4–6

Integrative STEM in Urban Communities

Discover innovative ways to integrate STEM in formal and non-formal learning environments through urban agriculture. Learn about a successful model in Virginia's capital city that has kids excited and curious to explore STEM! Grades 4–8

Makerspaces: A Strategy for Providing STEM in an Elementary Setting

Participants will get an overview of Makerspace programming in an elementary setting and will see how it can support STEM learning goals. Discussion will include implementation in a variety of settings and some ideas for incorporating Makerspace into family engagement opportunities. Grades K–6

Moving Full STEAM Ahead: Supporting STEAM-based Programming within Moderate to Low Income Communities

This workshop will provide insight into how state child welfare systems can support Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programming for at-risk and underserved school-age youth.  Since 2016, the Georgia Divison of Family and Children Services has invested funding in STEAM-based programs within public agencies, school systems ad community-based organizations who serve youth in the foster care system and youth in low-to-moderate communities. Participants within this workshop will receive ideas, strategies and information that can serve as a blueprint for those representing state agencies and local organizations who would like to partner and provide greater opportunitites and experiences for the most vulnerable youth in their area or state.


Oh the Math That They’ll Know! Pre K-Kindergarten Math Games

Finally, an exclusive math games workshop for Pre K and Kindergarten program leaders. Come prepared to play games incorporating the use of cards and dice that teach the early childhood concepts of counting, numeration, numbers beyond 10 and 20, and early operations. You will leave with ideas for creating math game stations, journal response activities, and more. Great for Title I, ELL, and first grade teachers as well. Grades PreK–K

Play to Learn – The Why’s and How’s of Afterschool Activities

Join Dallas Afterschool for a session that will explore the best practices of experiential and collaborative activities regardless of STEM background or program budget. We practice what we preach so be prepared to get hands-on! Grades K–8

Rockets to the Rescue! Empowering Youth through Inquiry Based Learning

Imagine that a massive typhoon has devastated island populations in the Pacific and most traditional methods of providing food relief are crippled. In this highly participatory workshop, participants will design, build, and launch a rocket with a food payload to a fictitious island of starving people. This activity is based on a real world example as an aerospace engineering challenge and is aimed at middle school youth but is also adaptable to younger and older age groups. The activity includes geometry, design, and math. Participants will receive copies of the curriculum which was the winning design for the 2014 National 4-H Youth Science Day Experiment and still stands as the most popular experiment to date in that competition. Grades 4–8

STEAM: Is it Just Hot Air?

Have you heard the argument that the Arts must be integrated into STEM but don't know what that means or where to start? Have no fear as this workshop will share tangible, hands-on activities that inspire design and creativity blended with the scientific method. Join our presenters as they conduct experiments for each acronym of STEM with an Arts twist! Decide for yourself if STEAM is just hot air or the next step in innovation. Grades K–12

STEM Education at 100 mph: Designing and Implementing Successful Drone Education Programs

Drone mania is sweeping the nation, and educators are embracing drones as a new platform for STEAM education. Learn the latest drone regulations, ethics, and real-world applications as well as practical ideas for incorporating drones into your program to prepare young pilots to enter the wild west of winged robots! Grades 4–12

STEM Enrichment through Creativity and Innovation

This session presents innovation concepts that are essential to promote curiosity, creativity, student engagement, and innovation. The concepts are gleaned from the National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees and are the only nationally recognized extended learning programs for Pre-K through middle school that includes Invention Playground, Camp Invention, and Invention Project. Participants in this session will enjoy researched-based, hands-on activities that illustrate innovative concepts in action.

STEM on a Shoestring

Would you like to be able to play with cool science activities? Discover why objects are able to change states of matter? Or learn how simple everyday components can be used to create fun learning experiences? These and other questions will be addressed in this exciting workshop on inquiry-based, hands-on activities. Find out how to use every day inexpensive items to create fun science activities. Participants will be required to get their hands into the activities and will be challenged to work on solving problems, making concoctions, exploring hands-on activities, and examining the wide range of possibilities that exist in integrating STEM subjects as well as language arts, social studies, and creative arts. If this sounds intriguing to you, this workshop will be a soaring experience! Grades K–12

STEM, Literacy, Nutrition, Fitness, & Dance = Learnercise!

Children love to move! Experience "Pump Up the Pronouns," "Parts of Speech Slide," "Simple Machines," "Grouping by Tens," "Sometime Anytime Foods," and more!!! Being physically actives changes the energy in the room, provides greater focus, and increases brain functioning. Come discover how to use meaningful movement and fun to give your children's brains a workout and improve their knowledge in nutrition, science, health, and fitness concepts. We'll examine multi-sensory learning strategies based on the latest brain research. Grades K–6

Stories and STEM: Integrating Literature and STEM into Afterschool!

Not only will attendees learn how to connect literature and STEM but participants will also complete experiments for each letter in STEM that are fun, inexpensive, and easily reproducible in the afterschool setting. Complete lesson plans and book lists will be provided. Grades K–5

Think Like a Scientist…A “Citizen Scientist”

Have you wondered how to engage your students in meaningful science research? Bringing citizen science projects into your summer or afterschool program is a great way of introducing students to the world of scientific inquiry. Citizen science projects enlist everyday citizens to collect or analyze data for real-world research studies. Come join us and look at best practices and ideas to help students to understand that science is much more than just memorizing facts. Grades K–6

Using Music Production to Incorporate STEAM and Project-Based Learning

In this workshop, participants will learn how to use free music production software to engage students from grades 3-12. The music production process will utilize project-based and STEAM learning concepts. This fun and engaging activity will help drive enrollment and attendance while improving academic performance. Grades 3–12

Using Reading and Math to Teach Social Justice and Equity

This session will connect academic skills to social justice and equity issues around the world in order to create understanding, awareness, and solution orientation as well as fostering the deep critical thinking skills that come from the application of reading and math skills. Learn how your students can use what they practice in school to create the next major social movement! Grades 4–12

Youth Voice

Through large and small group discussion and hands-on activities, participants will discuss the benefits of designing service learning projects and enrichment activities that promote youth voice and encourage decision making. As gaining youth feedback requires creating a safe environment and group facilitation skills, participants will practice brainstorming and problem solving to better understand group dynamics and youth facilitation. Proven resources and tools will be shared. Grades 4–12

Creating High Impact Approaches to Grade Level Reading and Literacy

Building Self-Esteem through Storytelling, Writing, and Rapping!

Self-expression by way of storytelling, journaling, and even rapping is a powerful avenue for increasing the self-esteem of young people. In this active, inspiring workshop, participants will learn how to help their students write freely and fearlessly, encourage public speaking by inviting kids to embrace, own, and share their stories, to show young people how to identify topics that are relevant and meaningful to them, and to create from their unique point of view! Participants will leave the session with prompts, tools and resources that will propel their students into a world of creativity, honest and personal reflection, music and spoken word "flow" etry, and elevated self-esteem. Join us and learn how to inspire kids of all ages to explore their "own voice." Grades K–12

Discovering the Fun of Literacy

Gain practical and creative ways to build stronger literacy skills in students, grades K-2. Participants will learn how to create and facilitate engaging, hands-on activities that encourage young students to discover the power - and the fun - of literacy while building critical skills. This session will be packed full of ideas to get your students reading and enjoying it. Grades K–2

For the Love of Reading – How to Create a Literacy Program for Students who are Below Grade Level in Reading

This workshop will help you design a literacy program for grades K-8 that targets students who are below grade level in reading. Learn how Homeless Families Foundation structured a multi-tiered reading intervention program for afterschool and summer programs and started a reading mentor volunteer program. Participants will share information about their current literacy needs and begin to develop a plan to implement different reading strategies. They will learn ways to incorporate literacy into project-based learning and learn strategies for funding their literacy program. Grades K–8

Foundational Reading Skills: Standards Tell us WHAT – Research Tells us HOW

In teaching the foundational skills, the HOW includes knowing WHAT critical skills should be emphasized and using the most powerful teaching strategies that are supported by research. In this workshop, participants will learn HOW to implement highly effective, research-based strategies to accelerate the progress of developing and struggling readers. They will participate in a hands-on demonstration of fluency strategies embedded in a passage written specifically for them to experience reading as a struggling student. Participants leave with a hand-out of all the materials, including templates of lessons to use immediately in their classrooms. Grades K–6

Fun with Literacy

Do you want lots of fun and engaging activities that focus on academics? You don't have to choose between fun and academics. When learning is active, engaging, hands-on, and is a whole lot of fun! In this session, participants will learn how to incorporate language and reading into School-Age Programs for children five through 12 years of age. Grades K–7

Have Fun and Learn More! Supporting Literacy through Afterschool Activities

Where are the standards in visual arts? Where is the literacy in soccer? This workshop will introduce strategies for supporting literacy skills through engaging extracurricular activities and differentiated learning "modalities" which afterschool educators can easily use to engage students more deeply in learning aligned with school day instruction. Grades 4–12

Language and Literacy…It’s FUN-damental!

It's FUN-damental! Learn easy, fun and creative ways to ensure language and literacy are infused into all aspects of your program! Come prepared to play, create, and learn as we naturally engage curiosity and foster a love for language and literacy! Grades K–8

Motivating Young Readers from Assessment through Success

Explore a successful approach to support balancing intentional planning, assessment and analysis with kid-centered fun multi-disciplinary activities. Participants will be guided through a variety of kid-tested and kid-approved activities that promote a culture of reading (including the use of technology), a love of reading, and skill-building. Participants will walk away with more than 20 lessons or activities that promote various literacy skills and that can be implemented immediately. Grades K–6

Reading for Meaning - Fluently

Attendees will learn how to develop fluency, support vocabulary, and promote comprehension by combining the powerful research-based strategies of teacher-modeling, repeated reading, and progress monitoring. These highly effective strategies have significantly accelerated the reading achievement of students for over 25 years and can be applied immediately to materials already found in most classrooms. Learn the role fluency plays in overall reading proficiency, how to identify students at risk for reading failure, the research on strategies to develop fluency in beginning and developing readers, and the steps for students to follow to maximize reading growth. Grades K–12

Using Social Channels to Channel Into Literacy

Discover how to reach your students on the social channels they love, and how your program can leverage social media to build literacy skills, assess reading comprehension, and dive deeper into writing. Grades 8–12

Constructing College and Career Pathways for Success in the 21st Century

Career Pathways for Youth

The youth in our programs are career bound. In OST programs we have unique opportunities to introduce youth to career possibilities and pathways that they may not have experienced in other areas of their life. In this session, participants will learn new strategies for helping elementary and middle school youth find career pathways that interest and engage them. Grades 4–8

Creating an Equity Toolkit: Strategies for Individualizing Paths to College and Career Success

This interactive workshop will look at how we avoid tracking students and instead help them identify and pursue postsecondary paths that reflect their unique aspirations, strengths, and needs. Participants will learn strategies for individualizing paths to college and career success with a focus on strategies to meet the needs of our most disenfranchised, underserved, and at-risk youth. They will leave the session with practical, research strategies for creating equity toolkits rooted in strength-based and equitable practices. Grades 9–12

Developing Mindful Teens: The Power of Social-Emotional Learning, Mindfulness, and Restorative Practices

Adolescence is a time of challenge and opportunity. Mindfulness-based practices can help adolescents cope with stress and adversity, learn to regulate emotions and make responsible decisions. This interactive, hands-on workshop will take you through a series of strategies you can use to strengthen teens' emotional wellness and use personally for self-care. Grades 4–12

Developing Socially-Emotionally Smart Students in the 21st Century

This workshop will explore how social-emotional learning (SEL) is key to building healthy relationships and achieving academic, career and life goals. Participants will also learn about the assessment tools and research trends to measure the impact of SEL. Grades K–6

Engaging Youth in College and Career Readiness Activities with Y4Y

What does it look like to engage youth grades K-12 in college- and career-relevant learning? Whether you serve elementary, middle or high school students, you can start building college and career readiness through hands-on activities. Learn how You for Youth (Y4Y) can support you in applying this inquiry-based approach to developing postsecondary awareness, exploration and preparation learning opportunities that match your students' interests and goals. Grades K-12


Growing GRIT – Guts Resilience Insistence and Tenacity

Learn how to help children and youth gain confidence to solve problems and gain a sense of control over their thoughts and behaviors. Learn secret tricks to help them reduce stress and cope when bad things happen. Learn specific strategies to help them develop skills that will enable them to get GRITTIER! Grades 4–6

How to Get Your Students Ready for College

Do you work to educate middle and high school students on how to get ready for college? Come find out how you can prepare your students for college and to earn better grades. You will learn easy to use tips and strategies on college preparation, college access, and study skills. Group participation exercises and role play presentations will get everyone engaged in the discussion. The presenter will help participants consider how they might implement the study skills strategies in their afterschool program. For grades 9-12.

Just My Personality PLUS Career Pathways

This workshop is based upon concepts developed by Carl Gustav Jung. The primary focus of the session is to help participants learn how their behavior preferences can impact their relationships with others while also exploring the types of career paths that may be considered for specific personality types. The session includes activities that will provide an opportunity to discuss those preferences, their implications and career paths, and point the way toward working together more effectively and productively. Participants will receive materials that may be used with youth in their programs when helping them in understanding themselves and the career paths they may be interested in exploring. Grades 7–12

Mindful Kids, Peaceful Schools: Tools and Activities for Incorporating Mindful Practices

Research shows that students who practice mindfulness in school on a weekly basis are more likely to get higher grades and show greater strides in their social emotional development. Incorporating these practices in the school setting can feel daunting and unapproachable. This session will break down some of those barriers and show educators how they can use mindfulness techniques to enhance student learning both inside and outside the classroom. Participants will walk away with several activities to use with students of any age upon returning home. Grades K–12

Nutritional Empowerment: Integrating the Mind, Body, and Spirit to Elevate Student Performance

A prevalent issue for educators is the lack of resources and minimal time to provide a holistic approach for student health and wellness. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to implement practical, effective, and easy to integrate hands-on activities during expanded learning, out-of-school time, and in summer learning programs. Attendees will gain new knowledge on how to implement a Mind-Body-Spirit approach to holistic youth development and "Make it Count When School's Out." This approach is universal in nature and applies to all students' demographics and economic indicators. Grades 4–12

Perspectives from the Field Talk Show: Navigating Students through the Opportunity Gap

How can we provide unique and broad learning opportunities to help struggling students keep up with their peers, continue to succeed by developing a growth mindset, and build the social and emotional well-being to help them thrive? Join our talk show for an in-depth, interactive conversation! Grades K–12

Preparing Youth to Thrive: Promising Practices for Social and Emotional Learning

This workshop is for out-of-school time managers and practitioners who wish to increase their focus on social and emotional learning (SEL). We will focus on staff practices and curriculum planning that can be integrated into a range of programs and settings. After an overview of the research and framework, there will be interactive opportunities for attendees to engage in a discussion of the research findings, assess their program's strengths, and reflect on how SEL practices might fit into their professional setting. Grades 7–12

Promoting Youth Leadership Development: The NYC Experience

Youth leadership programming is fun, engaging, and clearly the path to a better tomorrow. Come learn about implementation and evaluation of youth leadership programs for a city-wide middle school out-of-school time initiative. We will offer insights into our work and share free resources. Grades 4–12

Self – Regulation – Behavior/Active Supervision

What if we could get our students to manage their own behavior? What if instead of punishing misbehavior, we could use these moments to teach them how to make better choices that result in more positive outcomes? This session explores the forces behind misbehavior and gives practical ways to create the kinds of opportunities that teach our children to make better choices for themselves and help us handle misbehavior in a positive and constructive way. Grades K–12

Sports-Based Youth Development through the Sport of Squash: An Emerging Model to Support Life Skill Development and Academic Success

The presenter will use the national urban squash model and the example of Chucktown Squash to demonstrate best practices for sports-based youth development. Research-based best practices and a model for partnerships to enhance youth development will be provided. Attendees will explore ways to enhance partnerships to assist youth in their communities. Grades 7–12