We hold ourselves accountable for making a difference in our region and in the afterschool programs we serve: to build capacity in the programs and within the youth themselves. Among the many accomplishments our small team garnered in 2014, here are selected highlights:
Growing Excellence in High Quality Afterschool Programs
- CVAF facilitated the Site Leadership Academy (SLA) a professional development series, featuring four full-days of in-person trainings for six cohorts of afterschool site coordinators. The SLA focused on developing more effective leaders by offering rigorous training on: coaching competencies, effective communications, leadership skill development, organizational management and supervision, quality and compliance for ASES and 21CCLC programs, and the cycle of continuous improvement. Through Site Leadership Academy alone, CVAF trained approximately 211 site leaders from more than 200 school sites from Regions 2, 6 and 7. 98% of participants surveyed indicated that the academy made them stronger leaders.
- CVAF facilitated the High School Learning Community in Region 7 to provide ongoing program and grantee-level assistance to 20 high school programs through peer networking exchange, two site visits, and three webinar presentations.
- CVAF contributed toward improving afterschool program quality through active participation on 8 workgroups and presentations at 10 conferences on a local, state and national level.
- CDE Evaluation and Research Advisory Committee. Helped to develop the language used in SB 1221 about the collection of data by CDE for afterschool programs and a plan for continuous quality improvement for programs.
- The California Afterschool Network Quality Standards Committee. Participated in the first two phases of this workgroup to develop the 12 Quality Standards and later to develop actionable items for each standard.
- Expanded Learning 360/365 Research Work Group. Developed a concept paper and provided an initial framework for the role of expanded learning programs in supporting and developing social-emotional skills.
- CDE Technical Assistance Landscape Project. Mapped a statewide glimpse into the Landscape of Technical Assistance (TA) for California’s expanded learning programs.
- Also participated in the Central Valley Digital Badge Project, Center for Collaborative Solution’s My Brother’s Keeper Collaborative, the Region VII Policy Group and the Region VII Winter Conference Planning Leadership Committee.
Growing Excellence in Local and Statewide Policy and Advocacy to Promote the Sustainability of Expanded Learning Programs
- CVAF participated on the California Advocacy Alliance (CA3) Group to promote legislative and administrative policies, both state and federal, that enhance the quality and accessibility of afterschool programs in California, including the protection of funding for the state’s After School Education and Safety Program (ASES).
- CVAF produced the second issue of the Journal of Expanded Learning Opportunities (JELO) compiling research and information from expanded learning experts throughout California and editorial board members from throughout the country. JELO is the only journal of its kind to cater exclusively to afterschool practitioners and researchers.
- CVAF produced a variety of communications to promote expanded learning including a monthly e-newsletter containing helpful information for practitioners, as well as government and community leaders, distributed to more than 1,000 recipients. Centralvalleyafterschool.org is another valuable outreach platform with a wealth of research and resources for expanded learning program providers.
- CVAF conducted legislative meetings with local officials to discuss expanded learning funding. The CVAF team also met with 10 legislators to advocate for afterschool and summer learning programs as part of the annual CalSAC Challenge Day in Sacramento.
Growing Excellence in High Quality Summer Programs and Practices
- CVAF and partners trained 83 summer leaders in three districts to help implement an innovative summer learning model in three Central Valley school districts to support the Fresno County FRESH Summer Partnership. The FRESH model targets transitioning upper elementary and middle school youth in a five- week, full day summer thematic learning environment that focuses on strengthening literacy, STEM concepts, leadership skills, physical fitness and nutritional habits.
- CVAF trained 244 individual providers on the Quick CASP quality summer tool to help each summer learning program continuously improve their program quality. CVAF supports the adoption of the 12 Quality Standards and the integration of SB 1221, which calls on providers to make data driven decisions while managing continuous improvement.
- CVAF also conducted 18 Summer Program Quality Site Visits to schools and community centers in central California, from Tracy to Porterville.
- CVAF coordinated local efforts that help cast a “new vision” for summer learning in the Central Valley in collaboration with school board members, policy makers, elected officials, and educators. Specifically, CVAF was invited to present Summer Matters workshops at four national and statewide conferences this year.
- CVAF engaged with cross-sector partners in collective impact strategy expand access to and increase quality summer learning experiences for local children through The Children’s Movement Summer Workgroup in Fresno County.