Month: March 2019

Advocates push for investments in preparing children and youth for future workforce needs, cite introduction of House Resolution on Afterschool Return On Investment.

HARRISBURG, Pa., March 27, 2019 — The Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) today convened nearly 200 advocates including students and parents, educators and program providers, policymakers, community, business and faith-based leaders from across Pennsylvania at the capitol to highlight the importance of afterschool and out-of-school time youth development programs. Numerous legislative visits reminded the commonwealth’s leaders that afterschool programs provide many benefits, including keeping kids safe, inspiring them to learn and helping working families. The event was a call to action for all levels of government, philanthropy, business and every sector to step up and do more to support afterschool initiatives.


Congressman Glenn Thompson Honored as 2019 Afterschool Champion

The Honorable Glenn Thompson excepting his 2019 Afterschool Champion Policymaker Award from Laura Saccente, director of PSAYDN

The Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) recognized 15 champions including elected officials, practitioners, youth and organizations for innovation and excellence in afterschool and summer learning programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families.

PSAYDN honored U.S. Representative Glenn Thompson as an Afterschool Champion for outstanding work in supporting and promoting meaningful high quality afterschool and out-of-school time programs to benefit children, youth and families across Pennsylvania. The awards took place last night during PSAYDN’s annual reception, which brought together elected officials, program providers, youth, faith-based leaders, parents and business leaders to emphasize the importance of afterschool programs in the state.

Afterschool programs pick up where the school day leaves off. In addition to offering kids a safe, supervised place to go before and after school, on weekends and during summers to get academic help; programs provide a variety of activities – art, music, dance, sports, science, service learning, career exploration and much more – that help kids develop new interests and skills. The Afterschool Champion Awards honor programs, elected officials, youth and practitioners for excellence in the service of children, schools and communities.

Press Release | Meet All the 2019 Afterschool Champions


Charles Trovato, an administrator with the Berks County Intermediate Unit, and Jenni Hoffman, a teacher at Oley Valley Elementary School, are part of a team that will help shape the future of STEM education.

Leaders in education and the STEM fields must learn to advocate for bipartisan support of STEM education in order for the state to lead in STEM education policy, Laura Saccente, director of Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool and Youth Development Network , said in a statement. “PA STEM Ambassadors have been a vital part in shaping STEM education and workforce policies,” Saccente said.

“As a STEM Ambassador,” Trovato said, “I look forward to discussing the necessary shifts needed in education to sustain and uphold the integrity of the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s mission, vision, goals, and definition for integrated STEM across the commonwealth.”


The Innovation Collaborative is conducting a national study that will help outline effective practices for sciences, technology, engineering, arts/humanities, and math (STEAM). The first national study of its kind, your participation as out-of-school time educator could help determine what constitute an effective STEAM program in a broad range of out-of-school settings and provide the foundational research base for the out-of-school STEAM movement.


Women outperform men in many of the underlying skills that lead to job success — skills commonly referred to as noncognitive because, like emotional IQ, creativity, and conscientiousness, they are not clearly predicted by test results. The demand for soft skills, as they are also known, was borne out in a 2017 Harvard study that found that “social skill-intensive occupations” — including teaching and some computer science and health care jobs — had increased by 12 percent since 1980 and enjoyed higher wage growth. Positions that demanded lots of brain power but little social aptitude had declined. The huge rise over the past century in the number and percentage of women who work in the U.S., highlighted by more recent nationwide efforts to steer young females toward traditionally male-dominated STEM careers, would appear to give women at least an equal shot at great jobs. But it has not turned out that way — at least not yet.


The week of February 25 to March 3, 2019 is National Leap Into Science Week, the annual celebration of Leap Into Science, a national program with a mission to integrate open-ended science activities with children’s books and literacy efforts in libraries, museums, and out-of-school time programs. Interested educators from out-of-school time spaces are encouraged to sign up for curriculum and facilitation strategy trainings. No trainings in your state? You can also sign up as a leader to kick start the effort in your state. This is a great opportunity for afterschool and summer learning programs to brush up on their STEM education skills and meet a national network of educators interested in bringing STEM learning and literacy outside of the classroom.


Career and technical education (CTE) is a critical strategy for preparing youth and adults for future education and workforce opportunities. CTE allows students to combine learning with real-world experiences—and develop crucial academic, technical, and employability skills. CTE can also help address the increasing skills gap—a disparity between the skills job-seekers offer and the skills that employers need. States and regions, school districts, and individual institutions are creating innovative CTE programs that pave the way for students and adults to successfully continue their education and obtain high-wage, high-demand careers. Nationwide, AIR is supporting organizations large and small to strengthen CTE through rigorous research, evaluation, and technical assistance.


Michael B. Jordan and his Outlier Society production company continue to make waves and set the bar in the industry when it comes to advocacy and representation. It is launching the Outlier Fellowship, an initiative he announced Wednesday during the Obama Foundation’s MBK Rising!, a national event in Oakland that gathers My Brother’s Keeper Alliance leaders, practitioners, and youth who are working to help young men of color achieve their dreams. The initiative, which comes during Black History Month, is an internship and mentorship program providing access, opportunity and community to underrepresented young people entering media, arts and entertainment.


While classrooms in New York and elsewhere have increasingly focused on preparing children for jobs in a tech economy, the recently opened school, Brooklyn STEAM Center, has taken it one step further by locating itself next to companies where students might actually work. It is one of only a handful of programs in the country that are situated in a workplace. “Our ambition is that it will be a next-generation model for career and technical schools here in New York City,” said David Ehrenberg, the president and chief executive officer of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation. The Navy Yard already has an on-site job center, but Ehrenberg said the school will help ensure that more local residents have the necessary technical skills and training for the jobs being created there. The program offers students a chance to show what they can do. “Instead of learning on paper — and maybe you forget it, and maybe you don’t — you put your hands into the work,” Jordan Gomes, 16, said.


Carnegie Science Center hosts “Da Vinci The Exhibition,” a traveling, interactive display that details the life and achievements of the Italian artist and inventor who died 500 years ago this May. Pittsburgh is the seventh North American city to welcome the show in its current format since 2014. “It’s an opportunity for kids and adults to interact with something,” Tom Zaller, president of Imagine Exhibitions says. “Even 500 years later, Da Vinci’s work is still being studied. He still plays a part in our daily lives. It’s interesting to see this all in one setting.”


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