Month: January 2020

House Resolution 180 was unanimously adopted by the House Children and Youth Committee on January 22. The legislation is sponsored by Representative Jake Wheatley and directs the Joint State Government Commission to establish an advisory committee to conduct a study of the commonwealth’s current return on investments regarding afterschool programs and provide feedback on developing a means to capture outcomes for the purpose of bolstering return on investments for these programs. We thank those supporting the Resolution and ask PSAYDN members to continue to educate policymakers about the importance of afterschool.

Twenty years ago, funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) totaled $453 million. Twenty years later, funding has reached an all-time high of $1.25 billion. We should all be proud of this incredible 176% growth, which has expanded access for youth nationwide. 21st CCLC programs served 400,000 students in 2000; in 2020, the projected number of students rises to an estimated 1.8 million.

Girl studying

For the past eight years, 100Kin10 has made it their mission to grow the next generation of innovators and problem solvers by getting 100,000 excellent STEM teachers into classrooms nationwide. Each year they spend countless hours talking to their partners and teachers, who are the nation’s leaders in STEM education, and poring over research, news, national and regional data, and everything else they can get their hands on. They sift through it to understand what challenges and opportunities are rising to the top, so their network can better address the nation’s STEM teacher shortage.

The //code.Node is a revolutionary device that uses Blockly, sensors and feedback to teach students coding skills and data literacy. The pocket-size coding solution includes encodable sensors for light, motion, sound and magnetic fields, as well as a speaker, RGB light and 5×5 LED array. Using PASCO software and the //code.Node, students can create custom experiments that range from simple data collection to advanced, measurement-based sensory feedback. As they execute their code, students collect real-time data and visual feedback that helps them improve with each activity.

A new study of Wings found that after two years, kindergartners and first-graders who participated in Wings improved in skills like self-awareness, self-regulation and decision-making. The students also boosted their reading and vocabulary skills, compared with their peers who hadn’t been in the Wings program. Researchers did not find any effects in math.

A new law aims to get more girls access to STEM-focused educational opportunities. At the close of 2019, President Trump signed the bicameral, bipartisan Building Blocks of STEM Act. According to lawmakers, the bill ultimately aims to introduce more kids – and specifically young girls – to scientific activities at an early age.

Young black father and daughter reading book outside

Eight brightly colored pieces of paper are streamlining the way principals in the School District of Philadelphia engage families and get them on campus. These Family Engagement School-Level Workshop Catalogs, as they are known, offer a concise list of more than a dozen workshops that can be made available to parents at any school upon request – from lessons in why school attendance matters to using art to reinforce students’ math skills at home.

If a new effort takes hold, competitive video gaming could someday be much more popular in U.S. middle and high schools, perhaps as commonplace as basketball, marching band and the big spring musical. Led in part by a former U.S. Education Department official who is now in the classroom, the undertaking could also expand both the size and diversity of the “esports” player and spectator base – a group that, in the United States at least, remains mostly white, male and upper-middle-class.

February through April

The Center for Youth Development Professionals is excited to offer a mini-professional learning community on the topic of human centered design.

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