Month: July 2020

Deadline: Friday, August 14, 2020
PSAYDN is seeking afterschool programs who would be interested in participating in the Youth Entrepreneurial Pitch Program. This program encourages middle and high school students to explore creating and developing their own product or business, and pitching their idea to their family, friends, and afterschool partners in an afterschool event.

The Y has played a critical role in caring for the children of essential workers, looking after up to 40,000 kids in June alone. The Ys also converted spaces into homeless shelters, partnered with the Red Cross on blood drives, and helped check in on seniors and members of vulnerable communities to help ward off loneliness. Now the organization is reopening day camps during the crucial summer months.

Industry and community leaders are responsible for ensuring that the STEM pipeline is not another tragic casualty of COVID-19 — a crisis that has highlighted the need for STEM professionals at every touchpoint, from front-line health care workers to chemists, lab technicians, researchers and software developers. That means the leaders are also responsible for supporting students through the pronounced challenges of virtual learning, ensuring the movement to diversify the STEM pipeline continues to grow.

During the spring and summer, as the coronavirus health crisis exploded, the government allowed most families to pick up free meals from whichever school was closest or most convenient without proving they were low-income. But that effort is on the verge of expiring as states prepare for children to return to school, and as school systems are pushing the federal government to continue the free meals program through the fall.

When Mayor de Blasio eliminated the Summer Youth Employment Program, which provides jobs for 75,000 teens and young adults, youth from the afterschool program Teens Take Charge stepped in and started a campaign to stop the cut. Despite operating virtually, and amid a pandemic that ravaged students’ communities, the group more than lived up to their name — and ultimately won back funding to support summer jobs for 35,000 youth.

Exposing students to skill-oriented courses in high school is just one part of the college and career prep journey, according to Ben Schierman, education specialist with the Alabama Department of Education in Workforce Development. Students who go through good CTE programs with high-quality industry internships often end up having a better plan for college and career.

America’s child care providers, who care for roughly 12 million children under age 5 every day, have been devastated by the coronavirus crisis. Nearly half of child care facilities were closed in early April, according to a survey by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. By June, child care centers were either open or in the process of re-opening in most states but under conditions that providers say could put them out of business.

Physicist Tim McKay has taught enough introductory physics courses to know what many university students think about them: They are difficult. “We have to change the culture,” says McKay, who is now an associate dean for undergraduate education at the University of Michigan. “I’d really like for students to take intro to science courses and come out feeling like they had real success, like they were set up to learn the deep roots of the field, rather than feeling like they got through by the skin of their teeth and didn’t understand anything.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, summer learning programs will be especially important. With many students sidelined from traditional academics for nearly six months, experts are expecting significant learning shortfalls when students return to their studies this fall. This is especially true for those who lack home internet access or computers.

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