The National AfterSchool Association (NAA) and Youth Today have formed a partnership to provide NAA members, Youth Today subscribers and other interested audiences a series of short webinars developed specifically to advance promising practices for Out-of-School Time (OST) practitioners.
The project, underwritten by the Robert Bowne Foundation, will provide four webinars in the next year under the umbrella, “Engaging Youth in Language and Literacy During the Out-of-School Time.” Some topics will include “Using the Arts to Engage Children and Youth in Language and Literacy” and “Using Sports Debates as a Way to Engage Children and Youth in Language and Literacy.” In addition, the NAA will be developing a series of Google Hangouts, which will present dialogues around critical issues in OST and engage researchers, policymakers and practitioners in these dialogues, which will be available to the general public via YouTube.
Leonard Witt, publisher of Youth Today, says, “We love partnering with the NAA. They fully understand the needs of practitioners who work with kids in the OST space. These OST practitioners are asked to do extremely important work with our children and need to know best practices that have worked well for others. That’s what these webinars will provide.”
Gina Warner, executive director of the NAA, says, “NAA exists to inspire, connect, and equip professionals who meet this critical need for young people. The partnership with Youth Today will help NAA deliver on our strategies of delivering high-quality, relevant training and tools and strengthening the profession through networking and connecting the field. The webinars and Google Hangouts will allow afterschool professionals access to training and professional learning communities to further their knowledge, build skills, and advance the profession. We want to thank the Bowne Foundation for this support —we're looking forward to seeing the results of this collaborative investment!”
Lena Townsend, executive director of the Robert Bowne Foundation in New York City, says, “These offerings are part of a much larger project we are underwriting with Youth Today. Youth Today is building an OST Research and Resource Hub. Now people will come to the Youth Today website, get news, commentary and, thanks to the NAA partnership, training. Thanks to the OST Hub, they will have access to research and resources. All these elements will add up to a complete learning experience for anyone who works with children and youth during their out of school time.”
Sara Hill, the Youth Today OST Hub editor, will be working with Warner and her NAA team to produce webinars and Hangouts that will be well integrated with the Hub materials. The Hub and first webinar are targeted to launch in November 2014.
Youth Today is a print and online publication housed at the Center for Sustainable Journalism at Kennesaw State University, just outside of Atlanta. It provides breaking and in-depth news, information and commentary on topics related to youth work and children, specifically disadvantaged children during their Out-of-School Time (OST) and is the only online and print publication covering these issues daily. The OST Research and Resource Hub will provide layers of research, resources, toolkits, white papers, pertinent links and expert advice.
NAA is the membership association for professionals who work with children and youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide a wide variety of extended learning opportunities and care during out-of-school hours. Its members include afterschool program directors, coordinators, sponsors, front-line staff, school leaders, principals, teachers, paraprofessionals, board of education members, nonprofit leaders, advocates, community leaders, policymakers, researchers and more.