Thank you Governor Bullock and thank you to the more than 30 programs across Montana who are celebrating the importance of afterschool programs with a 'Lights on Afterschool' Event. Programs are participating throughout the week by opening their doors and inviting the community in to experience STEM projects, winter gear drives, fall festivals and most importantly, fun! They're using these events to tell the story of the great work their doing and help garner support.
Data from After 3pm shows afterschool programs in Montana are serving close to 19,000 students from preschool through grade 12, with another 49,000 waiting for access. MTAA is grateful to work with partners across the state that are helping to close the gap and truly keep the lights on afterschool for kids all over Montana!
MTAA is offering mini grants up to $400 to help fund 'Lights on Afterschool' events!
We know that events are right around the corner, so we've set this up to be easy to apply and a quick turnaround to get confirmation. Applications are due Wednesday, October 11th and notifications will be made by October 13th. Grant applications are online using the form here.
Here are a couple quick tips:
Head to 'Lights on Afterschool' at the Afterschool Alliance website. You'll find a comprehensive list of tools, ideas and materials to help you design and host an event tailored to your program and community. This includes sample press releases and customizable one page info sheets to share with attendees or to drop in the mail for those who can’t make it. You can also register your event there, which we’re asking grant recipients to do.
Invite the folks from your community that you’d like to engage and/or thank for their support. Invitations by mail or email are great, but a personal phone call will be an important strategy for making sure they know you value their attendance - and it’s a great opportunity to have a personal chat if they are unable to attend. Suggested invitees include Media, City/County Commissioners, State Legislators, School Administrators & Staff, Business Leaders, Existing/Potential Funders & Volunteers
Reach out to our new MTAA Director, Laurie Bishop: 406-223-1122 or Laurieb AT mtafterschoolalliance.org
Meet Laurie Bishop
The Montana Afterschool Alliance is pleased to announce the hiring of our new full time Director- Laurie Bishop!
Laurie has worked to support children and families in Montana for the last 15 years. After seven years as an Executive Director of a small nonprofit in Livingston, she moved on to work with Graduation Matters Montana at OPI, supporting schools and communities across the state to improve outcomes for youth from Pre K thru high school. Her passion for community inspired Laurieto run for the State Legislature and she is in her first term as a House Representative. Laurie just celebrated 25 years of marriage to her college sweetheart, Storrs. They have three children aged 13, 17 and 20. She is a soccer mom, avid reader and happy hiker.
Laurie’s first day was September 25 and she can be reached at LaurieB@mtafterschoolalliance.org. Join us in welcoming Laurie to MTAA!
The Montana Afterschool Alliance (MTAA) and Montana State University held a one-day STEM Summit on August 8, 2017. STEM leaders from across the state convened to determine how Montana moves forward providing more youth with enriching high-quality STEM learning both in and outside of school time.
More than 150 STEM partners including K-12, higher education, business, policy makers, the informal science community, funders, and afterschool providers discussed priorities and opportunities for increased STEM learning in Montana. The Summit identified programs, priorities, and opportunities for Montana to build a strong STEM eco-system across Big Sky country.
Thank you to the sponsors and attendees who made this summit a success!
Download the STEM Summit Agenda.
Download the Afterschool STEM fact sheet.
Download the Afterschool Works for Montana fact sheet.
Montana's afterschool programs are gems!
This summer the students and faculty at the MAPS Media Institute created a mini-documentary on afterschool in Montana. This short film highlights some of Montana’s outstanding programs, and explains how afterschool programs enhance a student's whole education, as well as nourishes entire communities. Afterschool programs across the state benefit from the federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers Initiative, administered by the U.S. Department of Education. Keeping these funds coming into the state ensures that Montana's afterschool programs remain strong and vibrant.
Register for an Afterschool Regional Workshop
Saturday, September 23, 2017
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Hilton Garden Inn, 2023 Commerce Way, Bozeman, MT 59715
This professional development opportunity is for all out-of-school-time leaders and educators. Content will be relevant for any leader, staff, or volunteer of an afterschool or out-of-school-time program. The day starts with a 2 hour session on Growth Mindset, followed by lunch and networking, and concludes with a two hour session on Structure and Clear Limits. This workshop is lead by Sarah Nance of Institute for Youth Success at Education Northwest, a full-service, innovative regional center to support best practices at youth serving organizations. Registration is $35 which includes lunch and the nessasary workbooks. Employees of kidsLINKS Afterschool Partner Sites are sponsored to attend at no charge.
The kidsLINK Afterschool Program of the Greater Gallatin United Way and the Montana Afterschool Alliance are pleased to partner to offer this regional workshop to 21st CCLC funded programs and other afterschool programs in the greater Gallatin area.
The kidsLINK Afterschool Program operates in 29 school-based/linked locations across 4 counties and serves nearly 3,000 children every day. kidsLINK is a fun, safe environment providing rich opportunities for learning, personal growth, and building relationships. The Montana Afterschool Alliance is a statewide network supporting and advocating for for sustainable high quality afterschool programs by drawing together key decision-makers committed to improving outcomes for youth, their families, and their communities.
Participants will learn:
Growth Mindset: In "Building a Growth Mindset," participants will get a chance to look at this concept from many different angles. Psychologist and Researcher Carol Dweck has spent most of her professional life examining Growth Mindset, and this session will be primarily using her definition and work as the basis of conversation. First, participants will consider their own fixed and growth mindsets. Next, they’ll learn how neuroscience supports this concept. We'll also talk about how students of color and issues of equity are affected by changing our mindsets. Lastly, participants will understand the difference between praise and encouragement, leaving with tips and tools that will help incorporate this information into their own work.
Structure and Clear Limits: How do you prevent chaos in a youth environment without stifling youth's positive energy? Youth need structure and clear limits in order to feel safe. This interactive workshop helps participants analyze the level of structure in their programs and practice identifying and maintaining clear limits.
About the Workshop Leader:
Sarah Nance has worked in youth development and mentoring for 15 years, at programs such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Girls Inc., and Camp Fire. She has served in many roles, from direct service to administration, volunteer recruiter, and fundraiser. Sarah started with the Institute for Youth Success five years ago, and began coaching nonprofit programs through quality improvement. Today she provides technical assistance, designs curriculum, and facilitates trainings all over the country. Sarah has supported national organizations such as the National Health Foundation, the National Mentoring Partnership, the United States Soccer Foundation, the National Police Activities League, the Indiana Youth Institute, and the Canadian Women’s Foundation. She is a certified trainer in the Youth Work Methods, Youth Work Management, and the Screening Applicants for Effectiveness training, and Trauma-Informed Practices in Educational Settings. Additionally she is an Oregon Registry Master Trainer. She has been the curriculum developer and lead trainer on a collective impact project targeting growth mindset. Her M.Ed in School Counseling provides an education system and mental health lens.
After registering, please bring cash or a $35 check made out to the Greater Gallatin United Way to the start of the session. Please note that kidsLINK Afterschool partner site attendees are sponsored to attend at no charge, but you still need to register online to reserve your spot.
Questions? Contact Julia Gustafson at email@example.com or call 406624-9272.
The Montana Afterschool Alliance is looking for a passionate and committed individual with knowledge and experience of afterschool and youth development to serve as our next director.
About the position:
The Montana Afterschool Alliance (MTAA) supports and advocates for sustainable, high quality afterschool programs by drawing together key decision-makers committed to improving outcomes for youth, their families, and communities. MTAA is part of a national collective of Statewide Afterschool Networks committed to improving and advancing afterschool opportunities across the nation. Statewide Afterschool Networks now exist in 50 states across the country, with new states added every year since 2001. These networks are all focused on improving education and out-of-school time opportunities for children and youth, particularly low- income children, and are geared toward achieving three primary goals around partnerships, policy, and quality. In line with these national network goals, MTAA has set three strategic goals:
Create a sustainable structure of statewide, regional, tribal, and local partnerships, particularly school community partnerships;
Support the development and growth of statewide policies that will secure the resources that are needed to sustain new and existing afterschool programs; and
Define and promote quality afterschool programing.
The Director of MTAA will serve as the network lead and will work with key partners to develop, lead, coordinate, and drive MTAA’s strategic goals. An ideal candidate will bring passion, commitment, and understanding of afterschool, youth development, and education trends. MTAA is looking for an accomplished individual with excellent relationship-building, communication, and leadership skills. Experience in developing funding relationships with foundations, business, and government partners is preferred as well as the ability to mobilize staff, partners, and constituents toward impact and outcomes.
Rural Dynamics, Inc. (RDI) provides programs and develops partnerships to help youth, individuals, and families achieve economic independence. RDI serves as fiscal sponsor and host to MTAA. The Director will be an employee of RDI and will report to the MTAA Steering Council. A Memorandum of Understanding is in place between MTAA and RDI, which defines the roles and responsibilities of each organization.
How to apply:
The position is open until filled, however please apply by 3pm on August 28, 2017 to be considered in the initial screening. To apply, email a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org, Attn: MTAA.
Rural Dynamics, Inc. is a non-profit Equal Opportunity Employer. RDI shall, upon request, provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified individuals with disabilities.
We know afterschool boosts student success, keeps kids safe, and helps parents keep their jobs. The demand for afterschool and summer learning opportunities far exceeds the supply and too many young people are being left out.
Afterschool provides a solid return on investment. Research shows that every $1 invested in afterschool programs saves at least $3 by:
✓ Increasing kids’ earning potential
✓ Improving kids’ performance at school
✓ Reducing crime and juvenile delinquency
Afterschool works for students, families, and the economy.
Show your support!
Expanding STEM Learning Across the Big Sky
A daylong summit next month will bring together representatives from education, business, after-school providers, government and the larger community to discuss how Montana can build a strong science, technology, engineering and math ecosystem across Big Sky country.
The STEM Summit takes place Aug. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Strand Union Building Ballrooms on the campus of Montana State University. Participants will explore ways to expand STEM experiences outside the classroom and create a collaborative framework for more high-quality STEM learning for Montana youth. The College of Education, Health and Human Development and the Montana Afterschool Alliance are co-hosting the event.
The day consists of panel discussions with action tables, networking sessions, a hands-on demonstration with STARBASE Montana and key speakers, including conversations with MSU President Waded Cruzado, state Superintendent of Public Instruction Elsie Arntzen and Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney. An optional one-hour TechBridge Role Models Matter workshop will be offered immediately following the close of the summit.
Jan Lombardi, a founding member of the Montana Afterschool Alliance, which was organized in 2014 with funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, said there are children in Montana who don’t have the opportunity or support to experience high-quality after-school or summer learning. Today’s youth need to be critical thinkers, and by building knowledge and skills outside of school, children are more college and career ready.
Alison Harmon, dean of the College of Education, Health and Human Development, said that the summit will be a critical gathering of individuals whose input is needed to identify state priorities and chart a course for expanding STEM education.
The summit is made possible by a planning grant from STEM Next, a national initiative housed at the University of San Diego designed to prepare more young people for careers in STEM fields, as well as numerous local and state sponsors.
Participants must pre-register. There is no cost to attend. To register, go to stemmontana.org/Home/Summit.
The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is inviting you to participate and provide feedback on webinars on specific topics for the Montana State Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Plan.
The Every Student Succeeds Act, signed into law in 2015, replaces No Child Left Behind and reauthorizes the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. The purpose of Montana ESSA Plan is to show how Montana is working to ensure federal standards are met on various federally funded programs while allowing flexibility and ensuring community input. OPI wants to use ESSA as a vehicle to accomplish their priorities, goals and vision for education in Montana.
OPI is hosting webinars for each of the areas of the plan that they are revisiting in order to build upon and edit due to feedback, new requirements, or peer review expectations. The webinars are around ten minutes long and have guiding documents you can review beforehand. All of the information can be found on the Info, Docs & Webinars page on the OPI’s ESSA site. You can also find the feedback Montana has received on the plan submitted in December and the Peer Review Criteria the Department of Education released on that same page. After watching the webinars, you can send your feedback, input, and questions to ESSAinput@mt.gov.
Afterschool programs are especially encouraged to look at the ESSA Title IV Part B: 21st Century Community Service Centers Webinar. After watching the webinar, please consider the following questions and submit your responses to Tracy Moseman at email@example.com.
- With regards to the activities provided by the state to sub grantees, are there any activities missing or training topics you would like to see prioritized by the state for the grantees?
- With regards to the sub granting procedures identified in the application, is there anything unclear about the process, or is there anything you would like to see further defined?
Science Action Club: Bugs In Your Schoolyard launched last fall and now Birds In Your Schoolyard is ready for spring training thanks to Montana State University’s Extended University. MSU is providing free STEM resources and training to a group of educators who work with middle school students in after-school or out-of-school programs.
Afterschool programs can affect how students perform in school and help students be college and career ready. The Montana Afterschool Alliance (MTAA) recognizes MSU’s efforts to increase STEM-based learning opportunities for Montana’s youth outside the school day. MTAA is fortunate to have a strong partnership with Montana State University (MSU), which, as the state’s land-grant institution, has a strong focus on outreach and learning in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Montana’s Science Action Club educators today will receive a complete Science Action Club kit featuring high-quality science equipment and classroom supplies for 20 youth, plus digital resources to provide opportunities to extend learning. The afterschool sites across Montana will conduct 12 hands-on activities this spring with youth in middle school; contribute data to researchers via citizen science apps; and assist with evaluation and feedback to the California Academy of Sciences, which developed the Science Action Club curriculum. Science Action Club program is also supported by the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative, National Girls Collaborative Project, the Montana Women’s Foundation, Montana NSF EPSCoR and the MSU Chemistry and Biochemistry Department.
Science Action Clubs: Birds in Your School Yard are from following communities:
- Lame Deer
- Seeley Lake
- White Sulphur Springs
Science Action Club sites that implemented the Bugs In Your Schoolyard curriculum include Ashland, Browning, Hamilton, Hinsdale, Townsend and Willow Creek.
Science Action Club (SAC) is a high-impact STEM program for middle school youth in out-of-school time. Through hands-on games and projects, youth in SAC investigate their local environment and use citizen science to document discoveries, share data, and design strategies to protect our planet.
Montana Afterschool Alliance’s mission is to support and advocate for sustainable, high-quality afterschool programs by drawing together key decision-makers committed to improving outcomes for youth, their families, and communities. The vision of the Montana Afterschool Alliance is that all Montana youth have access to enriching afterschool activities in a safe and healthy environment. In October of 2014, the Montana Afterschool Alliance (MTAA) received funding from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, making Montana the 43rd state to have a statewide afterschool network.
For more information about Science Action Clubs, contact Suzi Taylor, Assistant Director of Outreach and Communications, MSU Extended University; (406) 994-6550, firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more information about the Montana Afterschool Alliance contact Julia Gustafson, Network Lead, (406) 624-9272, email@example.com.
Check out the February 10, 2017 Newsletter from MTAA.