The Update Edition - January

Logo for Making Meaning with Multiple Data Sets Huddle

On the second Thursday of each month, Ignite Afterschool hosts, “Minnesota Afterschool Connect: The Update Edition.” A 30min virtual call to keep afterschool and summer program providers up to speed on all the latest state and federal guidance, funding sources, trainings and policy happenings during the Covid-19 global pandemic.  This blog post is a summary of all the updates shared during the virtual call.

Here’s what you need to know:

State and Federal Covid-19 Guidance: Let’s be safe out there.


Enroll to use the new COVID-19 resource hub for MN schools and out-of-school time programs here. The Minnesota Departments of Education and Health have a new resource available to provide up-to-date guidance on COVID-19 for staff that work in schools and out-of-school-time programs. New content will be added throughout the school year. The trainings and resources are available in the Canvas Learning Management system and focus on the following topics: health & safety, out-of-school time, school meal programs, physical education and physical activity with mental health and social and emotional learning coming soon.

You must enroll in the Canvas system to use the resource hub. Once you click on the above enrollment link, enter your email address as your username and enroll in the course.  You will receive an email from MDE ( Select the button that says, “Click here to finish the registration process.”  In Canvas, create a password and select “Register”. You will then be able to view the course. For best performance, Canvas should be used on the following internet browsers: Chrome, Firefox, Edge, or Safari. Contact with questions.


Pro Tip: bookmark this page on your computer. This is the MN Department of Health landing page for school and childcare guidance.  It also includes pretty much all guidance related to children and youth!  As the Governor announces new Executive Orders, the guidance on this page is updated and will help you stay up to date. 


Action Steps to Take: Do good for afterschool.


Provide feedback to the MN Department of Health on vaccine access for afterschool program staff. The current language describing who can receive a Covid-19 vaccine as part of education related essential workers does not clearly include afterschool and summer program staff.  Visit this link and fill out the online form if you would like the language to more clearly include youth workers in afterschool and summer programs. Feedback must be sent by end of business today, January 7th 2021. 


Build Capacity: Continuous Improvement, AmeriCorps, and Youth Power toolkits.


Join Ignite Afterschool’s virtual M3 Huddle to support continuous program improvement in the time of COVID-19.

In February 2021, Ignite will be co-hosting two open Virtual M3 (Making Meaning with Multiple Data Sets) Huddles in partnership with Sprockets St. Paul, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, and United Way Central Minnesota: Partner for Student SuccessThe two-day virtual version is spread over two consecutive days. If you are interested in participating, please register for ONE of the following options on behalf of your team: Option 1: February 11th from 9-12:30 and February 12th from 9-11:30

Option 2: February 4th from 9-12:30 and February 5th from 9-11:30

If you are not familiar with the M3 Huddle, go HERE for an overview.

The M3 Huddle has gone virtual! After a successful pilot, we are using MIRO as the online platform to replace the traditional paper graphics. Here is a tutorial put together for the pilot session that will give you a visual of what MIRO looks like. At least one person from your team will need to learn about MIRO to take notes for the team.  

Not sure you’re ready for a Huddle?  Check out the attached decision tree to determine whether the upcoming Work With What You Got session is a better fit or a good starting point.

If neither the M3 Huddle or Work with What You Got are right for your organization, but you’re interested in Continuous Program Improvement, please contact for a consultation.


Apply to host a Promise Fellow at your school or youth serving organization in 2021 through the Minnesota Alliance with Youth.  AmeriCorps Promise Fellows support young people in grades 6-12 in accessing equitable educational opportunities in three core areas: caring adult, service & service-learning, and out-of-school time. Priority application deadline for new host sites is January 22nd and will be accepted on a rolling basis after that date. The application can be accessed here.  Please contact Sarah Ullmer at with questions.


Apply to host a Literacy Minnesota Literacy Leadership or Summer Reads AmeriCorps member.  The literacy Leadership Program is for organizations looking to launch, expand or improve literacy programming for low-income individuals. Summer Reads provides an AmeriCorps member to support an 8 week summer literacy program for children K-5.  Literacy Leadership applications are due Feb. 10th and Summer Reads applications are due February 23rd. You must first watch a pre-recorded info session which you can receive by signing up here.


New, free Youth Power Toolkits by MHA Labs in partnership with (Un)Learning Space and Power available online here.  Five new culturally responsive leadership development toolkits and 10 new resource collections based on feedback from youth workers and young people.

HERE with a short tour by toolkit developer, Lydia Mercer about each of the toolkits.


Professional Development: Get support to do your best work.


New youth work cohorts by Lindsay Walz- Resilience & Resistance:  Lindsay will host two year-long Practice Circles for Youth Workers.  One will focus on general practice development and the other on developing an anti-racist practice (specifically for white youth workers.) Applications are due Feb 1 and Circles will begin in March. More information, fees and application here.


Participate in NAA’s four-part series on Creating a Comprehensive Equity Strategy by clicking here. Registration closes on January 21st. This series provides participants with an overview of the key components in an equity strategy for your program or organization. Participants will be provided with tools and resources to begin or continue to deepen their equity and anti-racist efforts.  The four sessions include:


What Does it Take to Create an Equity Strategy and Discovery? Jan 28, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 ET

Planning an Equity Strategy February 4, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 ET

Implementation of the Equity Plan February 11, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 ET

Sustainability of the Equity Plan February 18, 2021 | 1:00 - 2:00 ET