The Update Edition - October

Light Bulb for Lights on Afterschool

October's MN Afterschool Connect update call was jam packed!  We wouldn't want you to miss a thing.  Here’s what you need to know:

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

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!  If you are a licensed childcare provider, also bookmark this page.

1.  Find guidance specific to Youth and Student Programs here.  If you are bringing children and/or young people together in a group setting for a program other than formal school learning, generally, here’s the guidance to follow (some exceptions apply).

2.  NEW! If you are not a school, but some other organization or entity supporting a group of students as they engage in distance or hybrid learning during school hours, then you follow this guidance.

3.  Wondering how to safely celebrate upcoming holidays like Halloween and Dia de los Muertos? Check out this CDC guidance.


Funding Sources: Let’s keep the doors (safely) open afterschool.

Public Health Support Funds (from Coronavirus Relief Fund) are available to certified and licensed childcare providers, including certified school-age care providers, through Child Care Aware.  Applications are due by 5pm October 14th.  Click the Child Care Aware link and use the email address provided on that page to access the application.  Depending on the type of child care provider, you can receive between $1,200-$8,500/mo for 3 months.


Priority Action Steps: Do these things now.

1. Register for Lights on Afterschool, a national day to raise awareness about the importance of afterschool programs, is October 22nd. Make sure you register to celebrate on the Afterschool Alliance website. The site also has great information on how to celebrate during Covid.

Can’t host your own LoA event?  That’s okay!  Join Ignite’s Minnesota Afterschool Connect call on Oct 22nd at 1:00 and celebrate with us and/or register to attend the Afterschool Alliance’s Lights on Afterschool Townhall at 5pm CST.

2. Take this Afterschool Alliance survey about the role and impact of Covid-19 on afterschool programs this fall.  Survey fatigue is real. But this survey is super important to advocacy efforts. Plus, if 30 or more programs in MN complete the survey, Ignite will receive MN specific data to help key stakeholders better understand Covid’s impact on afterschool right here at home.

The Afterschool Alliance has conducted two other national surveys about Covid’s impact on afterschool programs and the role of afterschool programs to support young people. Check out this data brief to see the results.

3. Comment on MDE’s proposed 21st CCLC waiver here by Oct 9th at 4pm. Currently, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act restricts activities provided by a program funded under the 21st CCLC program to activities provided only during non-school hours or periods when school is not in session. If approved, this waiver would allow 21st CCLC grant recipients in Minnesota to operate with greater flexibilities to better meet the needs to students and families during the 2020-21 school year by giving MDE temporary authority to permit its 21st CCLC programs to provide supplemental services when school is in session, but students are not receiving in-person instruction.


Professional Development: Get support to do your best work.

From the Youth Work Learning Lab at the University of Minnesota:

Measuring What Matters Most: Tuesday, October 27th 11:00-12:00 or* Thursday, October 29th 1:00-2:00 - (*only attend one session). This web session acknowledges the uncertainty and shifts occurring in youth programs and provides a series of questions to decide what is reasonable and useful to measure given the new reality.  Registration includes access to a planning guide and a curated set of reports, resources and templates you can download.

Facilitated by: Deborah Moore, University of Minnesota Youth Work Learning Lab Director and Faculty in Youth Studies and Youth Development Leadership Departments in the School of Social Work


From the Center for Youth Development at the University of Minnesota:

Dismantling White Supremacy Culture in Our Organizations, Oct 23. Learn about white supremacy cultural norms, the five key elements of using a racial equity lens, and actions that can dismantle white supremacy. Register.

Addressing Hurtful Ways that Adultism Shows Up, Nov. 6. Explore how adultism is harmful to young people, examine how these behaviors show up in nonprofits, and identify actions to create change. Register.

Sharing Power with Youth, Nov 20. Examine different youth engagement frameworks, define equity from a youth perspective, and learn how to share power with young people. Register.


From STEMNext with Technovation through the national Million Girls Moonshot Initiative:

Engineering Design Challenges Three-Part Webinar Series: Over three hour-long sessions, you’ll become an expert in leading engineering design challenges online that help students develop engineering mindsets.  Get ready for hands-on building during each session. These three sessions are for program staff (directors, STEM specialists, and facilitators) working with kids in 4th–8th grades.

Registration Links 


From Ignite Afterschool and our Partners:

Did you miss the M3® Continuous Program Improvement Cycle Kick-Off Webinar? No worries, watch the video here

M3® is a Continuous Program Improvement process for afterschool and summer learning programs. It’s grounded in research and reality, and nearly a decade of testing and refinement. This session will include:

· An overview of the M3® process, including rapid cycle feedback tips and adjustments for distance learning

· New tools and resources

· Time to connect with colleagues across the state to share M3® experiences and your current strategies and most pressing questions related to evaluation, data, and continuous improvement


Check out the National League of Cities Community Learning Hub toolkit.