All times are listed in Eastern time.

Tuesday, Feb. 15

During the conference, you will be able to visit our Exhibits page as well as hear from our exhibitors during Meet the Exhibitors on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.

Opening Remarks

Carmen M. Medina, Chief, Division of Student Services, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA


Keynote Address | Embracing a New Normal: Family Engagement in Afterschool

Karen L. Mapp, Ed.D., Senior Lecturer on Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA

Over the past 20 years, Dr. Mapp’s research and practice focus has been on the cultivation of partnerships among families, community members and educators that support student achievement and school improvement. Dr. Mapp is the author and co-author of several articles and books about the role of families and community members in the work of student achievement and school improvement. Dr. Mapp opens the 2022 Extra Learning Opportunities Conference with reflections on the pandemic, how afterschool programs continue to be a critical piece of K-12 education, and how family engagement is needed now more than ever.

Enjoy some downtime while we get ready for the afternoon.

Closing Opportunity Gaps with Social Emotional Learning

Research shows that social emotional learning helps to close the achievement, opportunity and behavior gaps — and we are learning that it is most impactful when it begins with adults. Develop your own social emotional skills to support student learning. Learn how to explicitly teach social and emotional skills to students to positively affect program climate, attendance and academic achievement through engaging activities. Participants will take away concrete strategies to support their efforts in their organizations.

Katie Frazier, Social Emotional Trainer, Wings for Kids, Charleston, SC
Tristan Richardson, Program Curriculum and Instruction Specialist, Wings for Kids, Charleston, SC


Difficult Conversations: What Do You Know About “Them”?

American education has a history that views marginalized students as deficits or ”the other.” In addition, researchers found that an educator’s negative attitudes and beliefs about a student can influence that student’s behavior and the student’s academic achievement (Mellom, 2018). This interactive institute will explore culturally responsive pedagogies as well as how educators can enhance their abilities to recognize and use students’ cultural strengths for improving academic outcomes.

Colber Prosper, Founder and Senior Consultant, Prosper and Partners, LLC, Capitol Heights, MD
Joe L. Fitzgerald, III, Classroom Management Specialist, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools, Nashville, TN


Optimizing Outdoor Environments in Out-of-School Time

Far too often outdoor time merely means playing on the playground or on the permanent equipment. How can we entice children to spend more time outdoors, doing things they enjoy, while learning? This institute will offer tips and techniques for outdoor learning. You will be introduced to resources that will provide optimal outdoor experiences for the children and youth in your program.

Liz Joye, National Training Associate, EDJ Consulting, Charleston, SC


STEM in Afterschool

This institute will expose participants to fun tools to help them keep a STEM focus in their afterschool programs while understanding the outcomes of STEM engagement. Participants will leave the workshop with a renewed interest in science lessons and an understanding of the importance of advocating for diversity in STEM.

Lataisia C. Jones, Ph.D, Hey Dr. Tay, LLC S.T.E.M. Consulting Company, MD


Working Successfully with Capable Students Who Don’t Try

It is a frustrating fact of classroom life — we have many students who are capable of doing quality work who fail to put forth even minimal effort. These students seem unmotivated, disengaged, and they sometimes exert a negative influence on their peers. While the challenges are clear, the good news is that there are effective, research-based strategies that will help students experience success both during the school day and in afterschool programs. This institute will provide participants with instructional strategies, communication methods, and motivational tools that can be implemented immediately in afterschool programs.

Bryan Harris, Ed.D., Associate Professor of Education, Arizona Christian University, Glendale, AZ

Wednesday, Feb. 16

During the conference, you will be able to visit our Exhibits page as well as hear from our exhibitors during Meet the Exhibitors on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.

Meet colleagues old and new, chat about anything and everything relating to your work or personal life.

5 Reading Activities to Increase Engagement and Rigor

Engaging learners in reading can be really challenging. This workshop will provide five reading activities that can help increase student engagement in afterschool. The presenter will walk through each activity and give participants the opportunities to practice and discuss these strategies.

Bridget Spackman, Content Creator and Author, The Lettered Classroom, York, PA


Global Classroom: Engaging Youth with the Sustainable Development Goals

Climate change, social and economic injustice, and political instability are among the issues today’s youth face. Education and youth development aim to empower young people to be change-makers in their communities and globally. By engaging young people with the Sustainable Development Goals, our classrooms and youth programs can begin to prepare them to respond to the universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and promote peace and prosperity for all people.

Adana Wright, Director of Global Classroom, One to World, New York, NY


How to Be the Supervisor Your Staff Need

In the out-of-school time (OST) field, we dedicate so much time and energy toward our students that we often neglect our staff in the process; a major contributor to the high turnover rate in the field, estimated by the National Afterschool Association to be as high as 40% pre-pandemic and nearly 60% throughout it.

In a field built on relationships, we cannot continue to ask our students, families and staff to consistently build new ones. This turnover rate harms our programs, our staff, and our bottom line. With stronger leadership who support high-quality staff, we can help our retention both with staff and our students. This workshop will focus on providing tools to OST leadership to better support their staff with a focus on clear expectations, recognition, leveraging strengths, providing feedback, and investing in professional development.

Katherine Spinney, ACC, MT, MSW, Katherine Spinney Coaching LLC, Baltimore, MD


Resilience Mapping During COVID-19 in Afterschool

To aid in youth wellness and risk prevention, Sunrise of Philadelphia has applied the non-clinical, strengths-based approach of asset mapping to identify purposeful social emotional learning opportunities that better support youth and build trust for a return to in-person programming. We will share this strategy for counterbalancing Adverse Childhood Experiences and the broader traumatic impact of COVID-19 by intentionally investing in protective factors as a way to build resilience among youth.

Marina M. Fradera, Trauma and Curriculum Specialist, Sunrise of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA


Strategies to Support Students as They Create Products of Learning

Students create in both big and small ways throughout the school year. In this workshop we will examine how to support students as creators of content. We will look at how to develop the supporting resources necessary to everyday artifacts of student learning as well as for larger independent and collaborative projects. This workshop will provide an overview and hands-on opportunities for exploring open-ended creation tools.

Monica Burns, Ed.D., Founder, Class Tech Tips, Jersey City, NJ

Hear from our conference exhibitors about their products and services during this live, online session.

Enjoy some downtime while we get ready for the afternoon.

Black Adolescent Males Drowning in American Masculinity

Bombarded by negative stereotypes, Black adolescent males have a more difficult time developing a healthy identity than their white counterparts. This workshop will explore the various meanings of masculinity as well as how it relates to young Black males. Participants will be placed in groups to discuss Black male masculinity and how it has been used to deal with historic trauma. Finally, strategies will be shared, and attendees will discuss adapting such strategies to their work.

Colber Prosper, Founder and Senior Consultant, Prosper and Partners, LLC, Capitol Heights, MD


Create Opportunities for Students to Explore the World

In this workshop, we will look at exploration and the role it plays in building empathy, piquing student curiosity, and helping students think critically and deeply about the world around them. We will examine how online experiences can strengthen connections and help students learn about the lives of others whom they may never encounter in the town or city where they live. This interactive workshop will include an introduction to free virtual reality resources and a connection to social emotional learning.

Monica Burns, Ed.D., Founder, Class Tech Tips, Jersey City, NJ


Developing Workforce and Career Skills with Afterschool Youth

The importance of developing 21st century skills in afterschool has become more and more necessary in order for students to be ready for the workforce. Establishing a classroom where learners want and need to take ownership of their learning is a big step towards developing many skills that will benefit them in the future.

Bridget Spackman, Content Creator and Author, The Lettered Classroom, York, PA


Financial Literacy in Afterschool

Understanding finance is more than a math skill, it is an essential life skill that your afterschool staff should incorporate into 21st CCLC program activities. During this workshop, participants will build professional knowledge that will help them support students and families for success in school and in life.

You for Youth


Resources for Including Environmental Education in Your Afterschool Program

If you are a Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program that has received a mini-grant related to environmental education, this workshop is for you. Join Carissa Longo from DCNR to discover and practice STEM activities and access nature-based resources for virtual and modified in-person learning. The presenter will share ideas, activities, apps, curricula, and more from Pennsylvania State Parks and other curated sources. Afterschool and summer learning programs are great spaces to encourage students to investigate STEM in the natural world.

Carissa Longo, Environmental Education Program Coordinator and Pennsylvania Project WILD Coordinator, Bureau of State Parks, Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Harrisburg, PA

Thursday, Feb. 17

During the conference, you will be able to visit our Exhibits page as well as hear from our exhibitors during Meet the Exhibitors on Wednesday at 11:45 a.m.

Building Engaging Summer Programs

Developing a high-quality summer learning program takes an understanding of embedding academic enrichment activities, 21st-century skills and designing positive youth development environments. During this workshop, participants will learn about ways to design training and where to find tools and resources to assist with planning. Participants will also learn how to train their staff to implement focused and intentional summer learning programs.

You for Youth


Creating a Sustainability Plan That Works for Your Organization

A sustainability plan is not only a required part of your 21st CCLC grant application, it is more importantly your strategy for continuing your afterschool and summer program offerings after your grant funding ends. Creating a strong sustainability plan requires a lot of foresight, a deep understanding of your community’s needs and resources, and the input of key stakeholders. In this workshop, you will learn about current best practices in sustainability planning and how three 21st CCLC grantees developed their sustainability plans. You will have the opportunity to ask the presenters questions and time to begin your thinking process on creating a sustainability plan that works for you

Jane Hershberger, Independent Contractor, Ephrata, PA
Katheryne Hait, Director of Operations, To Our Children’s Future with Health, Philadelphia, PA
Pantea Shademani, 21C Program Director, Wayne-Pike Workforce Alliance, Honesdale, PA
Matthew Jones, Coordinator of Grant and Foundation Development, Warren County School District, Russell, PA


The Critical 4 R’s of Trauma Responsive Education

Childhood trauma is real. Understanding the specific consequences of trauma on the growing brain can significantly inform interventions and inspire new approaches for children who have experienced trauma. This engaging yet powerful workshop uses basic neuroscience to make the impacts of trauma understandable to educators. Develop a realization about trauma and understand the types of trauma that can affect children. Recognize the signs of trauma and its impact on the developing brain. Respond to students by applying the principles of a trauma-informed approach to all areas. Identify how certain practices may trigger painful memories and create plans to resist retraumatization of students with trauma histories.

Shauna King, Educator, Author and Speaker, King Professional Development Services, Greenbelt, MD


Project-Based Learning in Afterschool

In the busyness of afterschool, staff frequently do not have the time they need to plan the programs they want and what students deserve. Scrambling to find one-off activities to fill the time can become a cycle of stress and less-than-ideal planning. It also does not provide value to the students in the way afterschool programs can. Project-based learning (PBL) provides an opportunity for afterschool programs to provide richer experiences for the students while making planning more intentional, proactive and manageable for themselves. This workshop will introduce participants to the benefits, components and best practices of implementing successful PBL in afterschool programs. Participants will receive valuable resources to help them get started.

Katherine Spinney, ACC, MT, MSW, Katherine Spinney Coaching LLC, Baltimore, MD


Sharing Our Stories to Build Sustaining Communities

Afterschool programs are in a unique position to give children the freedom and support to be themselves. Program flexibility can allow space for social emotional learning and self-expression — the all-important work that oftentimes is difficult to fit into the school day. Personal storytelling can be a powerful tool to do this, build community, and help individuals process the disruption of the past two years.

Nakeisha Daniel, Independent Artist and Educator, The Children’s Art Guild, New York, NY
Alexander Kopelman, CEO, The Children’s Art Guild, New York, NY

Enjoy some downtime while we get ready for the afternoon.

Closing Remarks

Carmen M. Medina, Chief, Division of Student Services, Pennsylvania Department of Education, Harrisburg, PA


Keynote Address | The Healing Power of Friendships and Relationships — How Afterschool Programs Can Foster Belonging in Students and Staff

Traci Baxley, Ed.D., DEI Consultant, Boca Raton, Florida

The pandemic has caused many of us to recognize the power of relationships — for ourselves and for our children. Have your children’s friendships changed or suffered? Are your students finding it hard to reignite their stalled connections? How can afterschool programs help foster friendship, prioritize strong relationships, and create a sense of belonging for every student? As program directors and administrators, how do we build positive working relationships and create a sense of belonging for our staff? Dr. Baxley will look at ways we can move these lessons to our own lives as adults.