Program Quality News: August, 2021

Good morning!

As we prepare for the school year to start again, I am thrilled that Mishaela Durán will begin her tenure as president and CEO of the Forum after Labor Day. Coming from a role as a senior executive with the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Administration for Children & Families, Mishaela is excited to get to know our staff and partners in the coming months as she builds on Karen Pittman’s legacy and leads the Forum into a new era.

We are also growing our team at the Weikart Center! We currently have several job openings listed on our website, and are looking for folks with an insatiable desire to grow and learn, who are passionate about youth development, racial equity, social justice, and continuous improvement!

Summer always marks a time to recalibrate and prepare for the year ahead, and we want to highlight a few projects in the works:

·    Supporting and Engaging Leaders to Thrive is a new series geared toward leadership and management practices that support high quality SEL practice.

·    We are eager to expand the use of our new SEL Youth Work Methods. While the next training of facilitators session will likely not happen until 2022, we have been offering learning series based on the content of the SEL Methods and are eager to bring this to more networks.

·    A new ‘Beyond PQA Basics’ workshop is in development for this fall as a deeper look at PQA items, specifically for staff who already have experience leading self-assessments, but aren’t seeking endorsement as external assessors.

Lastly, you may notice that this newsletter looks a little different than previous editions. You are a key part of our story, so we’re launching a more narrative approach to sharing the how, what, and why of the work we do that features easy-to-digest tidbits of news, resources, and upcoming events. We hope you enjoy our monthly updates and welcome any feedback you may have at

Have a wonderful day,

Kimberly H. Robinson, Ph.D. | (she, her, hers)

Managing Director, David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

Executive Vice President, The Forum for Youth Investment

Mark your calendar
·    Live virtual External Assessor Reliability Training (EART) workshops for the Youth, School-Age, and SEL PQAs are now open for registration with multiple options throughout Fall 2021.

·    The National AfterSchool Association, Committee for Children, and the Weikart Center will be hosting a webinar on the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) in out-of-school time (OST) programs on Thursday, August 26 at 2:00pm EST: Building Back Stronger: Using SEL Resources to Enrich Your OST Program
Resources from the field

·    If you missed this year’s Ready by 21 National Meeting and want to review some of the impactful sessions we experienced virtually in May 2021, you can now access the conference materials online.

·    Video clips and resources from the Forum’s Thought Leadership Roundtable series are now available online. Together sharing the broader story of how the Forum is changing the odds for young people, the sessions align to the Forum’s strategic approaches: Strengthening Practices & Programs, Improving & Aligning Policies, and Planning & Partnering for Impact.

·    Every Hour Counts’ new measurement framework and companion guidebook, Putting Data to Work for Young People, helps out-of-school time (OST) system leaders and providers better understand how to gather and analyze data to develop stronger afterschool programs.
What we’re reading

·    Are Your Leadership Practices Good Enough for Racial Justice? | Essay by Jennifer Cheatham & John B. Diamond

·    Maximizing Summer Learning & Innovation Through Intentional Practice | Blog by The Forum for Youth Investment, Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

·    Reclaiming Community: Race and the Uncertain Future of Youth Work | Book by Bianca Baldridge

·    Summer Offers Opportunity to Bridge Gap in Academic and Social Emotional Learning | Blog by Aaron P. Dworkin, National Summer Learning Association, and Marlyn Torres, New York Life Foundation
Job opportunities
·    Deputy Director, Providence After School Alliance (PASA)

·    Data Associate, Weikart Center

·    We are seeking contract-based tech assistants to support virtual training workshops. The tech assistant will support Weikart Center trainers during Zoom-based professional development workshops by providing back-end logistics and client service. Responsibilities include Zoom chat box support, creating and assigning breakout rooms, sharing pre-recorded videos and other materials, and general Zoom tech support. Experience with Zoom features required; experience with youth development programs, training delivery, and tech support is preferred. All workshops take place between the hours of 9am and 5pm EST; availability during this time is required. We expect to contract for 5-20 hours per week over the next six months, with the possibility to extend based on performance. Work will be conducted remotely using Zoom and Microsoft Office tools. Compensation is set at $20 per hour. To express interest, please send a resume and schedule availability to Joe Bertoletti (