Program Quality News: December 2021

Good morning!

We are excited to announce the publication of revised versions of three of the Weikart Center’s most referenced briefs: Understanding the Youth Program Quality InterventionSelf-Assessment Using the Youth Program Quality Assessment, and External Assessment Using the Youth Program Quality Assessment. These resources have been updated to reflect our latest insights, language, and thinking about this work, with a more approachable look and feel. Whether you are new to the Youth Program Quality Intervention or have been implementing it in your networks for years, we hope that you’ll find these resources supportive and valuable for your teams.

A Call to Action for OST Leaders, the second blog from the editors and authors of It Takes an Ecosystem: Understanding the People, Places, and Possibilities of Learning and Development Across Settings, offers excerpts from the book’s concluding chapter as a call to action to join the authors and editors in the continued journey to build and strengthen the health of equitable learning and development ecosystems. The next few years offer an incredible, unprecedented opportunity to position and strengthen the out-of-school time (OST) field, and doing so requires that system leaders (including OST leaders) be specific about engaging all systems, settings, learners, learning approaches, and adults to galvanize support for a learning ecosystem approach. Ideas, tools, and examples that support this opportunity are explored throughout the chapters of It Takes an Ecosystemavailable for purchase here. The code OST21 can be used for a 35% discount on any volume in the Current Issues in Out-of-School Time Series.

The Forum for Youth Investment is continuing to expand, and we are excited to announce that the Weikart Center is hiring a Director, Equitable Quality Improvement Systems. This new position will lead a team focused on defining and refining approaches for building equitable program quality improvement systems that advance racial equity and social justice. We also have several other opportunities across the Forum. Check out our job openings page and please share these opportunities with your networks!

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
kim@forumfyi.org

Mark your calendar

  • Join the Forum for Youth Investment and Learning Heroes on December 9 at 11:00 AM ET as we discuss data from their latest report, “Out-of-School Time Programs: Paving the Way for Children to Find Passion, Purpose & Voice,” and the accompanying Playbook for educators, providers, and advocates. Learn how the Playbook can be used to support organizations in using this important data.
  • It’s not often that you hear about students having a voice in their state’s education policy. In North Dakota, public and private school students have the chance to be part of North Dakota Superintendent Kirsten Baesler’s Student Cabinet. Register to join on Tuesday, December 14, as The Hunt Institute sits down with Superintendent Kirsten Baesler to talk about why it’s so important for students to play a role in shaping their own education.

Resources from the field

  • Help tell the story of the ways COVID-19 is impacting the programs, young people, and families you serve by taking a survey from the Afterschool Alliance. The survey will close on December 12, so take a moment to complete it today! As a thank you, 50 respondents will be randomly selected to win a $50 gift card.
  • A new blog from the Learning Policy Institute, Communicating the “Learning” in Social-Emotional Learning, examines a Fordham Institute study that sheds light on why polarizing and inaccurate framing of social and emotional learning (SEL) has caused concern for some parents and discusses how to help parents understand that SEL and academics are inextricably connected and not an either/or choice.
  • Summer for All: Building Coordinated Networks to Promote Access to Quality Summer Learning and Enrichment Opportunities Across a Community, the eighth report in RAND’s Summer Learning Series, chronicles the early efforts of community leaders to create coordinated approaches to increasing access to quality summer programming, noting their challenges, enablers, and early outcomes. The report is intended to help city and county leaders, district leaders, out-of-school time intermediaries, and other community organizations launch and sustain such coordinated networks.

Changing the odds for young people has never been more important