Professionals & Program Resources

Much of our work is focused on coordinating efforts around professional development, program quality initiatives, and overall elevation of the afterschool and youth-serving field by:

  • Providing professional development to afterschool, summer, and out-of-school professionals
  • Delivering quality coaching and technical assistance to programs
  • Offering leadership opportunities
  • Helping programs start and sustain
  • Promoting best practices
  • Coordinating statewide systems and connection

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Professional Development Opportunities

It's our goal to provide a broad array of quality learning opportunities for those who work with youth in the third space and out-of-school time. We also want to emphasize that many of the trainings are for anyone working with youth, and we hope you will find something that lights you up and helps you further your career, hone your skills, and improve outcomes for youth.

These 1.5-hour workshops are designed for brand new staff in afterschool, summer, third-space, and out-of-school programs. It’s a great way for new staff to orient to the field and learn basic best practices in their work, as well as for returning staff to further their own professional development goals. These real-time online trainings are FREE for anyone working with school-age youth in out-of-school time programs, and are approved by Northern Lights at CCV.


Click here for more info and to register.

This four-part series is for leaders of licensed programs in the afterschool field in Vermont and is specifically designed for experienced directors and site coordinators who are looking for that next level of growth and development.


Click here for more info and to register.

Afterschool Essentials is an accelerated half-year program that Vermont Afterschool offers FREE for afterschool staff working in licensed afterschool programs. It is designed to meet the needs of the professional with limited experience in the afterschool setting and is connected to our Afterschool Foundations Certificate.


Click here for more info and to register.

Vermont Afterschool partners with the Child Development Division (CDD) to offer FREE 3-credit, online courses for afterschool professionals through the Community College of Vermont (CCV). This is a tuition-free opportunity for those who are currently working in a regulated child care setting.

Click here for more info and to register.

Here are the currently scheduled workshops offered by Vermont Afterschool. For more information and about any of these workshops, please contact Becky Wilcke.

 

Resilience and Youth Wellness

Available dates: 1/12/23 (4:30–6:30 PM); 3/16/23 (4:30–6:30 PM); and 4/20/23 (4:30–6:30 PM)

This workshop provides an opportunity to learn more about the protective factors of youth and what it means to be resilient. We’ll address strategies to increase protective factors of youth, essential building blocks of resilience, and common signs of substance misuse in youth as well as resources to address substance misuse and youth mental health.

To register, please contact Becky Wilcke.

Coaching Beyond Winning

Available dates: 1/17/23 (4:00–6:00 PM); 2/15/23 (10:00 AM–12:00 PM); 3/23/23 (3:00–5:00 PM); and 5/23/23 (1:00–3:00 PM)

This workshop will focus on positive youth development in third space settings such as sports teams and afterschool activities. Topics include adolescent brain development, social emotional learning, resilience, and protective factors for primary prevention efforts.

To register, please contact Becky Wilcke.

Youth Thrive

Available dates (must attend BOTH dates):
Fall: 11/3/22 (10:00–4:00 PM) and 11/10/22 (10:00–4:00 PM)

Location: Aldrich Library (Milne Room), Barre

Spring: 3/2/23 (10:00 AM–4:00 PM) and 3/9/23 (10:00 AM–4:00 PM)

Location: TBD

Youth Thrive is an evidence-informed framework for approaching our work with youth ages 9-24. Instead of a sole focus on limiting risk factors or maintaining a problem-free environment, Youth Thrive teaches youth work professionals and parents to recognize, support, and build on protective and promotive factors. Based in strengths-based and positive psychology, this approach can be used in any setting where youth and their families are served.

To register, please contact Becky Wilcke.

At any point in the year, afterschool program directors, site directors, or other authorized individuals charged with securing professional development trainings can request to schedule a specific training. All workshops can be provided in a virtual format. The cost of trainings is typically $100/hour (minimum 2 hours per training) though pricing may vary according to training length and partnership agreement. Licensed school-age programs are eligible for a cost reduction of 50% (limited reduced funding is available per year). Additional training costs may apply.


Click here for a list of current professional development workshop offerings and to request a training.

The Afterschool and Youth Work Certificate is offered by the Community College of Vermont (CCV) as a way to help youth work professionals advance in their careers. The certificate provides students with essential skills to develop, support, and administer high-quality afterschool and youth programs for young people ages 5-18. Emphasis is on developing programs that use youth voice, active learning, planning and reflection, and supporting effective collaboration with families and community partners. Vermont Afterschool worked with CCV to develop this certificate, which can be completed fully online for a total of 24 credits. Scholarships are available.


Click here for more info.

If you work with adolescents, are a parent or caregiver of a kid age 12-18, or are wanting to learn how you can support youth experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or in crisis, please consider taking this free 8-hour workshop.


Click here for more info.

In recognition that we have so much to learn from each other, we offer different types of community of practice as a way for staff to come together and reflect on how they can improve personal and program practices. Learning comes from facilitated discussions with each other. These monthly communities of practice are FREE.


Click here for more info and to register.

Registration is now open for the in-person Vermont Afterschool Annual Conference on Friday, October 28, 2022!


This year’s conference at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort will bring together Vermont’s out-of-school time directors, staff, educators, and partners for a full day of learning, networking, and celebration of the important work you do for Vermont’s children, youth, and families. The conference will feature interactive workshops specifically designed for program directors, site coordinators, mentors, instructors, and program staff who work with K-12 youth in out-of-school time programs (i.e., before school, after school, summer, and vacation camps).


For more information and to register, click here.

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The afterschool and youth work field is dynamic and filled with passionate, caring, and innovative individuals that enter the field through a variety of avenues.  Whether you are new to the field, an emerging leader, or a veteran looking for new opportunities, there are many pathways to help you grow your skills and make this your career.

Registration is now open for the in-person Vermont Afterschool Annual Conference on Friday, October 28, 2022!


This year’s conference at the Stoweflake Mountain Resort will bring together Vermont’s out-of-school time directors, staff, educators, and partners for a full day of learning, networking, and celebration of the important work you do for Vermont’s children, youth, and families. The conference will feature interactive workshops specifically designed for program directors, site coordinators, mentors, instructors, and program staff who work with K-12 youth in out-of-school time programs (i.e., before school, after school, summer, and vacation camps).


For more information and to register, click here.

The Afterschool and Youth Work Certificate is offered by the Community College of Vermont (CCV) as a way to help youth work professionals advance in their careers. The certificate provides students with essential skills to develop, support, and administer high-quality afterschool and youth programs for young people ages 5-18. Emphasis is on developing programs that use youth voice, active learning, planning and reflection, and supporting effective collaboration with families and community partners. Vermont Afterschool worked with CCV to develop this certificate, which can be completed fully online for a total of 24 credits. Scholarships are available.

 

Click here for more info.

This four-part series is for leaders of licensed programs in the afterschool field in Vermont and is specifically designed for experienced directors and site coordinators who are looking for that next level of growth and development.


Click here for more info and to register.

Vermont Afterschool partners with the Child Development Division (CDD) to offer FREE 3-credit, online courses for afterschool professionals through the Community College of Vermont (CCV). This is a tuition-free opportunity for those who are currently working in a regulated child care setting.


Click here for more info and to register.

Through Vermont’s Agency of Human Services, Child Development Division, those working with children and youth outside of school hours can tie into a statewide career development system through core competencies for the afterschool professional, an afterschool professional credential, and an on-the-job training program.


Click here for more info.

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What is a high-quality afterschool program?

Research has demonstrated that youth benefit from high-quality afterschool programs. According to the National AfterSchool Association reportWhy Afterschool Quality Matters, high-quality afterschool programs:

  • Foster positive relationships between program participants and staff
  • Offer a blend of academic and developmental skill-building activities
  • Rely on data-driven best practices and standards
  • Promote high levels of student engagement
  • Provide appropriate levels of structure as well as opportunities for autonomy and choice

We provide a variety of quality improvement resources for afterschool program staff and the community, including:

Quality Improvement Assistance

Our team implements an ongoing cycle of continuous improvement and assessment to support quality improvement efforts of afterschool programs throughout the state. Available services include coaching, training, consultation, observations, and more. Contact Us

Program Evaluation Tools (PQA)

An essential factor in increasing program quality is determining how a program is implementing best practices. We recommend the Weikart Center’s Program Quality Assessment (PQA) tool to empower you to evaluate the quality of your youth program, giving you the tools to identify your program’s strengths and target areas for improvement. The PQA tool is nationally recognized as the leading tool to promote high-quality out-of-school time programs. There are two versions: the Youth PQA (programs serving youth in grades 4-12) and School-Age PQA (programs serving youth in grades K-6). Currently, we provide targeted support to 21st CCLC and licensed afterschool and child care programs for YPQA.

  • Youth Program Quality Assessment (PQA): A validated instrument that is designed to measure the quality of youth programs and identify staff training needs.
  • Social & Emotional Learning Program Quality Assessment (SEL PQA): The Program Quality Assessment (see above) has recently been expanded to include the SEL PQA with a greater focus on the quality of social emotional learning (SEL) instructional practices and growth of students’ SEL skills. The SEL PQA is applicable to both school-age (grades K-6) and youth (grades 4-12).

Professional Learning Opportunities

Highly trained staff better understand the goals and objectives of programs and are able to build stronger relationships with the youth, families, and communities they serve. Afterschool professionals from the front lines all the way up to the administrative level can take advantage of our conferenceworkshops, and online learning opportunities.

Evaluation Data

Vermont Afterschool partners with the Vermont Agency of Education to evaluate 21st CCLC program data and research to determine program outcomes and ultimately inform the best practices and standards we recommend.

Quality Research & Resources

American Institute for Research – How students spend time outside of the classroom—before and after school and during breaks and summer vacation—has a tremendous impact on what they achieve in school and in life. Quality expanded learning opportunities extend learning and positive youth development beyond the school bell and engage students who might otherwise be left behind. Our work in the afterschool and expanded learning field supports the creation, evaluation, improvement, and maintenance of high-quality afterschool and expanded learning programs in a variety of ways.

Beyond the Bell: Turning Research into Action in Afterschool and Expanded Learning – A series of briefs and tools focused on how afterschool programs can support the social and emotional development of young people. AIR designed these resources to make research on the afterschool and expanded learning field accessible, easy to read, and ultimately useful in practice.

Beyond the Bell Toolkit 4th edition – A suite of professional development services, products, and practical tools designed to help afterschool program leaders and staff members create and sustain high-quality, effective afterschool and expanded learning programs.

Search Institute – The Search Institute offers research-based tools and resources to translate the passion and commitment of your youth development staff into effective developmental relationships that help young people thrive.

Afterschool Alliance – Delve into the Alliance’s vast collection of research resources that shows afterschool programs are keeping kids safe, inspiring learning, and helping working families across the country.

National AfterSchool Association – NAA is pleased to offer the afterschool professional a wide range of tools and downloads designed to both grow your career and strengthen your program.

Expanding Minds and Opportunities – Studies have shown that high quality expanded learning programs link to student achievement. The tools and research summaries here outline some of the most compelling research on the impact of expanded learning on student achievement, attendance, and classroom behavior.

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Afterschool and summer learning programs are uniquely positioned to provide kids with enriching academics, social-emotional support, caring mentors and trained educators, healthy meals, physical activities, and opportunities to explore careers and gain workforce skills. These programs engage students in enriching, hands-on projects that provide more time for deeper learning. They provide intentional focus on social-emotional learning and kids’ mental health. And they keep kids safe.

We offer a number of free resources to strengthen the field and help Vermont’s afterschool and summer programs provide the expanded support kids and families need to emerge from the pandemic crisis strong, resilient, and hopeful.

HELPFUL LINKS

FIELD FORUMS

We host regular field forums on different topics relating to out-of-school time providers and professionals including health, safety guidance, funding, advocacy, and more. Sign up for our e-newsletter to get advance notice of the next field forum.
  • January 19, 2022: Health updates from Vermont Department of Health, UVM Children’s Hospital, and Vermont Child Health Improvement Program.
    YouTube player
  • April 29, 2021: Updated Summer & Child Care Health Guidance with Dr. Breena Holmes (watch recording here)
  • April 20, 2021 Summer Matters for All Grant Launch (watch recording here)
  • April 15, 2021: Summer Matters Campaign and Program Resources (watch recording here)
  • March 24, 2021: The American Rescue Plan: What This Means for Summer 2021 and Beyond with Jen Rinehart of the Afterschool Alliance (watch recording here)
  • March 9, 2021: Health and Safety Guidance with Dr. Breena Holmes (watch recording here)

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