Vermont Afterschool provides training and technical assistance to 21st Century Community Learning Centers via the Afterschool Professional Learning Strands (APLS). This intensive professional learning community brings afterschool leaders together around specific topics or “strands” for a focused experience. Each APLS is facilitated by an instructor with expertise in the area, and all strands incorporate both group experiences with individualized coaching that takes place between the instructor and afterschool participant. APLS require participants to engage in the material and group learning process by attending all sessions. Each strand expects participants to invest in program quality through a change in personal practice, policy, or completing a program pilot.


8:00-8:30 a.m. | Breakfast
8:30-9:00 a.m. | Welcome & Networking
9:00-10:15 a.m. | A Community of Leaders: Full Group Session
10:15-10:30 a.m. | Break
10:30-12:30 p.m. | APLS Strand Session 1
12:30-1:30 p.m. | Lunch (provided)
1:30-3:30 p.m. | APLS Strand Session 2


  • Workshop 1: September 21, 2018
  • Workshop 2: December 7, 2018
  • Workshop 3: May 10, 2019


All workshops will be held at the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont. Each strand will meet during the workshop dates above as well as receive individual coaching support, access to online modules, and other teaching techniques according to each unique strand.

2018-2019 STRANDS

1. Business & Community Partnerships in Afterschool
Coach: Suzanne Birdsall-Stone
In this strand, participants will explore, and put into practice, key elements for community partnership building that deepen youth development pathways. Topics will include: identifying local business partners, connecting with community organizations, the role of advisory boards, youth voice/leadership, youth development, and assessment. Local, regional and national presenters will share expertise in these key areas, including program models. This strand is appropriate for grades K-12 with the content being tailored to different ages. For example, a yarn store could partner with elementary school youth to learn to knit blankets for newborns at a local hospital; middle schoolers could co-plan their summer program with teachers and business partners; and high school students can link afterschool experiences to personalized learning plans. Each participant will create a culminating project with a community or business partner, with programs receiving ongoing TA and a site visit by the coach. Each session will include peer networking and shared expertise

2. Youth Voice and Prevention in Afterschool
Coach: Sam GraultyAuthentic youth engagement is highly correlated with long-term positive youth outcomes. In October 2017, young people from across the state came together to create a Declaration of Youth Rights for Vermont. The rights identified by the young people cover a wide swarth of essential needs for healthy development and lifelong success. Using the Declaration of Youth Rights as a foundation document, this strand will focus on how afterschool programs can incorporate prevention and youth voice efforts in various forms and at various levels in order to create a space for young people to take part in creating a better future for themselves and their communities. Learn strategies to engage youth in middle and high; develop your own youth afterschool council; and emerge with a better understanding of how prevention fits into the afterschool world.

3. Leading the Way in Social Emotional Learning
Coach: Sara Forward
This year-long professional learning strand will focus on leadership level culture shifts that can promote social and emotional learning (SEL) in afterschool. We will explore the players, resources, and collaborative strategies needed to move the field further into SEL competency, as well as examine how afterschool fits into these strategies. Participants will kick-off the year with a focus group session to provide feedback from the field around current need and to help to plan the first SEL Leadership Institute for afterschool professionals happening December to January of 2018-19. Then, those interested may apply to be a part of the SEL Leadership Institute for a more intensive group experience each month from January to June. Others may chose to work with a SEL coach to deepen SEL program work at their own site(s), including implementing the new YPQA SEL tool. All strand participants will gather again in May to discuss the year and network with fellow directors.

4. LEAD 1.0
Coaches: Tricia Pawlik-York and Alissa Faber
Leadership and quality in afterschool programs are inseparable; for programs to succeed and become sustainable, they need strong leadership at all levels. 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. The L.E.A.D. program will provide afterschool professionals with the tools to hone their strengths and develop new skills to take on more advanced leadership roles in the future. Participants will develop and improve their leadership skills, while enhancing their confidence in their abilities. Each session will include a training session, a guest speaker, lunch and time to network for a total of 16 hours of professional development.

NOTE: cost is $250 per participant. The group will meet September 21, 2018 and May 10, 2019 at Lake Morey; January 18, 2019 at Colchester; and March 18, 2019 at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

5. STEM Pathways
Coach: Katrina Kretschmar and guests
This strand focuses on six identified rural 21st CCLC programs that will implement STEM Pathways. STEM Pathways is designed to engage teens in workforce development skills, STEM quality instruction strategies, and career exploration of teaching and engineering by being trained to lead STEM engineering lessons with elementary youth at local afterschool site.
Note: This strand is open to pre-selected participants only.

6. New Directors
Coach: Nicole Miller
In this yearlong strand, participants will take a dive deep into the roles and responsibilities of being a 21st CCLC director. The goal will be to provide a solid foundation for new 21C directors to ensure confidence in all areas required for high performance in the first year of directing a 21C program – staffing, program design, conflicts, data, assessment and more. Key elements of this strand include establishing or improving communication with your schools and community program design, staff management, administrative tasks and tools to build a sustainable program. In addition to clear skill-building work, participants in this strand will begin to develop relationships with other directors across the state, a critical strategy for peer networking and support.
Note: This strand is for identified new directors of 21C programs only.