In the midst of so much change, uncertainty, and upheaval, there is one thing you can count on. Vermont Afterschool will ALWAYS deliver high-quality professional development and training experiences no matter what! And we’re so pleased to announce that we have a stellar line-up for Spring 2021 with the goal of getting staff ready to deliver high-quality summer programming. Thanks to our funders, these opportunities are available at no cost with the exception of Summerama. Pre-registration is required.

Menu of Options:

Keynote Speaker Series | Boot Camp Basics | Summerama | Youth Mental Health First Aid | Coaching Beyond Winning | Roundtable Discussions | Field Forums | Weikart Workshops

Keynote Speaker Series

In lieu of our standard in-person conference, we decided to bring thought-provoking, nationally recognized, and inspiring keynote speakers to the virtual stage for our Vermont audience. This is not to be missed! Keynote descriptions and bios can be found here:

Supporting Youth with Disabilities in Summer Programs

This webinar seeks to provide those engaged in summer activity planning and provision with strategies and considerations for meeting the needs of youth with disabilities. Participants will learn to support engagement from youth and their caregivers, general learning and behavior strategies, as well as ways to keep both youth and staff safe and supported. The same workshop is offered at two different dates with presenter Alex Langevin, Coordinator of Instructional Strategies at the Vermont Agency of Education.

  • May 7, 10 am-noon
  • May 11, 6-8 pm

Boot Camp Basics

This is designed for new frontline staff in afterschool and summer programs. Participants can select from six different virtual workshops over the course of the next few months. It’s a great way for inexperienced staff to orient to the field as well for anyone working with youth to learn basic best practices in their work. Workshop descriptions and registration here:

  • May 5, 5-7:30 pm: Child Development K-5
  • May 13, 5:30-7 pm: Active Learning and Incorporating Youth Voice
  • May 20, 5:30-7 pm: Building Relationships with Families
  • June 1, 5:30-7 pm: Vital Connections for SEL
  • June 8, 5:30-7 pm: Professionalism/Building Your IPDP
  • June 10, 9 am-3 pm: Basic Specialized Care


This annual event, hosted by the Vermont Recreation and Parks Association (VRPA), offers a camp-specific training program for new and seasoned summer program counselors and recreation staff. The staff virtual training will be held from 9:00-3:30 pm with the option to add a First Aid/CPR training on June 12th. Cost is $30 (plus extra for First Aid) through VRPA. Register here:

  • June 6, 2021, 9 am – 3:30 pm

Youth Mental Health First Aid

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, consider taking this free 8-hour workshop for anyone who regularly interacts with adolescents (teachers, school staff, coaches, youth workers, parents, caregivers, etc.). Register here:

  • June 11, 9 am – 2:30 pm

Coaching Beyond Winning: Social Emotional Learning in Action

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

  • May 4, 10:30 am-12:30 pm

Roundtable Discussions

We know that afterschool, summer learning, and youth-serving organizations are doing tremendous work to meet the needs of children and youth, staff and families in your communities. We’re hosting virtual roundtables for providers to come together, share ideas, ask questions, and support one another. Led by Vermont Afterschool’s Program Improvement Coordinator Tricia Pawlik, this is a facilitated discussion on Zoom and all are welcome! Register here:

  • May 4, 1-2 pm: Curriculum and program development
  • May 19, 1-2 pm: Keeping kids physically and emotionally safe this summer
  • June 8, 1-2 pm: Collaboration and problem-solving

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.

  • July 22: ARPA Child Care Funding Opportunity (recording here)
  • April 29: Updated Summer & Childcare Health Guidance with Dr. Breena Holmes (recording here)
  • April 20: Summer Matters for All Grant Launch (recording here)
  • April 15: Summer Matters Campaign and Program Resources (recording here)
  • March 24: The American Rescue Plan: What This Means for Summer 2021 and Beyond with Jen Rinehart of the Afterschool Alliance (recording here)
  • March 9: Health and Safety Guidance with Dr. Breena Holmes (recording here)

Weikart Workshops

These intensive workshops are for program leaders or directors and presented by the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.

  • April 29, 10-11:30 am: Leading with SEL in Mind
    Create clarity and alignment by identifying your SEL Leadership Core Values and crafting your SEL Leadership Mission Statement to inform how you will support and guide your team. (Corresponds to Curriculum Features: Safe Space and Supports for Staff.)
  • May 19, 10-11:30 am: Meaningful Meetings: Know Your Staff to Support Your Staff
    Supportive relationships are the foundation of our work with young people–and our teams! Discover ways to deepen your professional relationship with your team through meaningful meetings and intentional discussions. (Corresponds to Curriculum Features: Responsive Practices.)

We are grateful to the following funders for their support of our professional development opportunities in 2020-2021. Thanks to them, we are able to offer virtual learning opportunities at low/no cost and meet the needs of our field during a very challenging time: Charles Stewart Mott Foundation; Northfield Savings Bank (NSB) Foundation; Vermont Agency of Education; Vermont Child Development Division; Vermont Department of Children and Families; Vermont Department of Health; Vermont Department of Mental Health; Vermont Community Foundation; and VSAC GEAR UP.