Tag Archives: Afterschool

New Standards: Transforming Florida’s Educational Landscape 2013

20 Jun

For the next featured article from the compendium Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, Commissioner of Education Dr. Tony Bennett provides a look at the importance of the relationship between the Common Core State Standards and afterschool.

“The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of academic standards developed and supported by state leaders.  Along with 45 other states, the Florida State Board of Education adopted the standards in July of 2010.  Our shared goal is to ensure all students are college and career ready when they graduate high school.  The standards will transform the way our teachers teach, the way our students learn and the way we assess student performance.  The Common Core will require students to be much greater problem solvers and critical thinkers.  In addition, the standards are internationally benchmarked and provide for inter-state comparability, which means for the first time in our nation’s history we will ensure Florida’s children are learning at a competitive level with their national and international peers.

Some of you likely have questions about the relationship between the Common Core and afterschool programs.  Study after study indicates that students who participate in afterschool programs improve their academic achievement, behavior, attendance and graduation rates.  High quality programs are critical to improving our students’ educational experience, especially when they’re aligned with the Common Core.  Afterschool programs have a unique opportunity to create direct links between the standards and academic content.  Doing so will ensure students develop a deeper understanding of the information they are exposed to in school and in afterschool programs.

Your partnership will be even more critical to our students’ success as we move towards full implementation of the Common Core in the 2014-2015 school year.  Thank you for all the work you do to improve the lives of students through afterschool programs and all other expanded learning opportunities.”

The article below, Building Mastery of the Common Core State Standards by Expanding Learning with Community Stakeholder Partnerships, highlights how afterschool programs and expanded learning oppurtunities can create a stronger understanding of the concepts outlined in the Common Core. The article is a part of Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, a compendium that features studies, reports and commentaries on expanded learning opportunities.

http://www.expandinglearning.org/sites/default/files/em_articles/1_buildingmastery.pdf

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Highlighting STEM in Afterschool: Kim Kelling-Engstrom 2013

13 May

The Florida Afterschool Network is excited to begin featuring articles from Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, a compendium of studies, reports and commentaries regarding afterschool and summer learning opportunities.  Periodically, champions from the afterschool community will provide an introduction and personal perspective on a highlighted article that will be posted on our blog.

For the inaugural article, Kim Kelling-Engstom, Director of Community Engagement at WFSU and a FAN board member, provides her insights regarding STEM education in afterschool.  Read her statement and the article below:

“How do children figure out what they want to do when they grow up?  What influences them to become a teacher, a lawyer or a physicist? Is it a TV show they watched, a book they read or perhaps a role model that influenced their decision?  What’s important is that we provide children many different opportunities to be exposed to career pathways, and afterschool programs are a perfect environment to do that.

Research tells us that we need more students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math, known as the STEM fields.   This requires our schools, afterschool and summer programs to develop high quality, fun and engaging STEM activities for students, and to showcase career opportunities within these fields.  And for children from low socio-economic households, it is critical that these programs help connect them to the value an education brings and helps expand their knowledge of what careers are available to them with that education.

The article below, STEM Learning in Afterschool and Summer Programming: An Essential Strategy for STEM Education Reform, highlights the needs and strategies of educational reform for STEM areas.  The article is a part of Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success, a compendium that features studies, reports and commentaries on expanded learning opportunities.

Please take a minute and read this important and timely report, found below.”

STEM Learning in Afterschool and Summer Programming: An Essential Strategy for STEM Education Reform