INNOVATIONS IN LEARNING

THE WYOMING AFTERSCHOOL ALLIANCE IS PROUD TO BE A CHANGEMAKER IN THE STATE, ENCOURAGING COMMUNITIES TO BUILD SUSTAINABLE STEM PROGRAMMING.

College and career readiness for all children and youth is the standard for high-quality afterschool programs. Afterschool fosters opportunities that help produce educated, skilled, and successful citizens.

The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is the recipient of a two-year grant, “Innovations in Learning”,  from the C.S. Mott Foundation. It will increase career readiness and education for middle and high school students utilizing afterschool and summer learning programs. The following best-practice and evidence-based curriculum show an increased interest in STEM exploration and career awareness, with improved skills in problem solving, critical thinking, self-direction and collaboration.

STEM = Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math

STEM education is vital for preparing Wyoming’s children and youth to thrive in the future economy. The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is proud to be a changemaker. We’re encouraging communities to build sustainable programming. Programs that have been carefully curated to accomplish this goal are being implemented in afterschool programs around the state.

Invention Project: The Invention Project is designed to provide a turn-key experience with the perfect balance of STEM content and entrepreneurial concepts allowing participants’ creativity to flourish. Visit https://www.invent.org/programs/invention-project.

Junior Achievement: Junior Achievement is one of the nation’s largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their futures, and make smart academic and economic choices. Visit https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-usa/home.

Virtual Job Shadow: VirtualJobShadow.com empowers individuals to discover, plan and pursue their dreams with our unique video-based career planning platform. The interactive tools help students and job seekers develop career paths based on choice, not chance. Visit https://www.virtualjobshadow.com/.

Virtual Job Shadow is fun and engaging way to explore career options in afterschool and out-of-school time programs, it’s also useful in other career exploration arenas. WYAA would like to recognize Greg Ronco, Project Coordinator for Pre-Employment Transition Services with Wyoming Institute for Disabilities, for sharing his expertise and working to build a learning community around VJS in Wyoming! Download three presentations

Project Lead the Way Pilot Program

Seven pilot programs are working with WYAA on a project to develop sustainable STEM programming in Wyoming:

  • Cohort 1: After School for Kids (ASK) Cheyenne
  • Cohort 1: Converse County School District #1 in Douglas
  • Cohort 1: Greater Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters in Laramie
  • Cohort 1: Lander Lights On
  • Cohort 1: Uinta B.O.C.E.S. #1 Education Center in Evanston
  • Cohort 2: The Practice After School Program- Goshen County
  • Cohort 2: Youth Clubs of Park County

These programs are implementing the high-quality STEM curriculum, Project Lead the Way (PLTW). Because sustainability is vital to success, each of these programs has committed to having a PLTW Lead Teacher on staff that is certified to train their colleagues. A comprehensive STEM library from First Book is also being used to inspire and engage students through storytelling. This project was supported by the John P. Ellbogen Foundation.

Mission: The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance is a statewide network working to create the conditions for young people to reach their full potential. We are a priority fund of the Wyoming Community Foundation.

WYOMING AFTERSCHOOL ALLIANCE

1472 N. 5th Street, Suite 201
Laramie, WY 82072
Phone: 307-721-8300

 

AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMS IN WYOMING ARE HIGH-QUALITY, EDUCATION-FOCUSED, SAFE PLACES FOR ALL OF WYOMING’S YOUTH. QUALITY PRACTICES HELP MAKE THIS POSSIBLE!

 

WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES

(PQPs) are research-based guidelines that provide a common understanding of the essential components of quality practice in afterschool and youth development programs.

The PQPs provide programs, communities and stakeholders with a way to voluntarily examine the quality of programs and to engage in important discussions about program quality. They set the stage for development of a comprehensive and coordinated system of services that will best serve Wyoming’s children and youth. Most of all, they send the message that we believe quality is important, and we hold ourselves accountable for improving quality.

Download the PQPs (Updated in March 2022)

WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES WEBINAR

The Wyoming Afterschool Alliance with assistance from National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST – http://www.niost.org/) produced an informative 20-minute webinar to walk through the PQPs and information about how to put them into practice in your afterschool program!

  • Section 1: Introduction to the Wyoming Program Quality Practice
  • Section 2: Putting the PQPs into Practice
  • Section 3: Connecting Quality

The webinar was produced in partnership with Wyoming afterschool professionals: Tamera Allen – Program Director of Double AAces in Weston County SD #1, Karen Bierhaus – Education Consultant with 21st CCLC at the Wyoming Department of Education, Shannon Christian – Executive Director of the Worland Youth Learning Center, Kei Owen – former Grant Assistant with the Natrona County Prevention Coalition, Tamra Petersen – Program Coordinator with the Uinta County BOES Education Center, and Christine Turner – former Program Director with Lincoln County School District #1.

Watch the PQP Webinar

WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES USER GUIDE

This user guide describes how the PQPs fit into WYAA’s quality improvement efforts and offers concrete ways to use the PQPs. All school age, afterschool, and youth development programs in Wyoming can use this guide to improve their programming. This guide may also be a resource for families, community members, funders, and advocates who partner with program providers to improve outcomes for children and youth.

The user guide provides context for the eight domains of the PQPs:

  1. Physical Environment, Curriculum, and Program Activities
  2. Assessment, Planning, and Improvement
  3. Relationships
  4. Child and Youth Engagement
  5. Families and Communities
  6. Safety, Health, and Wellness
  7. Leadership and Administration
  8. Professional Development

Download the User Guide

WYOMING PROGRAM QUALITY PRACTICES SELF ASSESSMENT

This tool was designed to help afterschool and youth development professionals develop high-quality out-of-school time programs. It may also be a useful checklist for families. This self-assessment is a companion to the PQPs, which are based on research on best practices in programs for afterschool and youth development.

Download the Self Assessment Tool

CORE COMPETENCIES

The National Afterschool Alliance’s Core Knowledge and Competencies enable afterschool and youth development practitioners to demonstrate expertise and gain a higher level of recognition within their communities–particularly from school officials–that has long been sought after.

Check out the Core Competencies

THE STATE OF AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAMMING IN WYOMING: AN ASSESSMENT OF NEEDS AND PERCEPTIONSS

In 2010, the Wyoming Afterschool Alliance, a C.S. Mott Foundation Statewide Afterschool Network and an initiative of the Wyoming Community Foundation, launched a research project to survey the capacity of public and private afterschool systems and to assess their effectiveness across Wyoming.

Download the Executive Summary.

Download the Wyoming Afterschool Quality Improvement Three-Year Initiative.

APAS – AFTERSCHOOL PROGRAM ASSESSMENT SYSTEM

Program assessment is invaluable to creating the highest quality afterschool programs. WYAA, with support from National Institute of Out of School Time (NIOST) implemented the initiative.

Outcomes from APAS include:

  • An upward trend in attitudes, skills and behaviors of youth
  • Peer networking and relationship building between programs
  • A statewide shared vision and understanding of high quality afterschool and OST programming

Learn more.

WYOMING CAREER DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM REPORT

The Wyoming Career Development System Report identifies six components of a comprehensive career development system and makes recommendations for advancing each component in Wyoming. A cross-sector, continuum approach (one that supports those who serve a broad range of ages) is the most cost-effective way to provide quality programming for children and youth. With this in mind, these recommendations build on current systems and initiatives established in the early childhood field.

Download the Summary document. 

Download the Report.