UNTAPPED POTENTIAL IN THE EQUALITY STATE
Approximately 2,000 Wyoming young people, between the ages of 16 and 19 are neither in school nor employed. As the least populated state, Wyoming cannot afford to waste their potential to participate fully in our community.
Fortunately, over the last 20 years, Wyoming has built the foundation for full community engagement Wyoming’s focus on education – free full-day kindergarten, developmental screenings, and excellent school facilities—has produced some of the highest high school graduation rates the state has ever seen. Yet, as the equality state, we can and must do more to ensure that all our young people have a fair chance—no matter where they live or learn—to become engaged citizens who contribute to Wyoming’s economy, raise healthy and strong families, and participate in community life.
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
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.
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.
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:
- Physical Environment, Curriculum, and Program Activities
- Assessment, Planning, and Improvement
- Child and Youth Engagement
- Families and Communities
- Safety, Health, and Wellness
- Leadership and Administration
- Professional Development
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.
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.
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.
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
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.