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This episode of the Making Afterschool Cool Podcast features the Out 2 Learn resource network. Initiated in 2017, Out 2 Learn is a collaborative initiative dedicated to increasing access to and improving the quality of out-of-school time (OST) opportunities in Greater Houston. This is a collaborative effort led by Houston Endowment, the City of Houston Mayor’s Office of Education, Harris County Department of Education’s CASE for Kids, and United Way of Greater Houston. Out 2 Learn is a valuable resource for parents in Houston to find out-of-school and afterschool programs that will benefit and engage their children.

During this this podcast you will learn about:

· The purpose of Out 2 Learn

· Other similar quality initiatives in Texas and United States

· Out 2 Learn as a resource for youth service providers

· Out 2 Learn as a resource for parents

· Future funding opportunities related to COVID-19


Tiffany Echevarria has served the community for over seven years through various capacities. She is tremendously grateful for the opportunity to have served as an AmeriCorps member implementing an afterschool program. She credits that experience for inspiring her dedication to the OST field. Tiffany currently manages grant processes aimed at strengthening programs that support youth ages five to early adulthood. She also supports several projects that convene partners to work collaboratively, including Out 2 Learn.


Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund

Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund — Inquiry Fund

Out 2 Learn’s Website

Harris County Department of Education

CASE for Kids

Supporting the Whole Child During Restart & Recovery-COVID-19 Response: Webinar Hosted by the Council of Chief State School Officers and the Learning Policy Institute
Tuesday, May 19, 20204:00 – 5:00 PM EST
As the 2019-20 school year winds down virtually, state, district, and school leaders are turning their attention to how school buildings can safely reopen. They are exploring how to evaluate and address learning loss, ensure the physical safety and well-being of everyone in the school building, and support the social, emotional, and mental health of students and teachers. They are also considering the best ways to address trauma their students may have experienced because of the COVID-19 pandemic-especially for traditionally underserved students, including students of color and those from low-income families.
Next week, the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) and Learning Policy Institute (LPI) are hosting a webinar to discuss both how lessons from the science of learning and development can inform restart and recovery plans to support student well-being and learning, as well as how state chiefs are already taking a whole child approach to pandemic response.
CCSSO Executive Director Carissa Moffat Miller will facilitate a conversation with Linda Darling-Hammond, President and CEO, LPI and President of the California State Board of Education, as well as state education leaders on the importance of policies and practices that support students’ social, emotional, mental and physical health, and well-being during restart and recovery. The panel will also discuss actions state leaders can pursue in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support the whole child.
Register now.
At Our Best: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships in Out-of-School Time Settings
The book series Current Issues in Out-of-School Time, by Information Age Publishing, has spread research, promising practices, and policy perspectives from practitioners to further grow the out-of-school time (OST) field. Karen Pittman and other Forum staff have been featured in the series. The fourth book, At Our Best: Building Youth-Adult Partnerships in Out-of-School Time Settings, brings together the voices of over 50 adults and youth to explore both the promises and challenges of intergenerational work in OST programs.
This new volume features empirical research, conceptual essays, poetry, artwork, and engaged dialogue about the complexities of youth-adult partnerships in practice. At Our Best responds to key questions that practitioners, scholars, policymakers, and youth navigate in this work, such as:What role can (or should) adults play in supporting youth voice, learning, and activism?What approaches and strategies in youth-adult partnerships are effective in promoting positive youth development, individual and collective well-being, and setting-level change?What are the tensions and dilemmas that arise in the process of doing this work?And, how do we navigate youth-adult partnerships in the face of societal oppressions such as adultism, racism, and misogyny?Learn more.
CASEL CARES: SEL Resources During COVID-19
As the country and the world absorb the impact of COVID-19, our interconnectedness has never been more clearly on display. Social and emotional learning (SEL) offers a powerful means to support one another – children and adults – during this challenging time. Now, more than ever, we understand how important it is to demonstrate empathy and resilience, build relationships across distance, and call upon our collective resolve to strengthen our schools and our communities.
CASEL CARES is a new initiative that connects youth-serving leaders with experts to address how SEL can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstances.Resources and guidance are available, and there is a free, weekly webinar series every Friday on a variety of topics.
Learn more.
COVID-19 Resource Sheet for Opportunity Youth United
Opportunity Youth United and the Forum’s SparkAction built a dynamic, collaborative sheet to share resources among the Opportunity Youth and youth-organizing community. It includes events and opportunities, funding opportunities, general resources and supports, and a space for community asks.
Check it out here.

Lashon Amado, Project Director with Opportunity Youth United, and many other leading voices will be speaking on a Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) webinar next Tuesday, 5/19 on the topic of youth, young adults, and allies community response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Learn more and register.
Recovery and Renewal: Principles for Advancing Public Education Post-Crisis
The coronavirus pandemic has upended the school year for 50 million American students and revealed the best and worst of public education: the best in terms of the response by so many educators, support staff, students, and parents; the worst in terms of the intense light shone upon inequities that plague our system.
As policymakers and education leaders plan to re-open buildings for the 2020-21 school year, they face important questions about how to capitalize on strengths and finally deal with weaknesses. There must be an open discussion of the inequities outside of school – like food insecurity, the digital divide, and the uneven experience of stress and trauma – that is replicated and exacerbated by pervasive inequity inside of school.
In a new paper, the Aspen Institute’s Education & Society Program proposes five principles to guide recovery and renewal:
1. Ensuring equity and engagement
2. Using a holistic view to set a coherent strategy
3. Being guided by the science of learning
4. Taking a long-term view of student success
5. Setting an agenda for innovation
Read more.
Framing Adolescent Development During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Even during these uncertain times, it’s a sure thing that adolescents-young people between childhood and adulthood-are still developing biologically, socially, and emotionally. It’s also a sure thing that some of the necessary conditions for healthy adolescent development have been disrupted by COVID-19.
Adolescence is a time when youth need safe and satisfying ways to go to new places, form new relationships, and test out new ideas and experiences-but exploration and stay-at-home measures don’t mix well. It’s a stage when it’s important to maintain academic trajectories- but unequal access to critical resources like computers and the internet means some young people will get off track. It’s a time when skills to manage strong emotions and setbacks are developing-but with so many worries about family health and finances, and so many new responsibilities for sibling care, the situation could outpace young people’s ability to cope in healthy ways.
Frameworks Institute just released a brief guide, suggesting five ways we can help to reframe the conversation about adolescent development in this challenging time.
Learn more.

Good for Tech Fest 2020 is an upcoming conference focused on social change using technology to achieve it. Brighthive is one of the featured sponsors with a spot in the keynote and 2 sessions.  The event is free and the agenda is jam packed with relevant sessions to support our current work (e.g. CQI, data management, grant reporting, etc.) as well as forward-thinking within Second Century Vision. Session topics include:

  • Designing Technology for End Users
  • Getting More Out of Story and Grantee Report Data When Tracking Social Change
  • Data Mindset: Building an engaged culture of learning within your organization
  • Moving from Data Sharing to Data Collaboration
  • Nonprofit Data Sharing: How the Chicago Benchmarking Collaborative Improves Pre-K Literacy and Math Skills for Low-Income Children

But this really only scratches the surface of the session offerings.  The agenda and speaker information can be found here. 

Here  is the link to register for online access to Methods Training.    About half of the sessions are available now; and free access is until the end of June.   
Register here!

Register HERE to attend.  Access information will be sent the morning before the call.  This COVID-19 briefing for nonprofits will provide a medical update, guidelines on opening safely, and ideas on how to engage volunteers.  You will also have an opportunity to ask questions. 

The Greater Houston Partnership, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston and Volunteer Houston invite you to a COVID-19 briefing tailored to nonprofit professionals. 

Thursday, May 21, 2020 @ 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

 We will discuss:

  • Fighting COVID-19 | Where we stand, the stats and what the next few months will look like
  • Opening Up | Steps nonprofits can take to reopen
  • Re-engaging Volunteers | Special considerations in COVID-19 times


  • Dr. Marc Boom, CEO, Houston Methodist
  • Martin B. Cominsky, President & CEO, Interfaith Ministries
  • Rev. Greg Han, Director, Interfaith Relations and Education, Interfaith Ministries
  • Bob Harvey, President & CEO, Greater Houston Partnership
  • Dr. James T. McDeavitt, Sr. Vice President and Dean of Clinical Affairs, Baylor College of Medicine
  • Brooke Parkinson, CNP, Director of Volunteer Houston

Please follow this link to retrieve valuable information from the City of Houston on how to prevent COVID-19 and practices to implement to protect high-risk individuals!

Since 2015, Out 2 Learn has partnered with the David P. Weikart Center to provide training, technical assistance, and coaching to implement a continuous quality improvement cycle in out of school time sites. Each year the Weikart Center has collected survey feedback from participating sites to understand the experience and impact of past year’s efforts and to inform decision-making for the next year.

In response to the current pandemic and necessary programming adjustments, the Weikart Center will be hosting multiple one-hour online focus groups on May 7th at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm to learn more about program quality efforts during the 2019-2020 program year, current challenges and opportunities, and suggested priorities for the upcoming 2020-2021 program year.

To participate and share your feedback, please register by Monday, May 4th 2020.

OST Providers and Friends,

We miss seeing you IRL, but we have two virtual opportunities to engage with you coming up in May. Please RSVP here.

  • Out-of-School Time – Planning for Summer: Tuesday, May 5th from 10:30 – 11:30 am
    • Join us for a dialogue around summer. This will include breakout session so we can “share the air.” We are asking for Providers to be ready to share their plans for summer (recruitment, capacity, virtual and in-person programming, needs, etc.). We know things are changing daily but we want to provide space for colleagues to hear from each other about emerging plans. HISD will have a presence on this call and will share their initial insights as well.
  • Out 2 Learn Quarterly Meeting: Tuesday, May 19th from 9:00 – 11:00 am
    • We will hear from content experts to add tools to our toolbox when working with youth (mental health resources, keeping quality at the forefront and mindfulness). We will also reserve time to talk again about summer plans in small groups. We will have a little something for everyone: listening, talking and take-aways.

Please RSVP here. Double check your e-mail address for accuracy before submitting.

Dear Agency Partner,

I wanted you to be one of the first to know that Amanda McMillian has been appointed the next President and CEO of United Way of Greater Houston effective May 1. She is a collaborative, caring, and forward-thinking leader who is passionate about our Second Century Vision. Please read the news release that gives you more details. You may also click here to hear from Amanda.

She is looking forward to connecting with you as soon as she can.

Thank you for all you are doing every day to make this community a better place, especially during these difficult times.

Armando Perez
Chair of the Board of Trustees, United Way of Greater Houston
Executive Vice President, H-E-B Houston