Did you know that United Way’s Nonprofit Resource Library gives you access to reference books on a variety of topics that include: grantwriting, marketing, leadership & team building, and more? This includes the Grantspace Online Foundation Directory, a database of grant funding opportunities! 

Every 3rd Tuesday of the month, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, you can drop by to make use of the library’s resources at no cost! Interested? Contact Karen Beltran for more information. 

The Out 2 Learn Quarterly Meeting is a convening of OST professionals where you can network with others in the OST field while learning about the latest trends and happenings in OST.

We would love to have join us! Please RSVP if you are interested in attending.

  • Date: Monday, February 18, 2019
  • Time: 9:00 to 11:00 am | 8:30 am will be networking time and the general meeting will begin at 9:00 am.
  • Location: United Way of Greater Houston, 50 Waugh Drive, Houston, TX, 77007

What if you could find out about safe, affordable, and accessible after school and summer programs for kids in one place, removing the hassle of endless internet searches and word-of-mouth inquiries? The Out 2 Learn website offers this very convenience to residents of the Greater Houston area with the click of a button.

Out2LearnHOU.org is a free, new resource that locates out-of-school time (OST) programs for youth ages 5 to 18 by zip code as well as several other filter options. “It is the first searchable database of its kind in Houston,” says Juliet Stipeche of the Mayor’s Office of Education, which is one of four founding partners of the Out 2 Learn initiative. Other founding partners include Houston Endowment, United Way of Greater Houston, and Harris County Department of Education – CASE for Kids.

Out-of-school time (OST) is a term that represents the time and space outside of regular school hours, and studies show that the way youth spend their time during these crucial hours has an impact on their overall health and well-being as well as school academic performance.[1] Youth OST programs, including traditional after school and summer programs such as through the YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Girl Scouts, thus offer enormous potential for encouraging positive and healthy youth development.

With the advent of social media and numerous competing influences in the lives of children in the 21st century, OST programs alternatively provide healthy, positive outlets for youth to “explore interests and passions in a safe and supportive environment,” says United Way program manager, Tiffany Echevarria, who oversees Out 2 Learn outreach efforts.

Alongside receiving valuable academic support, such as tutoring and homework help, OST opportunities also allow youth to learn and reinforce soft skills that are necessary for thriving and competing in today’s workforce. Commonly referred to as social emotional skills or 21st century skills in various industries, examples of such competencies include teamwork, conflict resolution, taking initiative, and demonstrating responsibility.

Houston Endowment, funder of the Out 2 Learn initiative and long-term supporter of education opportunities for youth in Greater Houston, brought together the foremost leaders of OST in Houston to establish Out 2 Learn. “We knew we would need the leadership and support of key stakeholders and system leaders working together,” says Tonyel Edwards, Program Officer at the Endowment.

If you are a parent looking for high-quality OST opportunities for youth, now is a prime time to search for after school programs on Out2LearnHOU.org as students return to school in the new year.

Alisha Sawyers, a mother of 5 daughters who resides in the Acres Home neighborhood in Houston, speaks highly of the YMCA after school program that her daughter, Diamond, age 9, has been enrolled in since September 2018.

“It’s been wonderful. My daughter loves it, and I love it. We don’t miss a day,” says Sawyers who enrolled Diamond into the program after seeing that she was struggling academically. After joining the program however, Sawyers saw Diamond’s grades significantly improve as a result of the one-on-one tutoring and homework assistance that her daughter received. Even Sawyer’s other two school-aged children, who initially did not want to join the YMCA program, are now on the waitlist to enroll after seeing the fun and exciting STEM and performing arts activities that their sister has been involved with after school.

Through Out2LearnHOU.org, parents can find out about a variety of after school programs as well as summer programs, spring break camps, and winter break camps. Pertinent program details such as fee and eligibility requirements are also conveniently listed. Additionally, parents can call the 2-1-1 Texas/United Way HELPLINE to receive the same information over the phone 24/7 in over 150 languages.

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/ost.htm

Out-of-School Time Partners & Friends, here is a rich list of opportunities and events to help you kick off the new year!

Events and opportunities hosted by CASE for Kids

  • CASE for Kids’s first Learning Community of the year – Thursday, January 17, 2019 at 9:30 am to 12:00 pm. Please register as soon as possible.
  • Winter Symposium – Friday, February 22, 2019 at 8:00 am to 2:15 pm. This is a wonderful opportunity to gain 4.5 hours in OST training and the $40 fee includes lunch. See the attached flyer for more information and register online.
  • Workshop schedules for January and February 2019 are attached. Topics for this upcoming selection of workshops includes empathy and emotion Management in OST, allowing for youth voice in programming, and incorporating STEM activities in OST.

REMINDERS for RFP opportunities shared previously:

  • The RFP for applying to become a direct service provider for CASE for Kids is due January 15, 2019. Please contact Inga Ash at iash@hcde-texas.org if you have any questions regarding the proposal.
  • New York Life Foundation’s RFP for OST programs serving disadvantaged middle school youth is due January, 25 2019. See the website for the application and more information.

Grant opportunity for youth

  • Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is awarding $400 grants to youth leaders ages 5-25 across the U.S. to create sustainable projects in their communities to end childhood hunger. Learn more at ysa.org/sodexoyouth and encourage your youth to apply by the deadline, February 15, 2019

Upcoming conferences and trainings to add to your calendar!

  • New York Life Foundation is seeking applicants for its Aim High local grant program to support after-school, summer, or expanded learning program serving middle schoolers. Applicants will need to describe how programs support youth in the transition to the 9th grade. Up to $100,000 will be awarded, and applications are due January 25, 2019. Learn more about the RFP and access the application on the Afterschool Alliance website
  • HCDE CASE for Kids is seeking experienced trainers and consultants to compete for a contract to provide services to the afterschool community in the Harris and surrounding counties. If you are interested in competing to become an afterschool and summer direct service provider for CASE for Kids, please go to the HCDE eBid System link to register as a bidder. Respond to RFP#19/013IA (CASE for Kids Afterschool and Summer Direct Service Providers) by January 15, 2019. For any inquiries, contact Inga Ash at iash@hcde-texas.org

Out-of-school time providers serving youth between Pre-K to 12th grade are invited to enroll in Out 2 Learn’s Spring 2019 (January 2019 – May 2019) Quality Improvement Process, which provides programs with support in conducting a program quality self-assessment, creating an improvement plan, and receiving case-by-case coaching.

There are many benefits of enrolling, including that…

  • Participants receive an assessment tool and training to prepare their staff for the following: conducting a self-assessment, reporting site findings, and interpreting site data to create meaningful change at their site.
  • Participants receive access to a series of Youth Work Methods workshops to assist with quality improvement
  • All of these services are provided by the Out 2 Learn network free of charge. A dedication to quality improvement and participation is all we ask for in return.

Eligibility requirements:

You must have at least one program offering for youth between Pre-K – 12th grade on a consistent basis between August – May.

Enroll today by completing our online form. For any questions or comments, contact Ashley Tate at atate@unitedwayhouston.org.

We are offering a free ART OF GRANTWRITING workshop to all out-of-school time providers in the Out 2 Learn network! This opportunity is made possible through Out 2 Learn and United Way’s Nonprofit Connection. We hope you will take advantage and register today! Please register using the SurveyMonkey link by Tuesday, December 11th in order to RSVP.


When: Friday, December 14th, 2018

Time: 9:00-11:00 am

Location: 50 Waugh Dr. Houston, TX 77007

Room: Mabee (located on the first floor near the visitors sign-in desk)

Registration: Limited spaces available. Max of 2 representatives per agency. Register by Tuesday, December 11th!

What do funders look for when considering a grant proposal?  Here are some of the key elements:

  • Clear descriptions of program activities
  • Direct answer the questions posed
  • Specific details regarding collaborative efforts
  • Budgets that make sense

How did your last grant proposal measure up?  If there is room for improvement, you won’t want to miss this informative session on the art (and science) of grantwriting.  You will learn how to:

  • Analyze grant proposal guidelines
  • Tailor your request to the specific grant requirements
  • Tell your story in a compelling manner
  • Define specific goals and outcomes
  • Detail elements of collaborative efforts
  • Prepare a realistic budget where the numbers add up

If your grantwriting is not up to par, register today for this session that will up your game!

Children’s Museum of Houston offers a wide array of events for youth to enjoy throughout the holiday season.

Yoga First Sunday

Sunday, Dec 2 | 2:30 p.m.

Get ready to settle down on the mat and explore your inner light! Zen out and “chillax” during a brand new series at the Children’s Museum of Houston. Join us every first Sunday of the month for a 30-minute children’s Yoga session as we play with balance and practice stretches, poses and breathing exercises.

Sensory Friendly Day

Monday, Dec 10 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Children’s Museum of Houston invites you to an exclusive event for children with autism. Sensory Friendly Day is an opportunity for kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and sensory processing differences to explore the Museum. Doors will be closed to the public.  There will be no music and sound-reducing headphones will be available. Outside food and drinks will be allowed (Fresh Café will be closed).

Pre-registration is required. To register, please contact Lydia Dungus, Reservations Coordinator at 713-535-7238 or by email at ldungus@cmhouston.org.

Frozen Over

Dec 22 – 29

Have your ever seen real snow? Come play in some during our Frozen Over event!

Meet Santa

Monday, Dec 24 | 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The man in red invites you to fuel up with milk and cookies at the Children’s Museum of Houston before his big departure!  Join the holiday countdown with a cookie jar full of fun and Santa Claus before he embarks on his annual journey around the world!  Make sure you’re on the right list and that he checks it twice before it’s too late!  P.S. Don’t forget your own wish list!

New Year’s Noon

Monday Dec 31 | 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kids finally don’t have to stay up till midnight to celebrate the New Year! The Children’s Museum of Houston’s Rockin’ New Year’s Noon is the city’s longest-running New Year’s Eve celebration just for kids!  This end-of-year bash rings in the New Year at the stroke of noon with a parade and shimmering ball drop, just like in Times Square!

Paper Jam Wonderwek

Nov 29 – Dec 5

Propel your creativity using the power of paper! Learn how you can use paper to make something incredible.

Holiday Who-Bilation Wonderweek

Dec 6 – Dec 12

To step into the pages of Dr. Seuss’ classic holiday tale! Activity areas buzz with laughter and creative energy as you take part in Grinch-related holiday programming. 

Season of Sharing Wonderweek

Dec 13 – Dec 19

Holidays celebrated throughout the world will vibrantly burst under one roof! Ramadan, Diwali, Hanukkah, Las Posadas, Christmas in Norway, Kwanzaa, and the Lunar New Year will be represented in Houston’s only multicultural holiday exhibit for children.

Winter Wonderland Wonderweek

Dec 20 – Dec 26

Join us as we welcome our Winter Wonderland WonderWeek and partake in painting a snowy landscape, make static electrics now and create your own holiday wreath!

Rockin’ New Year Wonderweek

Dec 27 – Jan 9

Cheers to a new year! The Children’s Museum of Houston is kicking off 2019 with a bang! Stop by and enjoy all of our activities during our Rockin’ New Year Wonder Week!

Free Family Night every Thursday, 5 to 8 p.m.

Free Family Nights are made possible courtesy of Laura and John Arnold, Houston Endowment, Inc., The Junior League of Houston, Inc., the John P. McGovern Foundation, Houston Pi Beta Phi Foundation, and The Wortham Foundation, Inc.

Para Los Niños (Sponsored by The Powell Foundation)

Para Los Niños is a free family literacy program dedicated to increasing the capacity of libraries and their community-based partners to serve families whose first language is Spanish.  Para Los Niños workshops take place at public libraries, community centers, clinics, Head Start and Even Start Centers.  Museum and/or library staff provides parents with a model of how and what to read to their child, hands-on activities that are easily replicated at home, and discuss free resources available to them.  Participants also receive free passes to visit the Children’s Museum of Houston! Help us get the word out; everyone is invited!

Dec 4th Henington-Alief 11:00 a.m.
Dec 4th Walter 4:00 p.m.
Dec 5th Looscan 10:30 a.m. & 11:30 a.m
Dec 12th Bracewell 10:30 a.m.      
Dec 17th Carnegie 11:00 a.m.
Dec 18th Frank 12:15 p.m.
Dec 19th Collier 12:30 p.m.
Dec 26th Moody 11:00 a.m.
Dec 26th HPL Southwest Express 4:00 p.m.
Dec 28th Stimley Blueridge 11:30 a.m.

For more information about the Para Los Niños program, please visit http://www.cmhouston.org/losninos/

Are you interested in hosting an online reading program for youth at your agency? United Way of Greater Houston is seeking two (2) partner agencies/sites to pilot the Vello program during the spring (January – May 2019). The deadline for the application is Wednesday, December 12 at 12:00 pm. Please contact Tiffany Echevarria if you are interested in applying.

What is Vello? 

Vello is an online volunteer reading program developed by Valley of the Sun UnitedWay.  Volunteers are able to log onto a digital platform and provide two 30-minute tutoring sessions to students remotely per week. The evaluation results, as measured by Vello, show that not only do students gain academic benefits from participating, but volunteers have a positive experience, as well!

Program Model

Each site will select 7-10 students in early elementary school grades (1st -3rd grades) to participate regularly in the program. When it is time for the student’s session, the student will get on the computer. At the same time, a volunteer will log onto the same portal to virtually meet the student for their tutoring session. For 30 minutes, the volunteer and child will read together. This will happen twice per week with the same child. The online portal is easy to use, is monitored by professionals to ensure student safety, and includes robust technical assistance.