Professional Development for the After-school Workforce

Why There Is A  Need For Professional Staff Development For The After- School Work-Force

Data from the American After 3pm study (the most extensive research on how American children spend their after school hours) has shown that approximately 8.4 million children are attending some form of after-school program, while another 18 million children are left unsupervised at the end of the school day. Parents of these 18 million children responded in a survey used in the study, that they would enroll their children in an after school program if it were available as well as affordable. With the extensive data gathered from the American After 3pm study, there is strong evidence for our nation to do even more to develop and maintain high-quality after-school programs that are accessible and affordable to all families. Principals and other administrators have acknowledged that after-school plays a vital role in turning around failing or under-performing schools. Quality after-school programs will help strengthen academic performance of students, provide students with a safe environment, and help strengthen school, parent, and community relationships.

For complete details on the study conducted by the Afterschool Alliance see the following link

Data has also shown major differences between higher-quality and lower-quality afterschool programs some of those differences are:

  • Frontline staff in higher-quality programs had higher levels of education and were more likely to be students enrolled in college or graduate school.
  • Higher-quality programs were more likely to utilize a team-teaching model, with two-person teams providing instruction, rather than a single staff member leading the after-school activities.
  • Higher-quality programs were more likely to require frontline staff to write and submit lesson plans and their supervisors were more likely to use those lesson plans as a basis for providing feedback.
  • Higher-quality program staff received more training and were more likely to participate in training that addressed after-school activity content, including training on how to implement specific curricula.

Source- Afterschool Alliance

Professional Staff Development For The After-School Workforce Conducted By Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski

Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski has designed a series of professional staff development workshops specifically aimed at the after-school workforce including: school-based programs, before and after-school programs, 21st Century Community Learning Centers, enrichment programs, faith-based programs, recreation centers, and summer camps. Diana is aware of  the great diversity among after-school programs within staff, the children, and the settings themselves. When Diana is contracted to provide professional staff development for the afterschoolworkforce she will obtain detailed information about all the components of the specific afterschool- site so as to provide training that meets your program’s needs. The content and explorations presented in her workshops are based on her 27 years experience as a nationally-recognized science education consultant and full-time science classroom teacher. Having presented over 14,000 hands-on, inquiry-based science programs to students of all ages in formal and informal learning environments, and over 800 teacher training workshops, Diana has seen the entire spectrum of learning environments.

Diana is aware that if a staff member is not comfortable with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts to begin with they are unlikely to undertake STEM explorations with the after-school children in their care. Diana’s workshops provide an environment where the adult learner will explore a wide-array of science concepts via a hands-on-minds-on, inquiry-based approach. Participants will be completely immersed in exploring the fascinating world of science, and actively engaged in the learning process throughout the entire training. Dr. Diana’s goal is to provide training that engages the participants in science. From this engaging experience, and first-hand experience with how science is done, participants will leave the training, and return to his or her workplace feeling comfortable with science, enabling them to develop hands-on-minds-on, inquiry-based investigations readily and affordable. This will allow the students within after-school programs to explore the scientific world on a daily-basis without having to allocate funding for soliciting the help of outside sources to deliver science and STEM-based explorations.

science and STEM professional staff development for the afterschool workforce by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski

Available Professional Staff Development For After-school Workforce

Exploring Life and Environmental Science Concepts: Nature Explorers  – a timely workshop with environmental literacy being included in President Obama’s education bill (Elementary and Secondary Education Act, formerly known as No Child Left Behind) to include language from the No Child Left Inside Act of 2008.

Fun and Exciting Inquiry-Based Science Explorations (concepts and explorations cover all science strands: Nature of Science, Nature of Matter, Physical Science, Earth and Space, & Life Science).

Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Explorations in After School Programs

Integrating Science and Literacy in After-school Programs

To view and download the PDF brochure click the following link. Science and STEM Professional Staff Development for Informal Educators