STEM Outreach Program for Kids & Teens


through my window stem program

The S&S Worldwide team is proud to be the sponsor of the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017. We are honored to highlight the nominees and winners for their accomplishments and dedication to the afterschool community. Here is Isabel Huff’s story:

My name is Isabel, and I am the Outreach Coordinator for an engineering curriculum called Through My Window. When I began working on this project during my first year at Smith College, I had no idea I would still be working on it more than six years later.

My interest in STEM outreach began when I was a middle school student in Montana. I participated in a science outreach program at the local university which involved launching high-altitude weather balloons. I loved the program, and ended up working on it once I entered high school. When I learned that I could work with a faculty member at Smith who was engaged in a STEM project involving outreach to upper-elementary and middle-schoolers, I was excited.

The innovative Through My Window engineering curriculum applies cutting-edge educational approaches in 3 multimedia components:

  1. A young adult novel called Talk to Me
  2. Online learning modules that we call “learning adventures” – interactive stories that allow students to interact with Talk to Me characters as they learn more about engineering
  3. Offline enrichment activities

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Supporting Our Partners that Support AfterSchool


Want to help make a difference in AfterSchool? The National AfterSchool Association is electing new Board members right now and needs the help of NAA members, ambassadors and those passionate about afterschool to cast their votes.

At S&S, we are thrilled to support candidate Michele Wilkens from Right at School. We have collaborated with Michele and Right at School extensively on projects that positively impact their staff and student base across the continent. Her knowledge, passion and stewardship for what is being done in the industry is what inspires us to put our support behind her vote.

About Michele:

Michele Wilkens, EdS, LCPC, is Vice President of Education and Training for Right At School, LLC, an international student enrichment company providing tens of thousands of children high quality afterschool programs in school districts from New York to California, Texas to Canada. Check out this Inc. 5000 organization here:

Michele has 20+ years in education and psychology, is highly accomplished in leadership, curriculum development, training innovation, employee retention, and more. She has even devoted her doctoral dissertation to the afterschool industry. She is running with not just our backing, but that of the current Board Chair, Shelley Bromberek Lambert.

Want to know more? See her Board Application video below!

When to Vote:

You can vote for Michele during the NAA Board Member elections June 5th-16th. This is a great opportunity for you to help afterschool programs everywhere by getting a partner to the table who can share wisdom and success strategies for the benefit of staff and children nationwide.

How to Vote:

Here is the link to vote (you must be logged in):

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STARBASE Afterschool STEM Mentoring Program


STEM afterschool

The S&S team is proud to be the sponsor of the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017. We are recognizing the nominees and winners for their accomplishments and dedication to the afterschool community. Benita Blackwell shares her experience as an afterschool professional, and how introducing the field of STEM to her students has had an impact on their lives and life skills.

I was introduced to the afterschool profession six years ago when I served a Certified Secondary Mathematics teacher in the public school system. This particular afterschool profession helped to enhance the academic enrichment with the student body of the school. With my enrichment area of expertise being Mathematics and Science, my students questioned me daily on when they would ever utilize the topics embedded in the curriculum in the real world. No matter how much I related the areas to their real world job content, I was still leaving my students stranded in an abyss, because it was not a part of the world they live in. They still could not see how limits relate to atoms and the atomic number; how basketball related to special right triangles; how vectors are associated with every sport; how mathematics can be a form of literature; how algebra, trig, calculus, physics, outliers, and standard deviations are used in the workplace (engineering, automotive, nursing, doctors, banking, accounting, pilots, scientist, biologist, designers, interior decorators, veterinarians, graphic designers, programmers, coding, architects), basketball, baseball, football, soccer stadiums and buildings, and much more. Continue reading

Journey Of A Community Learning Center Professional


community center learning

S&S Worldwide sponsored the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017, and we are very proud of all of the nominees and winners! This is a great opportunity to highlight these afterschool professionals and the dedication they have to their programs. Here is Andrew Fletcher’s journey as a 21st Century Community Learning Center Professional:

I first applied to work for a 21st CCLC program seven years ago while attending Idaho State University. I was simply looking for a part-time job to help pay for college tuition and expenses, which I thought an aide for an alternative Jr. High afterschool program was a good fit. What I didn’t know at the time was that I had found my passion and my career. I always had an interest working with youth so it was a perfect fit. Continue reading

Higher Ground – Innovation in Youth Development


higher groundsAs a sponsor of the National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award for Afterschool for 2017, we are recognizing the nominees and winners for their dedication to afterschool. Jansen  Azarias shares his experience building a successful program that has truly changed the lives of children and families.

Higher Ground started in my living room almost a decade ago with my stepson and his friends who were intrigued by my martial arts background. I began offering free martial arts lessons, and used them to engage these young men in their academics (e.g., “No training until homework is done”). Little did I know that this modest beginning would evolve into what is considered an effective and innovative youth development center in the Tucson community: Higher Ground a Resource Center.

I came from the Philippines when I was 18 in hopes of fulfilling my dreams as a writer and rich young bachelor. I was raised in a country where the United States is considered the promise land. When I came here, I met my wife, Barbara Azarias. She needed help with her son, Timothy and needed some tutoring. She had just gone through a divorce, breast cancer, and the death of her father all happening in a year. I began helping him in my living room and soon, he brought his friends along. Continue reading

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