Edible Garden Project – Making a Difference Afterschool

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By Ledisney Rodriguez, National Afterschool Association Next Generation Award 2017 Nominee

afterschool edible garden

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. Ledisney Rodriguez’s is 26 years old and pursuing a degree in Dietetics’ and Nutrition. Here is her story:

I started my after school involvement/ career in 2009 right after I graduated high school, where I received my DCF 45 hour certification. I applied for a tutoring position available with the City of Hialeah’s, Education and Community Services Department for the Creative Learning and Play Program. I became eager to learn and advance in my current placement location 6-9 months later, I did. I was promoted to the main office as a Literacy Programing Assistant. During this time, I was involved in many tasks involving scheduling, invoicing and creating MOUs and Scope of services for all subcontractors, Data Tracker/SAMIS data system for The Children’s Trust, Attendance for all programs, and payroll for the whole department Part Time and Full Timers. These with other assignments allowed me to grow and understand the logistics of grant writing and the work it takes to put it all together. Continue reading



How to Know If Your School Is Eligible for Grants

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grant schools

Is Your School Eligible for Grants?

It might seem that all schools should be equally eligible for grants if they truly have a need for the grant money. That is simply not the case. Two types of organizations are eligible for the most grants.  They are public schools and non-profit, 501(c)(3) organizations.  The next two types of organizations in line for grant eligibility are private schools and other types of non-profit organizations. By far the least eligible for grants are for-profit schools or organizations of any type.

Many public schools truly do not have the money to operate as they should, especially if they have large populations of at-risk students from low-income families.  To be able to fund critical technology upgrades, adequate reading programs, and arts programs slashed by budget cuts, they require grant money. Continue reading



Featured PE Teacher – Emily Leffelman

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This week for the Featured PE Teacher section on the PE Central Facebook page, the spotlight is on Emily Leffelman!

emily leffelman physedAbout Emily:

I teach Kindergarten through 8th grade Physical Education and 8th grade Health Education at Van Orin Elementary School and Allen Junior High School in Illinois. I teach 141 students daily, and have been teaching for a total of 9 years.

Current Lesson Plan/Unit:

Allen Junior High (6-8th) will be starting the Frisbee Unit. The 4th and 5th graders will review proper throwing steps and ways to catch the frisbee. They will then transition into target throwing. The 6-8th graders will begin by reviewing the rules of Ultimate Frisbee, then begin participation in Ultimate Frisbee games. The 4-8th students will then be introduced/review the rules of Golf and the unit will end by participating in Frisbee Golf. Continue reading



Why Teachers are Incorporating Yoga in the Classroom

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yoga classroom

Yoga has become a great way for classroom teachers, PE teachers, and even after school coordinators to help students de-stress from their day, re-energize and clear their minds to focus. Yoga creates the support for students to not just build up their minds, but their bodies as well, better preparing them for their future. Below we list the 7 major benefits of incorporating yoga into the classroom, introduce you to our friends at Yoga Foster, and share how one teacher is using yoga in her classroom.

Our friends over at Yoga Foster advocate and heavily support the use of yoga throughout the school day and have success story after success story from educators that have used their program. We are so inspired by the work Yoga Foster is doing that we’ve even partnered with them to create an online course for PE Teachers (which can also be tailored to after school professionals and classroom teachers) that walks you through introducing yoga to your students. Continue reading



Anti-Bullying Craft Activity – Empowering Kids to Advocate for A Cause

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bullying prevention advocate

Bullying Prevention Month in October is the perfect opportunity to teach children the importance of not only being aware and empathetic of social issues like bullying, but also the importance of advocating for them. Whether you are a teacher, afterschool professional, or any other program dealing with youth or teens, the topic is important to discuss.

There are many great projects, curriculums and programs to highlight bullying prevention that can help explain to children types of bullying, how to identify when someone is being bullied, and what they can try to do when they encounter it. Most certainly, these are invaluable lessons and teaching our children to be kind, tolerant and empathetic are social skills that will have positive results for them and those around them throughout their lives. Continue reading



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