Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Continuing to Invest in Quality With Increasing Cost Pressures 

As after school leaders, we are used to begging and borrowing, making a lot out of a little, and operating at beyond peak levels of productivity to make our programs the best they can be for our students and their families. We want to get the most out of our budgets and that is a good thing—but there are limits. 

Our after school programs have evolved so much in the past decade. They have moved from programs that provide academic enrichment, homework support, active recreation, and clubs to even more expansive learning opportunities. We now incorporate project based learning, health and wellness activities, academic tutoring, social emotional learning, and college and career readiness support to broaden student learning opportunities. To effectively deliver these services we need highly qualified staff and we need more of them than the required 1:20 ratio would suggest.

In addition to providing more quality elements, the reality is the improved economy has increased the cost of running a quality after school program while funding has remained flat. The state minimum wage will rise to $10 hour in January 2016 (more than 30% higher than what it was when the current daily reimbursement rate was established for State after school funding), placing increasing upward pressure on wages across the board. This is a positive sign for our economy but because the funding for after school programs remains stagnant, it has put increasing strain on programs to recruit and maintain qualified staff.
save money
According to a 2009 study by the Wallace Foundation (already outdated based on recent economic improvements), the cost to run an out-of-school-time program during the school year ranged from $14-$31 per student slot. This is in stark opposition to the funding, when you consider funding provided through ASES and 21st Century is just $7.50 per student slot. This disparity has only continued to grow, requiring more and more matching funding or necessitating cuts in programming.

Not only do we need to increase wages to recruit and retain high quality staff, we must also increase professional development to continue offering experiences that expand learning and open opportunities for our students.

We need multiple strategies to maintain high quality expanded learning programs, but we can begin by increasing ASES/21st Century funding to keep pace with the increased cost of living and pressure on wages.

What can we do? We need to continue to tell our story to legislators, local leaders, our school district partners, parents, and other stakeholders. The Partnership for Children and Youth also has a survey where I encourage you to weigh in on this issue. 

This morning I enjoyed a grapefruit, a cranberry orange mini-scone, and a cup of coffee.

Continuing to Invest in Quality With Increasing Cost Pressures” (http://boostcollaborative.com/breakfastclub/item/486-continuing-to-invest-in-quality-with-increasing-cost-pressures) was originally published on BOOST Breakfast Club Blog.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Great Day at the Fair

Thank you to all who made the Cesar Chavez Day Health Fair 2014 possible and to the community for coming out to promote community health!

Cook Middle School, Santa Rosa City Schools
CalSERVES AmeriCorps


Via Esperanza, Community Action Partnership & First 5 Sonoma County
Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County

County of Sonoma, Department of Health Services

Redwood Empire Food Bank

Covered California
Catholic Charities
St. Joseph's Health System


Kaiser Permanente
Sonoma State University Nursing Department
Mayor's Gang Prevention Task Force

US Army Corps of Engineers
Whole Foods
Santa Rosa Community Health Center
Award Winner, Council Member Carlstrom
Award Winners, County of Sonoma, Department of Health Services
Award Winners, Cinco de Mayo Committee
Award Winners, Bayer Farm, LandPaths
Award Winner, Vince Harper, Community Action Partnership of Sonoma County
Ohtli Yoliliztli-Aztec Dance Group
Ballet Folklorico

Martial Arts Youth Institute (MAYI)

Thank you to all who participated.  You honor Cesar Chavez and promote Health & Wellness in our community!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Photos of the Month

A month of photos from events and activities I attended.  Granted I have edited out a lot of paperwork and few dozen meetings...but I left in the best parts!

AmeriCorps Valentine's Day Celebration, NCOE, Napa, 2/14/2114

Superintendent Nemko is appointed an Honorary AmeriCorps Member, AmeriCorps Members share their stories.

Volleyball Jamboree, ACE After School, Napa, 2/19/14

These girls are good!

Teams come from five Napa middle schools to complete.  You can tell they have worked on their skills.

AmeriCorps School of Rock, Wright Charter, Santa Rosa, 2/22/14

Yesenia & Briana together at the School of Rock!

All of our Leaders were spiffy and on point with their trainings!

 Calistoga Elementary, Calistoga, 2/24/14

The teen zone at the Boys & Girls Club program, where the dance game is most popular.

Tissue paper tie-dye, fun activity which I participated in!

NCOE Community Programs Quarterly Staff Meeting, Napa, 3/5/2014

It is certainly not all serious.  Our Taylor Ford made a hat on her way to winning the most activities performed in our warm up exercise....tied only with me!

Jeannie and Briana lead a training on how to have effective difficult conversations.
Snow Elementary, Napa, 3/5/2014

Three girls enjoying a super snack after school

Chris Meza doing his turoing thing!

BEST Training, Napa Valley Unified School District, Napa, 3/7/2014 

Laura Mooiman leads a great training teaching positive behavior support strategies to nearly 100 after school staff and AmeriCorps members.

Cool Sports Basketball Challenge, Meadow View, Santa Rosa 3/7/2014

Teams from 6 elementary schools gather to compete in basketball.

Several students (and me) gather around Melissa Moore to get a glimpse of her new baby. Welcome back!

R.L Stevens Collective Impact Program, Santa Rosa, 3/14/2014

School Climate Mentor Ashley bowls with students during lunch recess.

Cutest bowler with a great St. Patty's Day costume!
Yaraseb provides mentoring to support the whole child!

So proud of all the work done by NCOE Community Programs and CalSERVES!