Latest webinar recordings

Evidence as Your OST Ally: Using Evidence-Based Practices and the ERC for Out-of-School Time Programming

Leaders of 21CCLC programs can use research evidence to make great decisions, be prepared to implement programs, and increase the effectiveness of services for students and families. Join the team from the Evidence Resource Center (ERC) to explore what “evidence-based practice” means, locate evidence-based strategies on the PA ERC and other leading clearinghouses, and approach the research base with an “outcomes mindset” – a focus on the difference you want to make. You’ll leave with new resources to find dozens of techniques, interventions, and programs that have been shown to work, and the confidence to consider their fit for your context and your learners. Level-up your programs with evidence-based practice!

A People-Focused Approach to Staff Acquisition & Retention

Since the beginning of COVID-19, the challenge of staffing out-of-school time programs has grown exponentially – and it’s happening everywhere! We’ve all dealt with or heard about resignations, and we’ve seen “help wanted” signs on nearly every corner. In this session, we will discuss an approach to acquiring staff that is intentional and focuses on the candidates we hope to recruit. We will also look at staff retention and develop an understanding of why people leave jobs – and, importantly, what we can do to keep great people in their roles!

Cohort 10 Grant Closeout Webinar

The Pennsylvania Department of Education reviews guidance on completing the grant closeout checklist and packet as well as the reporting requirements that are expected following the closeout of the grant.

Thriving Together: Navigating Overload, Building Resilience, and Fostering Belonging in our Programs

In the dynamic landscape of after-school programs, educators face the challenge of creating environments where youth and staff survive and thrive. “Thriving Together” is a comprehensive workshop designed to equip educators with the tools and strategies to navigate overload, build resilience, and foster a sense of belonging within their programs.

Participants will understand overload by identifying and managing it at individual and organizational levels, build educator resilience by learning stress-management strategies and methods to create supportive educational environments, nurture youth resilience through practicing evidence-based approaches to build a strong foundation for success and learn how to foster a sense of belonging by examining the importance of creating inclusive and supportive environments in afterschool programs.

Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC Grant Writing Webinar –LEAs

The Pennsylvania Department of Education presents an informational webinar to potential applicants of the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) Cohort 12 grant. Those encouraged to attend were Local Education Agencies (LEA) representing School Districts or Charter Schools.

Download PDE’s Cohort 12 Grant Writing PowerPoint

Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC Grant Writing Webinar – non-LEAs

This webinar reviews the 21 APR windows schedule for the 2022-2023 year and any updates since the April 2023 training. PDE and AIU 3 discuss the do’s and don’ts of entering 21 APR data and answer grantee questions relating to 21 APR.

Download PDE’s Cohort 12 Grant Writing PowerPoint

21APR Updates

This webinar reviews the 21 APR windows schedule for the 2022-2023 year and any updates since the April 2023 training. PDE and AIU 3 discuss the do’s and don’ts of entering 21 APR data and answer grantee questions relating to 21APR.

Local External Evaluator Training

Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3 discusses the role of local evaluators in the 21st CCLC grantee program, reviews the mandatory local evaluation report template and ways it can be customized, and discusses 21st CCLC data collection and reporting requirements that all grantees must adhere to.

Cohort 9 Grant Closeout

The Pennsylvania Department of Education and Allegheny Intermediate Unit 3 review guidance on completing the grant closeout checklist and packet as well as the reporting requirements that are expected following the closeout of the grant.

Preparing for your 21st CCLC Monitoring Visit

Successful 21st CCLC monitoring visits all have one thing in common: careful planning and preparation. In this session, the state evaluation team reviews and discusses the monitoring process and how to prepare for a monitoring visit. You will learn who you need to involve, what documentation you will need to provide, how to write a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) (if needed), and other tips and tricks to ensure that the process goes smoothly.

21st CCLC Evaluation – Accountability and Reporting Guide and 21APR

This session provides grantees with an overview of the 21st CCLC program evaluation Accountability and Reporting Guide to help grantees prepare for and implement 21st CCLC data collection and reporting requirements. Also discussed are grantee responsibilities for reporting data in the federal 21APR data system and timelines for 21APR reporting.

Promoting Promising Practices for Summer Programming

PDE opens this session with reminders about the use and submission of the newly revised field trip request forms. Then participants will receive a high overview of RANDs Research Findings on Summer Learning and explore the Wallace Foundation Summer Learning Toolkit. Within the toolkit they will discover tools, tip sheets, sample documents, and guidance to promote promising practices for summer programming. This session will specifically highlight staff and student recruitment. The toolkit is available at no cost at or

Strengths-Based Practices for Migrant Families during Out-of-School Time

Research has repeatedly shown that children whose parents and families are closely engaged with their learning and education are more likely to see favorable outcomes for all involved parties across a wide variety of sectors. A high level of family engagement has been closely linked to increased academic achievement as well as improved parent-child relationships, better physical and mental health, and a decreased likelihood to engage in high-risk behaviors. The ability to engage, however, is a skill that must be practiced, and by improving upon established family engagement strategies and allowing families to take a hands-on approach to their child’s learning and development, out-of-school time programs help to bridge the gap between home and the classroom and provide opportunities for parents and families to be more formally involved in their students’ discovery and growth.

Valuing Cultural Diversity in Afterschool Spaces

Afterschool programs play an important role in the development of children. They provide students with a safe place to learn and grow outside of the traditional classroom setting. In order for students to thrive in these programs, it is important that spaces are created where all students feel a sense of belonging. An easy to implement framework that can be used to support their efforts is discussed. These efforts range from finding ways to elevate cultural awareness in the programs to taking intentional actions in order to create spaces that are respectful and dignified for all.

Webinars about various subjects

21st Century Evaluation and Reporting Update for New GPRA Measures

Pennsylvania’s state evaluator reviews the new GPRA measures that go into effect July 1, 2021, and discusses changes to reporting for both 2020-21 and beyond. Included in this session is a demonstration of a reporting spreadsheet and attendance tracking tool, as well as additional resource sharing.

25 Positive Responses to Negative Student Behavior

Teachers who can draw on a range of positive responses when dealing with common misbehaviors among students are more likely to keep students engaged, have fewer classroom disruptions, and produce better learning outcomes for students. A teacher’s response to negative behavior can either escalate or reduce/eliminate that behavior. Learn how responses like Grandma’s Law, Cool Down and Closing Statement can help educators focus on the positive while maintaining a level of respect and dignity for both teacher and student.

Applying Game Elements and Activities to Engage Students and Make Learning Fun!

What is it about video games that keep kids engaged for hours? What if you could apply some of those same engaging elements to academic content? In this webinar, professor, instructional game designer, and author Karl Kapp will introduce you to a variety of practical ideas and interactive exercises specifically designed to make learning engaging. Infuse elements into your afterschool program that game developers have long since incorporated and bring the same appeal to ordinary academic content. Who knew that learning could be so much fun?

Assuring Best Results for Your Virtual Monitoring

Having a great program monitoring involves more than just having a compliant, effective 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. It involves knowledge, awareness, and confidence to prepare for that monitoring site visit. In this session, the state evaluator and a veteran 21st Century monitor will share information about the monitoring process — how to prepare sufficient documentation in advance, who needs to be involved, and what to expect.  The presenters will also share new information about what monitoring looks like during virtual operations and new considerations, processes, preparation strategies, and expectations.

Brain-Based Strategies to Support Literacy Development in Adolescents

Until recently, adolescent brain development has remained a mystery. This webinar will shed light on the wiring of the teenage brain and will explore brain-based strategies to support literacy development in adolescent learners. The course content will reflect current research in the field of brain-based literacy learning including the work of Dr. Thomas Armstrong and Eric Jensen. Participants will learn strategies including visual literacy and meta-cognition through written, visual and spoken expression.

Building a Positive Behavior Management Culture

in this webinar will learn concrete proactive and corrective behavior management strategies. The presenter will guide participants in developing a tool kit of strategies to prevent and de-escalate behavioral incidences. In conclusion, participants will appropriately identify and apply different behavior management strategies based on the circumstances.

Building Relationships with Youth Virtually

In-person, you work hard to build positive relationships with the young people you serve. Now that programming is virtual, we’re all learning how to foster and grow connections to reduce isolation from each other. In this interactive webinar, you will learn five practical strategies to help you build positive relationships with youth online. We’ll design ways to build developmental relationships where adults and youth learn together, plan together, make decisions together, and complete actions together to achieve a common goal.

Classroom Technology Tools for Remote Afterschool Programs

Learn about free and low-cost technology tools that give students access to digital learning tools. Dr. Monica Burns discusses and demonstrates mobile apps, smartphone-friendly websites, and tools children and families can access on tablets, Chromebooks and laptops. Discover high-quality resources available for children that can be recommended to families or incorporated into a structured afterschool program.

Continuous Education: Aligning K-12 Afterschool Programming with the School Day

You for Youth (Y4Y) Education Specialist Andrew Francis and Lead Training Specialist David McConnell discuss the benefits and importance of continuing student education from the school day into 21st Century Community Learning Centers program experiences. Learn about six key components that support and nurture strong partnerships between the school day and out-of-school time programs, as well as Y4Y resources that can be easily implemented into afterschool sites.

Creating a Common Vision of College and Career Readiness

Out-of-school time is the perfect place to help kids become confident, engaged and college- and career-ready. Starting with the end in mind is a great way to help our children become successful. This webinar will cover what it means to be college and career-ready and the important role that OST programs play in preparing them academically for this transition. Participants will learn the seven components of college and career readiness — including independence, the ability to multi-task and think critically and to use technology strategically. Participants will also explore possible activities to support the components needed and to enrich the academics taught during the regular school day.

Creating Culturally Responsive Classrooms Through Empathetic Leadership

Participants will learn the difference between sympathy and empathy. The presenter will help participants identify opportunities that empathy can help build relationships and allow for stronger teaching. In conclusion, participants will learn to be empathetic listeners and leaders.

Creating Safe and Supportive Learning Environments to Foster Social and Emotional Learning

Participants will receive a brief overview of Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and what current research says. The presenter will explain the impact of SE skill development on oneself and reflect on the application of the five SE competencies in their own lives. Participants will practice awareness and display social-emotional skills through reflection, discussion and activities in an effort to develop 1-2 key ways of modeling SE skills for kids to build a safe, supportive, and positive learning environment. In conclusion, participants will gain knowledge on how to build a culture of SEL through the modeling and implementation of rituals and routines that can be implemented to reinforce a positive learning environment.

Creating a Sustainability Plan that Works for Your Organization

A sustainability plan is not only a requirement for a 21st CCLC grant application, it is more importantly a strategy for continuing afterschool and summer program offerings after grant funding ends. Creating a strong sustainability plan requires a lot of foresight, a deep understanding of the community’s needs and resources and the input of key stakeholders. In this workshop, current best practices in sustainability planning are discussed and three 21st CCLC grantees explain how they developed their sustainability plans.

Eco-Ed Activities for a Very Popular Planet

Join Population Education as they highlight K-12 science, social studies, and math activities adapted for at-home learning. Featured activities are designed to reach students through either a digital device or paper packet, and cover topics from conceptualizing large numbers, to composting and urban planning. Students will use skills like estimating, measuring time and length, analyzing data, graphing, problem solving, and more.

Emotions Mix Tape: Building Emotional Intelligence

What exactly are emotions? Learn how to define emotions in terms of mind and body (recognizing emotions), build emotion vocabulary (labeling emotions), and define important aspects of emotional intelligence. Dr. Lori Nathanson explains how youth development professionals apply emotional intelligence in everything they do – from supporting youth in managing their feelings to interacting with parents and managing staff. Because music is important to young people and listening to music activates large areas of the brain associated with a wide range of emotions, you will build a better understanding of emotions through music.

Envisioning the Future: Creative Career Exploration in the Afterschool Setting

Research suggests that children’s early career aspirations are highly predictive of their career choices as adults. However, because children can only aspire to, and picture themselves in, jobs and fields that they know about, it is essential to expose them to a wide range of occupations. In this webinar, participants will explore creative ways to help kids connect their current interests with future education and career possibilities; explore a variety of careers through video, search engines, games, books, and interviews; and create concrete examples of their future selves in interesting and satisfying careers. The speaker will emphasize ways to develop and identify meaningful, engaging, developmentally appropriate, and student-directed activities.

Finding Each Student’s Sweet Spot: Optimizing Engagement and Learning

Each learner’s brain is wired uniquely. Recognizing that all students learn differently is paramount to helping them be successful. In this interactive session, learn how to reveal each student’s “sweet spot” for learning by surveying prior knowledge, discovering learning preferences, and determining how success was achieved in the past. Learn to look for indicators of gifts and talents, when they might not be readily apparent, and leave the session with valuable new ideas to maximize learning.

Finding Meaning and Balance Between Home and Hybrid Working: Self-Care and Support

As the uncertainty, duration, loss, and strain of collective grief continue, many of us find it difficult to maintain a balance between home and hybrid working conditions. During this workshop, participants will discuss the effects of a global pandemic, unexpected loss of countless lives, civil unrest, and economic collapse on mental and physical health. Participants will learn self-care strategies and consider compassionate and empathetic responses toward ourselves and others as we navigate many difficult but necessary decisions. Opportunities will be provided to identify personal strengths so they may be applied to effectively manage stress, promote resilience, and balance home and hybrid working.

Fiscal Q&A

The Pennsylvania Department of Education responds to questions on fiscal requirements for Pennsylvania’s Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC grantees. Please view Fiscal Management webinar recording for a fiscal review with a focus on completing and submitting monthly expenditure reports for Pennsylvania’s Nita M. Lowey 21st CCLC grantees.

Get in the Game! Healthy Family Engagement

It is no secret that families have a significant impact on children’s health and success. Examine the dynamics of family engagement, strategies to model physical activity while at home, and resources for families to incorporate healthy tips into their busy lives.

Global Learning in Out-of-School Time

Gain a greater understanding of how students’ 21st century skills develop via the global learning approach. Help students explore our diverse world through innovative strategies and resources to deepen understanding and interest in world languages, cultures, and geography. Integrate authentic learning with 21st Century skills to get youth talking and sharing about themselves, applying it to relevant hands-on projects and making meaningful connections with the wider world.

Helping Students Manage Anxiety and Stress

These unprecedented times have challenged students to be resilient and adaptable. While we cannot eliminate the stress and trauma caused by a global pandemic, and the racial injustices and tensions, we CAN empower them with the social and emotional (SE) skills and strategies to positively manage and reduce the anxiety. The key is it starts with us as adults and how we work on our SE skills.

Hosting Virtual Family Fun Nights

This webinar will provide participants with tips and tricks to help plan, market, and host interactive and fun virtual family events. Through hands-on participation in some virtual “game night” activities, the audience will walk away with four different event ideas as well as tools to encourage engagement and ways to adapt.

Interactive Student Journaling in Digital Spaces

Providing support for students during uncertain times can take many forms. Digital spaces give students ways to share their thoughts and feelings through a variety of media. With voice, video, narration and images, students can create interactive journals to document their experiences. In this session, Dr. Monica Burns will take you through strategies for setting expectations, creating digital spaces, and establishing a workflow for students. You’ll explore activity ideas, journal prompts, and more!

Kids Taking Over! Peer Coaching as a STEM Strategy

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago will lead participants in creating a program infrastructure to prepare older youths to be co-facilitators in STEM learning for younger students. By the end of the webinar, participants will have planning strategies, resources and lesson plans with hands-on and budget-minded STEM activities. Participants will have the tools they need, including unique ways of differentiating instruction for different learning styles, to build a strong peer-coaching program that involves students of all ages.

NASA Family Science Webinar — Part 1

Part 1 will provide an overview of the research on family/parental impacts on learning that have spurred our decision to design family-oriented programming and the lessons that we learned during implementation and pilot testing. We will discuss the challenges that arise when working with mixed audiences of adults and children, and research-driven strategies for engaging all audience members equally as learners to create an environment of family discovery and knowledge-building.

NASA Family Science Webinar — Part 2

In Part 2, participants will delve into the NASA Family Science Night curriculum, a freely-available suite of resources for engaging the whole family in STEM activities. We will also discuss the philosophy and pedagogy behind the NASA Family Science Night model, and the outcomes of intensive evaluation throughout development and dissemination.

Navigating the 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program’s Evaluation, Reporting and Resources

State evaluators from the Allegheny Intermediate Unit review the 21st CCLC evaluation requirements, walk through the required forms and systems (including the federal 21APR system), and provide practice strategies and resources for operationalizing the evaluation at the local level.

Opioid Awareness and Prevention: Protective Factors for Youth

The opioid epidemic has become a national public health issue with an alarming increase in addiction, crime and deaths. This webinar – part 2 of the Opioid plenary session held at the 2018 ELO Conference in March – will highlight ways that out-of-school time programs can play a role in providing awareness to students and families on opioid prevention.

Overview of the Penn Museum’s Digital Resources

In response to the statewide school closures, the Penn Museum located at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia created several new virtual learning opportunities on their website called, “The Penn Museum at Home.” Education staff members from the Penn Museum will take you on a virtual tour of the Penn Museum’s website, YouTube channel, social media and more! Learn how you can access teaching aids and research tools created by our education staff. Discuss ways to use these resources to support summer camp activities and projects.

Parental Engagement in Afterschool: Never Give Up!

Participants in this webinar will reflect on how they define parental engagement, and how parents define it. Dr. Ed Bell, a 13-year veteran of the 21st CCLC program and a former afterschool director, will discuss the importance of parental engagement in the afterschool setting while sharing personal and professional scenarios for getting and keeping parents engaged. At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will rethink how to define parental engagement in an afterschool setting and develop nontraditional ways of getting parents engaged.

Preparing for Virtual Instruction Emergencies

COVID-19 has drastically changed our interaction with students and forced us to rethink emergency preparedness for out-of-school time programs. The emergencies we might encounter during our virtual sessions have changed, and we need to develop new safeguards in response to these changes. This interactive presentation will discuss how to create safe virtual spaces for both students and afterschool professionals. We will discuss various new emergency scenarios and review how to discern when children may be at risk during remote learning. This session will give opportunities to discuss specific steps for virtual instruction safety and provide resources to help build your program’s virtual emergency preparedness.

Promoting Protective Factors with Youth and Families

The Strengthening Families Protective Factors Framework is a strengths-based approach to working with families. It is composed of five protective factors that, when robust in families, promote healthy outcomes for children. As youth mature, they take on an increasingly active role in their development. This shift is the focus of Youth Thrive, a research-informed framework that promotes factors that increase the likelihood that adolescents can develop into healthy, thriving adults. These complementary frameworks describe attributes that mitigate risk and enhance well-being for families and children. Webinar participants will reflect on current practices and discuss strategies they can use to promote these factors in the families they serve explore the intersections of the frameworks and how they can create environments where parents and young people feel empowered and ultimately, experience positive outcomes.

Resources for Finding Your Path Through Youth Education During the Time of COVID-19

Together, we’ve almost made it through the initial wave of rapid distance learning. Join Carissa Longo from the PA State Parks to discover STEM, science, and nature-based resources for virtual and modified in-person learning. This session will feature ideas, activities, videos, and more from PA State Parks and other curated sources. Summer is a great time to encourage students to investigate STEM in nature, and this session will provide distance learning ideas for 21st CCLC programs.

Strengthening Teacher Confidence and Student Achievement by Integrating STEM Across the Curriculum

Research shows that at least half of teachers are not comfortable teaching STEM subjects, especially engineering. In addition, many educational leaders focus so intently on reading and math scores that teachers do not always get the support they need to implement good science instruction. This webinar shares concrete examples of how teachers can transfer what the Next Generation Science Standards refer to as STEM spheres of thinking, common practices, and crosscutting concepts across other content areas. Particular attention is given to engineering since this is the STEM area teachers are most uncomfortable with. Research shows that increasing teachers’ understanding of these concepts results in boosting both teacher confidence and student achievement.

Succession and Transition Planning

21st Century coordinators play a central role in the significant and positive outcomes of their afterschool programs and the youth they serve. To reach these positive outcomes, it is essential that staff and the programs they run are prepared to anticipate and plan for disruptions, challenges and changes. This includes the transition of staff, particularly at the coordinator level. To ensure that programs continue to run effectively and efficiently during coordinator transitions, plans must be in place to successfully work through these transitions and set up new coordinators for success. This working session workshop provides program professionals with concrete ideas and next steps to ensure they are prepared for any future coordinator transitions.

Surviving or Thriving? The Intentional Practice of Workplace Wellness

With the ever-increasing demands of the workplace, fostering our own resilience and social and emotional wellness often takes a back seat. Mona Johnson will address the critical importance of prioritizing self-care practice and its inherent connection to K-12 workplace success.

Ways to Connect with Students and Families Virtually

There are many ways to use technology to connect with students and families virtually. Dr. Monica Burns goes through strategies and technology tools to make virtual connections happen. Learn how to use your current communication channels and set up alternate channels to connect with the community. A discussion and demonstration including an overview of how to set up newsletters and simple landing pages to include information and resources for families.

Who’s Doing the Work? Rethinking Scaffolds for Struggling Readers

How do we meet the needs of struggling readers while supporting them toward grade-level standards? Traditional attempts to scaffold students’ literacy learning have sheltered struggling readers from opportunities to engage in grade-level texts. In this webinar, participants will rethink traditional scaffolds for struggling readers and learn how small adjustments to our teaching can provide all readers with opportunities to become independent, lifelong readers. Participants will learn how to use appropriate scaffolds during a read-aloud time, shared reading, guided reading, and independent reading to meet the needs of all readers.