MASP is excited about our participation and multiple roles in the Michigan AfterSchool Association Fall Collaborative Conference: Integrating Innovation and Best Practices in After School. Not only does our Quality Committee work closely with MAA’s Professional Development Committee to put together the conference theme and recruit the best speakers, exhibitors and workshop presenters, staff and Board are involved in conducting many of the workshop sessions themselves. These include an opportunity to build STEM expertise over a three-part track; to better understand how afterschool is connecting with state initiatives to build and incentivize quality through the system; and to build advocacy expertise and use it to promote bigger investments in expanded learning opportunities all over the state.
We are also thrilled to have a long-time MASP Steering Committee member, the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality, as the conference keynote. Charles Smith, CYPQ’s Founder and Executive Director, will be setting the stage for the conference in a keynote focused on moving the field forward through researched quality improvement efforts. Dr. Smith will then be joining me in a workshop in the afternoon where we will be talking about how practitioners can use their best practice, supported by research, to build more champions for expanded learning investments.
So, if that isn’t enough reason to attend the Collaborative Conference this year, how about this. We’ve gone through a long period of public disinvestment in after-school and summer learning programs, but that must change. The field itself has made great strides in improving the quality of our services and we can point to more and more research illustrating its impact. More and more people are understanding the reality of summer learning loss, the results of inequitable educational outcomes, and the needless lack of connection between traditional K-12 and the world that young people live in. And, lucky for us, more people are also understanding that additional investment in quality expanded learning options is one of our best bests for combating each and every one of those things.
Opportunities to connect as a field strengthen our work with young people and their families, our messaging around the impact of that work on school and life success, and our resolve to build better services and systems to make more of that work possible. Come join us in Lansing on October 20th!
You can register for the Michigan AfterSchool Association Fall Conference by clicking here.