Virtual Brochure


OCFS Numbers: 1 – Principles of childhood development, 2 – Nutrition and health needs of children, 3 – Child day care program development, 4 – Safety and security procedures, 5 – Business record maintenance and management, 6 – Child abuse and maltreatment identification and prevention, 7 – Statutes and regulations pertaining to child day care, 8 – Statutes and regulations pertaining to child abuse and maltreatment, 9 –adverse childhood experiences

CBK Numbers: 1 –  Child Growth and Development, 2 –  Family and Community Relationships, 3 – Observation and Assessment, 4 – Environment and Curriculum, 5 – Health, Safety, and Nutrition, 6 – Professionalism and Leadership, 7 – Administration and Management

Staff (The training is appropriate for individuals working in the following positions):
FL – Front Line, S – Supervisors, ED – Executive Directors

Age (The training is appropriate for individuals working with individuals in the following age-groups):
E – Elementary, M – Middle School, H – High School, A – Adults

Google Drive Folder with Conference Handouts.

Friday, April 23


How Can We Record Data?
Natalie Scavone
Topic: STEAM
Age/Staff: E / FL, S
OCFS Areas: 3
CBK Areas: 4

Participants will reflect on their practice and watch “Let’s Put That in Our Journal” in order to learn how to help youth document their learning.

Planning High Quality Professional Development: The Aspire Way
Tinnycua Williams
Topic: Professional Development
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 3
CBK Areas: 6

Professional Development is more than checking off a box. The question is how do you assess what staff need to effectively elevate your program?  Do you provide training to your staff and want an effective tool to help with tracking?  The Aspire Registry is the answer!  Participants will explore the differences between training and professional development and learn how to identify the elements of high-quality professional development for their staff. Using the professional development record in their program organization account in Aspire, participants can identify needs for individual staff as well as for the entire program. Using this information, as well as the Professional Development Directory, participants will be able to identify trainers and training in their desired content and geographic areas, as well as plan and submit their own high-quality professional development for Aspire approval.

EIP 101: Are You Eligible For EIP Scholarships?
Ally Buonanno Tardy
Topic: Program Quality Improvement
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 3, 5
CBK Areas: 6

The Educational Incentive Program (EIP) is a scholarship program that helps child care providers pay for training and educational activities to build knowledge, skills, and competencies to improve the quality of child care in NYS. EIP pays for a variety of training types with 2021 maximum award amounts of up to: $2,000 for college; $1,250 for pre-approved credential trainings; $1,100 for coaching; $125 for classroom CPR/FA; and $700 for trainings, conferences, and workshops – just like this one! Come learn how EIP can help support you and your program!


Opening Session
Kelly Sturgis, Network for Youth Success Executive Director

This past year has been incredibly difficult for many in our field, yet we were able to witness the resiliency of afterschool professionals time and again.  This conference may look different than years past, but we are hoping it will feel the same.  Professionals coming together, learning together, and celebrating our strengths together.  We are honored you chose to spend your time with us once again this year.

Please join us for the opening session where you will hear more about the importance of your work and how the Network can support you.  There will be more challenges ahead, but rest assured, the Network is here to support you, and we are in this together.

Please join us in honoring this year’s award recipients.  The 2021 awardees are being recognized in the following categories: quality leadership, afterschool champion, professionalism and program excellence and innovation.  This will be an opportunity for us to celebrate the strength of our field together.


Developing an Organizational STEM Practice and Mindset
Marcel Braithwaite
Topic: STEM, Leadership Development
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A /S, ED
OCFS Areas: 3, 5
CBK Areas: 4, 6

We operate in an increasingly automated and virtual environment. To run successful programs and attract new funding opportunities, STEM must be evident in the practices, partnerships and programs of the organization. How will you create a STEM based mindset at your organization? During the session participants will identify STEM practices, inventory STEM partners and practice a STEM planning process.

Supporting Good Nutrition
Diane Shirley
Topic: Nutrition
Age/Staff: M, H / FL, S
OCFS Areas: 2
CBK Areas: 5

It is important for afterschool professionals to understand nutrition principles so they can provide a healthy environment for young people. Supporting Good Nutrition will review the state regulations that address nutrition and discuss current eating behaviors. After school professionals will explore ways to encourage children to adopt good nutritional habits and provide support to families about children’s nutritional habits.

How to Level Up Team Motivation and Management
Therese Workman, Ali Wittenberg
Topic: Leadership Development
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A /S
OCFS Areas: 3, 5
CBK Areas: 6, 7

Keeping staff spirits high and ensuring program quality has proven to be quite a challenge in the midst of this shift to virtual engagement. Teams are struggling with personal and professional challenges, and individuals feel the impact of the pandemic in unique ways. Managers are tasked with reigniting and celebrating each team member’s strengths while tapping into various forms of motivation. Whether staff is gearing up for summer or trying to maintain energy for the rest of spring, join us to explore ways to boost team morale and sustain the mission of your organization.


Q&A with Platinum Sponsor Playworks!

Anyone who attends will be entered into a raffle drawing.


Q&A with Platinum Sponsor Healthy Kids Programs

Anyone who attends will be entered into a raffle drawing.


Fun Fun Fun‚ Games and Activities to Keep Your Students Moving
Roz and Jed Buck
Topic: Team Building
Age/Staff: E, M / FL, S
OCFS Areas: 3
CBK Areas: 4

Do your after-school programs need an infusion of energy or excitement? Do you want to make the down-time fun-time with physical activities that engage your students? Join us to experience and learn some fun, creative games and activities that get your students moving and can easily be incorporated into your after-school programs. Attendees will take away an exciting list of new games and activities to implement as they energize their students and make the down-time fun-time all year long.

Trauma Informed SEL Practices
Andrea Bertucci, Sierra Fisher
Topic: ACEs and Trauma
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / FL, S
OCFS Areas: 9
CBK Areas: 1

As we all try to process and heal through the ongoing trauma of a global pandemic and racial justice crisis, we want to be prepared to most effectively support the well-being of each and every one of our youth/children. Learning happens when children feel safe, seen, valued, and heard. In this training, we will build an awareness of trauma and its impact on children’s development, examine racism as a form of trauma, and explore trauma-informed, trauma-aligned SEL practices. Participants will leave with practical strategies they can put into action right away.

Creating Building Blocks out of Barriers: Growing Engagement through Family Voice
Donna Meyer, Heather Krenzer, Mary Sheffer
Topic: Family Engagement
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 3
CBK Areas: 2

Participants will learn how to engage students and families during un-engageable times by turning obstacles into growth opportunities for their families and organizations. We will explore the importance of using family voice in program design to ensure a whole child approach is used when working with youth and families. We will explore how lessons learned from successful programming during the pandemic can contribute to better service delivery for students and families in the future.


Embracing Technology: Designing an Engaging Virtual Program
Theodore Phillips, Dennis Carter
Topic: Virtual Programming
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / FL, S
OCFS Areas: 1, 3
CBK Areas: 1, 4

This session will show participants how to combine Positive Youth Development principles and technology to create an engaging virtual program. There will be a heavy focus on virtual relationship building and how to be intentional in your approach to best address the technology differences in today’s environment. Lastly, we will discuss the obstacles currently faced in implementation and create strategies for overcoming them.

Guiding Behaviors in School Age Programs: Challenges & Solutions
Arlene Rider, Ph.D., Tracy Galuski, Ph.D.
Topic: Guiding Children’s Behaviors
Age/Staff: E / FL
OCFS Areas: 1, 3
CBK Areas: 1, 4

Participants will explore a number of challenges they see in their programs and share solutions that can support and build behavior skills through practical examples for a broad range of school-age programs. Ways to promote self-esteem in school-age children will also be discussed.

4-H Youth Community Action: Conversations on Black Lives Matter
Sara Jablonski
Topic: Diversity and Inclusion
Age/Staff: M, H / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 1, 3
CBK Areas: 1, 2

4-H Youth Community Action is an effective strategy for building youth capacity through youth-adult partnerships. In this workshop, you will learn the key steps in this process, including how it can be adapted virtually. I will illustrate Youth Community Action using the example of a recent project completed with teens in my program during the summer of 2020, “Conversations on Black Lives Matter.”

Saturday, April 24


Recognizing and Addressing Mental Health Issues in Children and Adolescents
Matthew Shapiro
Topic: Mental Health
Age/Staff: E, M, H / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas:1, 2, 9
CBK Areas: 5

The ability to recognize potential mental health issues in children and adolescents is more important than ever as COVID-19, social distancing, and remote learning have all negatively impacted the psyches of our youth. This session will explain the importance of children’s mental health as well as how to identify and address potential warning signs of mental illness. The presentation will also discuss the different mental health supports a student might need as they age from elementary school through high-school. Finally, participants will learn how NAMI-NYS can assist schools, after-school programs as well as families and caregivers.

Effective Strategies for Engaging in Afterschool Advocacy
Trudy Morgan
Topic: Advocacy
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 5
CBK Areas: 6

Join Trudy to learn about effective strategies and tactics you can employ to educate decision makers, education leaders, and other relevant stakeholders about the benefits of afterschool. Afterschool, summer, and other expanded learning programs have risen to the moment in spite of budget shortfalls and at a time where the child care industry continues to fight for the crucial state and federal investments. Now more than ever, effective afterschool advocacy is critical.

Elevate Your Issue: Craft an Effective Message!
Maggie Dickson
Topic: Advocacy, Leadership
Age/Staff: E, M, H / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 5
CBK Areas: 6

Do you want to learn how to succinctly communicate the messages you’re passionate about? This workshop will cover how to craft an elevator speech to appeal to any decision-maker, whether it is the local mayor, state legislator or a funder. Speaking with representatives can be daunting at times, learning how to select the best handouts and how to script your remarks can alleviate some pressure. Join me for a 30 minute speed session on creating and delivering your message!


Weaving SEL into the Fabric of Program
Jay Roscup
Topic: ACEs and Trauma
Age/Staff: E, M, H / FL, S
OCFS Areas: 1, 3, 4, 7, 9
CBK Areas: 1, 5

Social and emotional learning can be integrated into your program holistically. Help young people develop the self-regulation and coping skills they need by using day to day program activities to provide teachable moments and chances to practice SEL skills. We will consider how to create an environment where young people and staff understand building skills for relationships and managing strong emotions are always part of program. Key concepts like pre-correction, hurdle help, coaching conversations, and common vocabulary will be meshed with deeper approach setting understandings including trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate and culturally responsive programming. We remember how people make us feel.

Games for Groups
Timothy Fowler
Topic: Physical Activity, Team Building
Age/Staff: E, M/ FL
OCFS Areas: 1, 3
CBK Areas: 1, 4

Experience group games that help youth get to know each other, stay focused, and become a functioning team! This workshop is all games and activities. A handout will be provided so participants can bring the
action back to their programs.

Measuring Effectiveness – Making your Afterschool Program Great AND Effective
Adam Lenter
Topic: Program Sustainability, Program Quality Improvement
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / S, ED
OCFS Areas: 3, 5
CBK Areas: 3, 6

When we evaluate afterschool programs, we often use the word, “effectiveness” interchangeably with “quality.” But where quality can mean different things to different people, effectiveness means something very specific: to what extent is your program achieving its stated goals? In this session, we will discuss strategies for setting ambitious but achievable goals and developing strategies for measuring your progress toward achieving them. You will leave this session with tangible frameworks to take your afterschool program to the next level.


Q&A with Platinum Sponsor Good Shepherd Services

Anyone who attends will be entered into a raffle drawing.


Afterschool Trivia

Show everyone how much you know about the afterschool field.  Join us for trivia about NYS OCFS Regulations, DOH guidance, Network initiatives, and more!  Prizes will be given to the winners of each round.  Download the Kahoot App or go to on your phone (desktop can be used if necessary) prior to the session.

Erin Broderick
Topic: Regulations
Age/Staff: E, M, H/ FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 7
CBK Areas: 5


Using Storytelling to Boost Literacy Learning
Lianne Werlein Jaen, Erica Misoshnik
Topic: Literacy
Age/Staff: E, M/ FL
OCFS Areas: 3
CBK Areas: 1, 4

Many organizations want to enrich participants’ experiences and contribute to their academic growth but are not sure how to prepare their front-line workers how to do so. This workshop will provide a basic (and short) introduction to why storytelling is so critical to young people’s literacy learning and demonstrate how in can be easily incorporated into programming to create a fun and enriching experience for participants.

Engineering with Paper: Amazingly Easy STEAM Activities
Godwyn Morris, Paula Frisch
Topic: STEAM
Age/Staff: E, M/ FL, S
OCFS Areas: 1, 3
CBK Areas: 1, 4

Using materials that are easily accessible at home or in the classroom, (paper, tape and scissors), educators will learn how to transform these basic supplies into hands-on engineering explorations that can be used for remote or in-person learning. Together we will explore engineering with paper techniques that will give you the confidence to lead students through creative, curriculum based STEAM projects. Building catapults and roller coasters will be our focus projects but the methodology can be used for almost any topic. This workshop will get you cutting, folding, and building in a matter of minutes. You will leave ready to implement new activities immediately with your students.

The Great (Digital) Outdoors: How Community Science can Engage Youth in the Outdoors‚ Even while Inside
Rachael Van Schoik
Topic: Virtual Programming, STEAM
Age/Staff: M / FL, S
OCFS Areas: 1, 3
CBK Areas: 1, 2, 4

You don’t need to be an expert online facilitator or trained naturalist to lead digital STEM that is authentic, meaningful, and fun. All you need is creativity, a willingness to learn alongside youth, and access to quality curriculum resources. Science Action Club (SAC) makes it easy and fun to bring the outdoors to youth at home. SAC activities empower youth to connect with nature and contribute to global citizen science projects like iNaturalist. In this session, attendees will get practice with digital activities, learn tips and tricks for online facilitation with youth, and walk through real-life examples of success.


The Joy of Pretending: Enhancing SEL through Dramatic Play
Carla Stough-Huffman
Topic: Drama, Social and Emotional Learning
Age/Staff: E / FL
OCFS Areas: 1, 3
CBK Areas: 1, 4

Dramatic play provides space for developing imaginations, encouraging both independent and cooperative thinking, social awareness, perspective-sharing, and releasing emotions in a healthy and safe way. We know these benefits are available at any stage of life – just look at the number of Fortune 500 companies that are teaching improv to their staff! Come explore the use of both structured and free-form dramatic play. Stay and recapture the joy of pretending. Leave with an abundance of free resources, new experiences, and the confidence needed to implement dramatic play into your programs.

Moving from DEI Ideas to Actions
Hamad Alghareeb (He/him)
Topic: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion
Age/Staff: E, M, H, A / FL, S, ED
OCFS Areas: 3
CBK Areas: 1, 2, 6

We all hear that diversity, equity (DEI) and inclusion is important. Now what? Let’s move to action. In this workshop, we will be learning and reflecting on some DEI concepts like intersectionality, stereotype threat, implicit bias, micro-aggressions and privilege. You will gain insight into the lives of Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) & LGBTQ+ people. After that, we will discuss personalized action steps and ideas that you can take into action in your organizations or program such as inclusion walks, curriculum audit, language improvement and more!

Coaching as Supervision
Timothy Fowler
Topic: Leadership Development
Age/Staff: A / S, ED
OCFS Areas: 3
CBK Areas: 6, 7

Bring learning, growth, and development to your team with low- and no-cost techniques. Experience approaches to on-the-job learning that can help you and your team level-up together. Explore peer learning approaches, including Action Reflection Learning and Authenticity Circles, as ways to turn daily work with youth into real opportunities for personal professional development and team cohesion. These approaches can be applied to coaching, staff meetings, problem-solving, and other situations related to running high-quality programs. Participants will focus on practicing techniques, giving them a chance to try these approaches out. Be prepared to talk about your real-world challenges and receive feedback with solutions for addressing them.