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August 3, 2017: I am thrilled to announce that I have been named one of sixteen leaders in afterschool and expanded learning to be selected as a White-Riley-Peterson Policy Fellow as part of a partnership between the Riley Institute at Furman University and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
In the 10-month program, which begins in October, Fellows will study afterschool/expanded learning policy and develop and implement state-level policy projects in partnership with their Statewide Afterschool Networks and the national Afterschool Alliance. This is a great opportunity to learn from and work with other experts in the field, and to receive coaching and input on a project to be implemented here at home. The focus of my project will be engaging older youth in out-of-school time programs. I’m looking forward to the process, and I’m excited about the potential benefit to New Mexico’s youth. Click here for the White-Riley-Peterson press release.
June 14, 2017: Yesterday, we held the first ever NMOST Partner Forum at the Hotel Albuquerque. It was a great event, and I believe we all left feeling uplifted and excited about the out-of-school time agenda. On behalf of the New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network - we thank each of you for your contribution. It is empowering to see the collective successes of our field and inspiring to see the collective vision we have created for the future of New Mexico’s children and youth. This is a vision that all New Mexico children and families deserve.
Thank you for taking time to give us your feedback so we can continue to plan meaningful state-wide convenings. We also appreciate your willingness to consider how you can best support the movement towards our vision through your personal engagement. We will follow-up shortly with notes and resources from our day together, along with opportunities for your continued engagement. Thank you for sharing your time, passion and ideas with us. We hope you left the forum feeling both proud to be a part of the New Mexico out-of-school time movement, and inspired to roll up your sleeves and engage in the meaningful work ahead.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped plan, prepare, and participate in the forum. My appreciation goes out to the NMOST Leadership Council for their support, and for helping to facilitate the table discussions. A huge thank you to our guest speakers and panelists, including New Mexico State Representative Christine Trujillo; Ron Ottinger, director of STEM Next; Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry; our data team of Wendy Wintermute from SHARE New Mexico, Tom Sharmen of the Department of Health, and Larry Heard from the New Mexico Community Data Collaborative; our NGAGE partners from Las Cruces, Frank Lopez and Michael Radtke; Deborah Good from Mission: Graduate; and our panel: Stephanie Gurule-Leyba, teacher of the year for 2017, Amy Tapia, Community Involvement Manager from Sandia National Laboratories, Daniel Valverde, Director of Community Outreach for New Mexico Appleseed, Marvin Johnson, Truancy Prevention Specialist from the 2nd Judicial District Attorney’s office, Dr. David Peercy, president of the APS Board of Education, and Megan Kamerick, KUNM’s host of Morning Edition, who facilitated the panel discussion. I’d also like to thank CliffDweller Digital for putting together an excellent video, on short notice, highlighting the successful out-of-school time program at Emerson Elementary School, and Melissa Rael of MgR & Associates for event planning and arrangements. Thank you also to Dr. Patty Emord of Collaborative Solutions Consulting for her overall facilitation of the table discussions and report outs. Finally, thank you to everyone who participated and brought such energy and enthusiasm, and so many great ideas to the forum.
We have a lot of assets in this state! and I am proud to say that NMOST is one of them!
Pictures from the Partner Forum:
May 29, 2017: This year, for the first time, we will convene the network and partners from around the state for learning and high-level discussions that highlight how afterschool and summer programs engage children in learning today and prepare youth for opportunities tomorrow. Our Partner Forum at Hotel Albuquerque on Tuesday, June 13, 9:00 am-3:30 pm will bring together more than 100 participants and feature interactive and thought-provoking sessions. Our goal is to convene stakeholders, and present and discuss strategies around key areas to sustain and expand afterschool learning opportunities for children and youth. We will hear from national and local speakers, and regional teams and partners will share best practices, network and collaborate to create a rich learning environment. We know families want opportunities for their children to build skills, get excited about learning, and have mentors. Young people seek choices to explore their passions and ignite their dreams. Now more than ever, collaboration, strategy, and planning is needed to ensure New Mexico’s students have quality afterschool and summer learning opportunities, regardless of their zip code. We look forward to an exciting and engaging day ending in a firm commitment to work together to improve out-of-school time resources that generate positive outcomes for children and youth.
April 25, 2017: The New Mexico Out-of-School Time network recently joined 1,453 other local, state, and national organizations in signing onto a letter to appropriators on Capitol Hill in support of 21st Century Community Learning Centers. The letter, which originated from the Afterschool Alliance, sends a clear message that 21st CCLC programs must have sustained funding so their doors will remain open to children and their families. For more information, check out this press release from the Alliance, which includes links to the letter. For additional press coverage of the proposed cuts, see Education Week, the Washington Post, CNN, Time magazine, and ABC News. We’re working to make sure your voices are heard both locally and nationally in support of continued funding for these essential programs.
March 30, 2017: I’d like to introduce Jeff McConaughy, who has been working behind the scenes with NMOST. Jeff retired from Intel last summer, and is currently participating in an Intel sponsored Encore Fellowship. The Encore program matches recent retirees with non-profits to work 1000 hours on projects in support of organizational goals. Jeff is working with Explora for his fellowship, and a portion of his time has been dedicated to assisting NMOST. He’ll be with us until sometime in mid-to-late July. One of the things he’s been doing is updating, and adding to the content on the NMOST web site, along with fixing many, many broken links that didn’t make a clean transition from the old site. If you happen onto any broken or outdated links, or if you have a suggestion for an event to include in our calendar, or an online resource to add to our repository, please feel free to drop Jeff a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. That's him to Senator Tom Udall's right in the picture below.
March 6, 2017: NMOST went to Washington DC last week for a two-day STEM conference with network staff from all over the country. We arranged a day on the Hill to share success stories from STEM OST programs with our representatives. Several staff in Senator Udall and Senator Heinrich as well as Congresswoman Grishams's office shared their own experience with out-of-school time programs and how it influenced their lives as well as their children's lives. Mentoring and internships makes a huge difference!
January 26, 2017: As the new Executive Director for NMOST, I look forward to being an ambassador and champion for your programs and an advocate for strategies to meet community needs. Working together, we can ensure that young people in New Mexico have access to engaging, relevant and quality programming set in a real-world context. Our goal is to create more out-of-school time opportunities for young people to experience hands-on learning, music and arts, and be exposed to the latest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). With our new NMOST website, we will feature success stories and best practices from your communities to raise awareness about the power of afterschool and summer learning for student success. Research show that expanding learning opportunities for youth is linked to academic achievement, increased social skills with peers, reductions in skipping school and substance use.
I look forward to meeting all of you!