This week, the NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) and Public School Forum of NC hosted over 450 afterschool and summer learning providers, funders, and supporters for SYNERGY, our annual statewide conference. Highlights over the three days included a STEM plenary featuring Cathy Valentino of the University of Rhode Island and a resource and funders panel including Burroughs Wellcome Fund, NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, and the NC Girls STEM Collaborative, along with Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and Discovery Place. In addition, Joe Davis, COO of the Florida Afterschool Network announced the new Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success compendium, edited by Terry K. Peterson, Ph.D. This groundbreaking compendium includes studies, reports and commentaries by more than 100 thought leaders including community leaders, elected officials, educators, researchers, advocates and other prominent authors. NC CAP’s partnership with the US Tennis Association was also a conference highlight.
This year, to ensure that expanded learning opportunities are kept at the forefront of the policy arena, NC CAP, the Public School Forum of North Carolina and United Way of North Carolina, hosted a special roundtable, “Expanded Learning as a Dropout Prevention Tool,” designed to bring together teams of policymakers, business leaders, educators, and the philanthropic community to discuss how communities can work together to build and sustain high quality expanded learning programs to help students become career and college ready in this globally competitive economy. Over 70 policy leaders attended the symposium.
Additionally, the Public School Forum released its fifteenth research study, Education 24/7…Expanding Learning Opportunities for NC Students to Be Career & College Ready. This study shows how expanded learning can affect student and school performance, as well as provide students with the necessary skills to be career and college ready. The study is divided into subsections, expanded learning policy considerations and expanded learning programmatic applications. The report will be available online in the coming weeks.SYNERGY is hosted in collaboration with NC Department of Public Instruction, NC Department of Commerce, NC Division of Child Development and Early Education, NC Girls STEM Collaborative, NC Science Festival, Boys & Girls Clubs, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, Discovery Place, Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, Professional Educators of NC, and United Way of NC.
We offer a special thanks to our funders, including NC Department of Public Instruction, Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, A.J. Fletcher Foundation, Burroughs Wellcome Fund, US Tennis Association, NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation, Duke Energy, and The Noyce Foundation.