The opening address, presented by Steve Hixon, focused on how to cultivate relationships and make networking an integral part of one’s daily interactions. Mr. Hixon is a Program Consultant with over 20 years of experience working with youth and families developing, implementing, and evaluating youth programs.

Following Mr. Hixon’s interactive opening address, Denise Branscome and Janet Luc from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) discussed New Funding Opportunities for Afterschool Food.  Through VDH, the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is accessible to qualified organizations to offer benefits for this project.  Crystal Weedall-FitzSimons, with the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC), followed the VDH presentation and gave a more detailed account of the programs that provide snacks and meals for out-of-school time providers. Both of these session complement VPOST’s campaign to combat food insecurity for children and youth in Virginia through the implementation of an AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) program.  Emily Harris, Americorps’ Volunteer, will be mapping and linking out-of-school time programs across the state during her year of service with VISTA.  She will be working with qualified providers to offer assistance in the application process for the snacks and meals programs highlighted during the summit.

Brooks Keisler and Mark Wood, of Learning Through Sports Education Systems, Inc., presented Motivating and Engaging Curriculum for Outcomes Measurement in After School Program. Through an online display of the Kid’s College Program, they illustrated an adaptive web-based technology that combines a student’s interest in interactive sports video games with a standards-aligned virtual curriculum in math, literacy, and science.   Success stories from other states that have implemented the program during their afterschool time were shared.

Following lunch, Kim Eisenreich, Senior Associate for Afterschool Initiatives in the Institute for Youth, Education & Families (IYEF) at the National League of Cities (NLC), discussed City Leaders Supporting Afterschool. Ms Eisenreich highlighted the array of opportunities available to municipal leaders to advance the afterschool agenda.  She also gave tips on how to engage citizens and key stakeholders in developing a community-wide vision for afterschool, securing funding, and developing plans for long-term sustainability.  Through NCL and a partnership between the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation, VPOST is one of nine statewide afterschool network grantees in the nation to host a Mayoral Summit in 2012.  Mayor Dwight C. Jones of the Capital City of Richmond will host the summit.  He will discuss the need for before and after school programs, summer activities, and other out-of-school time (OST) learning opportunities for youth and the ways that city and state leaders can collaborate to provide these opportunities. In conjunction with the Virginia Municipal League (VML) and The Virginia Association of Counties (VACO), VPOST will work closely with IYEF to engage municipal leadership in Virginia for the upcoming summit.

The summit concluded with mini-grant award ceremonies.  The first included two awards for an annual site license to Kid’s College as a pilot program in Virginia. These were awarded to Fairfax County Public Schools and Henrico Area Mental Health & Developmental Prevention Services.  The second round of awards was for the 1st Annual VPOST Lights On Afterschool Mini-grant competition.  VPOST offered support through mini-grants to local afterschool programs to help offset event costs and to increase the profile of the event on October 20, 2011.  Lights On Afterschool (LOA) is a nationwide event that recognizes the critical importance of quality afterschool programs in the lives of children, their families and communities.  It is a project of the Afterschool Alliance, which is the only national organization dedicated to raising awareness of the significance of afterschool programs and advocating for more afterschool investments.

This year’s VPOST Light On Afterschool grantees are:

  • Buckingham 4-H and Buckingham County School System
  • Franklin Middle School, Chantilly
  • Rural Family Development, Eastern Shore Community College
  • King George Family YMCA
  • RIHD: The Minority Youth Appreciation Society Center, Richmond
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington: Manassas, Hylton, and General Heiser Branches
  • Arlington County Public Schools: Carlin Springs and Kenmore Middle Extended Day
  • Y.H. Thomas Community Center, Hampton
  • Manassas Park Parks and Recreation
  • C. Waldo Scott Center for H.O.P.E., Newport News

The Leadership Council of VPOST would like to thank all presenters and participants of the 2011 Leadership Summit.