VPOST is Proud to Welcome Bridget Langer to Our Team

Bridget Langer is the Administrative Assistant for the Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time (VPOST). Her primary responsibilities include network correspondence, updates to the VPOST website, meeting preparation and follow-up, research, record management, scheduling, and data collection. In her free time, Bridget enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her pets.

You can contact Bridget at bridget.langer@v-post.org

VPOST Launches Youth Entrepreneurship Strategies (YES) Program

VPOST is partnering with Hampton City Schools, James Madison University (JMU) X-Labs, Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Title IV 21st CCLC, and Newport News Shipbuilding (NNS) to develop a coordinated strategic approach to high school youth entrepreneurship experiences in Virginia. The project, Youth Entrepreneurship Strategies (YES) will improve entrepreneurial awareness, by recognizing environmental changes, identifying opportunities, and thinking creatively to develop student voice.

In support of this work, VPOST welcomes Kaitlin Ilnitzki to lead this project! Kaitlin is the Assistant Director of Virginia + DC FIRST LEGO League, located at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. Previously, she was a middle school educator in Staunton, Virginia for ten years. After teaching Language Arts for six years, she moved to STEM education and taught an interdisciplinary course introducing students to the basics of robotics, programming, and engineering. That switch ignited her passion for STEM education and specifically providing students with opportunities that open up pathways to STEM careers and CTE programs.

To learn more about the YES program, check out this feature article here

Just Released! The RFP for the next cohort of 21st CCLC Grants is now available.

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce the availability of 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) grant funds to be awarded to school divisions and eligible organizations to support the implementation of community learning centers that will assist student learning and development. Funding for this program is provided through the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended. 

The Department will fund projects that provide significantly expanded learning opportunities for children and youth and that will assist students in meeting or exceeding state and local standards in core academic subjects. Applicants eligible to submit a proposal for this competition are school divisions, nonprofit agencies, city or county government agencies, faith-based organizations, institutions of higher education, and for-profit corporations. 

Per the statute Section 4204(i)(1), grantees must serve schools that meet the absolute priority of serving students who attend: 

Schools implementing comprehensive support and improvement activities (the lowest five percent of Title I schools, plus any high school with a federal graduation rate below 67 percent); 

  • Schools implementing targeted support and improvement or additional targeted support and improvement activities (Title I and non-Title I schools, with low- performing student groups); 
  • Other schools determined by the local educational agency to be in need of intervention and support; 
  • Schools enrolling students who may be at risk for academic failure, dropping out of school, involvement in criminal or delinquent activities, or who lack strong positive role models; and 
  • The families of such students.
    Priority points will be given to those applicants that: 
  • Jointly submit applications between at least one local school division and at least one public or private community organization; 
  • Propose to serve students in schools that either are a comprehensive support and improvement school, targeted support and improvement schools, additional targeted support and improvement school, and/or not fully accredited; 
  • Propose to serve students in middle or high schools; and/or 
  • Propose to serve schools with a free and reduced price lunch eligibility of 75 percent or greater. 

Applicants must consult extensively with parents, community organizations, businesses, arts and cultural organizations, and other youth development agencies to develop 21st CCLC proposals. 

Applications for 21st CCLC competitive grant funds must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022. The application and Guidelines, Instructions, and Assurances documents are available upon request from 21stcclc@doe.virginia.gov

The completed application and attachments must be emailed to 21stcclc@doe.virginia.gov

If you have questions or need additional information, please contact Marsha Granderson at Marsha.Granderson@doe.virginia.gov or (804) 786-1993. 

VPOST Facilitated a visit from Senator Bernie Sanders to a Virginia Out-of-School Time Program!

In August of 2021, VPOST was honored to facilitate a summer learning program site visit with Senator Bernie Sanders (VT). As a result of his efforts to increase funding for afterschool and summer learning programs via the American Rescue Plan, Senator Sanders visited the Reston YMCA, about 30 minutes outside of Washington DC. Here, he toured the summer learning program, where Senator Sanders heard directly from the YMCA staff, including Executive Director David Rodriguez, on the support kids and families received throughout the pandemic from his programs and others just like it across the Commonwealth.

Out-of-School Time programs are educational leaders in maximizing impact through community partnerships. This is exemplified by the partnership between Reston YMCA and Fairfax County, Neighborhood and Community Services, which operates one of their teen centers out of the YMCA. Senator Sanders was shown a robot made in their STEM program and spoke with the teens on their aspirations for the future. In walking from one area to another on the tour, Sanders noted some food in storage. It was explained that the Y is also a place where food was distributed to community members in need. 

Senator Sanders passionately expressed that he will continue to fight for affordable childcare and afterschool options for working families. On behalf of the out-of-school time field in Virginia, VPOST Professional Development and Quality Coordinator, Christine Jones Monaccio, thanked Senator Sanders for his diligence in the landmark funding for afterschool and summer learning programs in the American Rescue Plan. 

Blaire Denson and Barbara Couto Sipe column: When will we recognize how important afterschool programs are to Richmond families?

VPOST Executive Director, Blaire Denson, and VPOST Advisory Council member/NextUp President & CEO, Barbara Couto Sipe, highlight the dedication of out-of-school time staff since the beginning of the pandemic. The article in the Richmond-Times Dispatch also advocates for the tremendous opportunity through the American Rescue Plan to fund afterschool and summer enrichment programs.