We had our November meeting on zoom - the first in a while! - and we remembered how convenient the format can be for bringing in folks who can’t spend the time away from their programs. As much as we love the in-person settings, we are hoping the mix of the two allows all of you the best chance to be part of the MSN and ESON networks.
Our topic this month was Family Engagement (see slide deck here!), particularly these questions:
We kicked off the conversation with a poll to ask folks where they spend their energy and time when it comes to family engagement:
We also shared some flashbacks to what we talked about last year at this time (particularly the tensions that come up when building new connections with middle schoolers) - see the slide deck for those flashbacks (and other info shared in the meeting).
Our connection groups gave folks a quick time to talk about specific topics as we started off the meeting: one group talked about how to discuss world events with kids and families, another talked everything Halloween (favorite/least favorite/best costume/program celebrations) and a third group was looking for an update on the CPS Excel strategic tutoring initiative, which we all heard during announcements.
Take a look at the other community announcements below:
In one group, focused on problem-solving specific situations in K-5 programs, the conversation centered on communicating with immigrant families. Tagasech Wabeto, who works for the Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship, said many people don't check their email regularly because they forget their credentials or struggle with the login process. To improve communication, she suggests text messages. Translated messages can be helpful but if translation is not available, sending a text in English is better than an email. Another tip is to send messages in a child's backpack. Using Google Voice, which combines text and email features, makes it easier to access missed calls and messages in one place. For group messaging that doesn't require a reply, Remind is a good option. Finally, the C.E.T and C.D.D outreach workers can assist with distributing flyers and translations.
In another group (for 6-8th grade programs), we shared our own stories of how we learned to engage with families early in our own careers - and although some people had some formal ‘training’ the overall sense was that most of us learned by trial and error and by watching others and their interactions with families. We talked about how to translate that into building capacity for younger staff - creating opportunities for people to listen in on phone calls, intentionally model types of interactions or push newer staff to have the interactions rather than defer to directors. One person talked about the clarity and energy that came from having an outside consultant/coach come in and help the program staff create a Family Engagement plan, complete with goals, strategy, and events for the year - another key way to get everyone on board and ready to engage families as partners.
As part of our closing, we asked folks “What’s one thing you are leaving here wanting to try/do? Or what conversation would you want to have with the Family Liaisons/school staff at the Dec 6th gathering?”
Here are some responses:
Our next meeting on Dec 6th is a joint meeting (in person at the Foundry) including not just programs in MSN, and ESON, but also the CPS Family Liaisons, Upper School Guidance Counselors, and OST Program folks serving the high school community (in Reaching All Youth). Remember to RSVP for this meeting (which isn’t usually required for our other meetings) - because we want to give people tools for networking and talking about shared young people, we need to know who will be there! Click here to RSVP!
Thanks for joining us on a sunny October morning at Danehy Park - we were glad for the sunshine, especially since we postponed the ESON & MSN Kickoff Event from the original soggy Sept. date. But more importantly, we were glad to see your faces, feel your energy, and look forward into the 2023-24 school year as a network of programs and partners serving young people in Cambridge. We can't wait to see the amazing things we will achieve together over the coming months.
Here is a link to our proposed meeting schedule for this school year MSN and ESON Meetings: 23-24 SY.
We had a great time at the meeting, starting off with connection groups that allowed folks to choose their own adventure. The options included untangle the Human Knot and talk about building bridges with school folks, play Evolution and debrief summer programs, or survey the Cambridge Ecosystem Map (provided by Family Policy Council & Find It Cambridge) to find all the resources that we didn’t know existed, or orient ourselves to a new community. Folks old and new shared a wide span of community announcements. Here is a list of some community announcements if you missed the meeting.
We spent the rest of the meeting cycling through four breakout rotations, sitting in the shade in small groups to talk about (and hear your ideas) for the different AFCOST spaces this year.
The four rotations included:
As we embark on this new journey, we eagerly anticipate all the opportunities for learning, growth, and collaboration that lie ahead. We firmly believe that, with your continued involvement, we can make this school year a remarkable and fulfilling experience for all.
Feel free to reach out to us with your ideas, suggestions, or questions – your active engagement is what will make this year exceptional!
School newsletters are a great way to find out about upcoming school events, like back-to-school nights! For each CPS school, you will need to sign up for their school newsletter individually.
To get started, follow these steps:
On behalf of the entire Agenda for Children Out-of-School Time team, we want to extend our heartfelt gratitude for your presence and participation at our End of Year Event. For the first time, we celebrated a year of MSN and ESON Network meetings/events as well as Community of Practice groups, to create a big gathering for folks across AFCOST spaces. The event was filled with fun, music, delicious BBQ (shout out to Grillmaster Tyrique!), and the warm presence of friendly and familiar OST faces. Your attendance made the event a resounding success.
We were thrilled to see so many familiar and new faces coming together to celebrate the achievements, milestones, and memories of the past year. We had many brief and powerful conversations as part of our concentric circles activity, answering questions like:
The highlight of the event was the inaugural Impact Awards, recognizing members of our community (nominated by colleagues) who made significant contributions in their OST spaces.
We also celebrated Dee Spinkston and Daniel Weinstock, who are both moving on from their roles facilitating in the COP spaces:
If you want to feel the love all over again (or you missed it) check out this highlight reel on the Agenda for Children website.
As we look forward to another year filled with exciting possibilities and challenges, we are grateful for the support and enthusiasm you have shown us throughout the past year. Your continued presence and involvement are invaluable to us, and we are excited about the journey ahead.
It was great to see everyone during our May network meeting last week. During this month’s meeting we talked about the middle school experience in anticipation of the upcoming transition to middle school event. In breakout groups, we explored a few topics:
On May 13th, parents, caregivers, and their middle schoolers can join us for the first-ever Bridge to CSUS workshop event where we will be exploring these topics and sharing knowledge and resources to prepare families for the transition to middle school. Check out the flyer for more details!
If you weren’t able to make it to the May network meeting, be sure to check out the slideshow and join us next month on June 14th for our AFCOST end of the year event (more details to come!)
Opportunities for You
Rindge Avenue Upper Campus (RAUC) would like to invite you to be a panelist at their upcoming 8th grade passage portfolio event! During this event, 8th grade students will present their portfolio of student work. As a panelist, you would provide a valuable outside perspective as you review portfolios, listen to presentations, ask questions, and offer feedback.
Panels will take place on the following dates and times:
June 5th-9th, & June 12th from 8:00AM-3:00PM;, June 6th & Wednesday, June 7th from 6:00-8:00PM
To sign up to be a portfolio panelist click here! Please sign up by May 19th.
Questions? Learn more here or reach out to RAUC Family Liaison Julia Ho at 617-352-5781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Events for Families
Sarah Figge Hussain - Community Learning Center
Bridge to College Program - starts in September
Click here to learn more!
CNA Training for English Language Learners - starts in September
Click here to learn more!
Early Childhood Education Career Training Program - starts in October
Click here to learn more!
Xiomara Nunez - Title 1 May Newsletter
Contact Xiomara if you would like to share information on K-5th grade events for the Title I Newsletter: Xnunez@cpsd.us
Ben Godfrey - CYP Moore Youth Center
Moore Sports Leadership Academy is filling up fast! There are a few spots still available.
Sean Effel - Cambridge Camping
There is still space available in the Adventure Day Camp (5 years old can attend at no cost!) and Daybreak Day Camp. Daybreak Day Camp is still looking for Jr. CITs.
Rachel - Cambridge Community Center
CCC still has a few spots left for summer programming.
At our April network meeting, we discussed the upcoming 5th grade and upper school summer workshops. These workshops give kids a chance to learn more about available summer opportunities, meet staff from those programs, and have fun with their peers.
We reviewed attendance data from last month's Rollin' n Summer Resource event, which informed us that 78 of the families who attended have never sent their children to summer programs in Cambridge, while 67 said no when asked if their child attends afterschool programs.
Andrew Liedtka from Find It Cambridge shared his organization's Cradle to Career Ecosystem Map and how it can help us better understand the local resources available for families in our community.
Finally, we spoke about data in Community Partner Portal and its many uses for afterschool programs in Cambridge.
If you missed our April meeting, you can check out the presentation slides here! Join us for our next meeting on May 3rd (on Zoom!). Stay tuned for more information!
The 6th-8th grader slideshows are being shown in schools as part of our classroom visits to CPS Upper Schools, to give young people an exciting peek into their options for summer. They also fill out a form at the end about what they are interested in - which kicks off our individual follow-up effort, where we help young people and families connect to programs and make summer dreams a reality.
Do you know a family who is looking for summer programs and needs assistance? Have them fill out the form (on the last slide of each slideshow) and we can follow up with them!
Click here for the 6th, 7th, or 8th grade slideshow.
The Elementary School slideshow features summer programs and activities for JK-5th graders.
Jordan Harvey - Tutoring Plus
Tutoring Plus is piloting a program where they come to your summer programs and facilitate a Math and/or ELA curriculum for your youth. The content can be geared toward rising 4th-9th graders. Reach out to Jordan at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Claudia Ferrara - Math Talk
MathTalk is hosting a Family Math Day at MIT Open Space on May 13th from 10:00am-3:00pm, if this sounds like something you want to learn more about and collaborate on, you can email Claudia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sean Effel - Cambridge Camping’s Village Series
Cambridge Camping presents a unique forum series for a diverse group of caregivers, including out-of-school time providers, parents and guardians, and other community members to share perspectives and learn from one another. Cambridge Camping will provide a simple evening meal and child care will be on site so families can come and enjoy the workshops for the evening. Each of these workshops is free and open to the public and they are not sequential - you may attend any or all events.
For more information visit their website.
Also, check out their April and summer day camp programs, among many other offerings here.
Bernette - Cambridge Families of Color Coalition
CFCC is looking for partners to attend the Juneteenth parade event. For more information contact Bernette.
Emily Meyer - Cambridge Public Library
The Cambridge Public Library has a few upcoming events. Check out the flyers below for more information:
Tarot Readings (ages 12-18), April 13th from 3pm-5pm, in the Teen Room. Click here to learn more.
How to Create a Graphic Novel Page, (ages 9-14) April 21st, 2pm-3:30pm, registration required. Click here to learn more.
Hive (Makerspace Programs): Teen Room drop-in activities are happening on April 14th and April 28th from 3:30-5pm and teen-only hangout every Wednesday in the Hive on the lower level from 3:30-5:30pm.
It was great to catch up with all of you who made it to our March joint OST Network Convening. During our time together, we discussed summer programming. In breakout groups, we started to think about how we could support students and families during their transition into summer programs. Providers had a chance to share their summer program pitches and talk about staff recruitment and available job opportunities. We also shared information about the upcoming workshops for 5th graders and upper school students, where summer program providers and school staff will be on hand to answer questions about available opportunities and help students sign up for summer programming.
Check out our meeting slides if you weren’t able to join us and see below for our Community Announcements.
Sean Effel - Cambridge Camping:
Cambridge Camping is offering two April School vacation week programs for 6-8th graders. Both programs will run from April 17th-21st, 9am-2:30pm, and cost $50 for the full week:
The Nature program provides an in-person nature program with field trips to many different natural areas around us. Daily field trips and program partners include Northeastern University's Marine Center, the Blue Hills Reservation, and a visit with Navigation Games. The program will run from April 17th-21st, 9am-2:30pm, and costs $50 for the full week. Learn more here!
Get to the Chopper! is Cambridge Camping's STEAM-centered drone flight program to take place over the April Massachusetts school vacation week. This program introduces children to the science and engineering of drone flight, develops their interests in science and technology, builds friendships with fellow participants, and have a lot of fun along the way. Learn more here!
Sarah Lincoln - Cambridge Public Health Department
The Cambridge Public Health Department will be launching their 2023 Health Promotion Mini-Grant Program on March 7th. The program will award up to $25,000 in total funding to projects that promote healthy eating, physical activity, or youth mental health.
$2,000 mini-grants are available for projects that promote mental health and wellness in oCambridge youth, with a focus on youth age 12-18. Up to six projects will be funded.
To learn more about the mini-grants and how you can apply, contact Sarah Lincoln at email@example.com.
Emily Meyer - Cambridge Public Library
March Teen Poetry Contest
Teen Poetry Contest running from 3/1-3/26 with $100 visa gift card for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. Must be one page, in English, and dropped off at the Teen Room or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
CSV CPL Free Drop-in Tutoring
Need help with a class? Have a question before an exam? Tutors are available to help you! Cambridge School Volunteers and the Cambridge Public Library are pleased to offer tutoring services in the Teen Room of the Main Library from 5-6pm on Wednesdays.
Sarah Winter - Community Art Center
Kickflipped: Teen Art Auction
To benefit local teens and raise money for The Lynch Family Skatepark Public Art Project
The Community Art Center (CAC) and The Charles River Conservancy (CRC) have teamed up to present Kickflipped: An Exhibition and Auction of Skateboard Art by Local Teens, on view at The Foundry (101 Rogers St. Cambridge, MA) from Feb. 16 - Mar. 21. Over the course of 5 weeks, teens in CAC's Teen Public Art Program have been working hard to create one-of-kind works of art on upcycled skateboards. Through the program, they have learned various art techniques, how to develop a concept to express their unique voice, and how to properly install an art exhibition. There will be a closing reception on Mar. 21, 5-7pm, which will coincide with the auction's closing.
A portion of each item's proceeds will go directly to the teen artist, while another portion will help support The Lynch Family Skatepark Public Art Project. Visit here to learn more!
Hello OST Community!
Below we’ve added a brief recap of the February Network meeting, resources, and community announcements, along with upcoming Network dates to remember. Here is a copy of our February 1st meeting slideshow and Newsletter.
During our last meeting we spoke about stereotypes, biases, and how they impact students in school, out of school, and on social media. We watched 2 videos related to the topic. 1 video, was of a young African American man who was dealing with stereotypes in the classical music world, and the the other was of a video that has recently gone viral.
i-Ready Personalized Instruction: An Introduction for OST Programs and Providers
ESON & MSN February Break Slideshow
2023 Rollin’ & Summer Resources Event: Provider Table Sign-up
Have you signed up for your Programs Table for the event? If not, you can do so below.
Hello Summer Program Providers!
The Village, CPS, Agenda for Children OST, CFCC, & DHSP are hosting the 2023 Rollin’ N Summer Resources. This resource fair is being set up to help Cambridge families get ready for summer and will take place on Saturday, March 4th, from 1-4:30pm, at the CSUS/King Open Building, located at 850 Cambridge Street. We invite you to come and set up a table to have families hear about and/or complete applications for your summer programs.
This fun event for K-8 families will also include roller skating run by Party Vision. We’ll provide snacks and some entertainment for younger children (provided by community partners) so that caregivers can get applications and check out the summer program options for their children.
Click 2023 Rollin' N Summer Resources: Provider Sign-up to reserve a table for this event.
Please contact me at email@example.com if you have any questions or if you're interested in learning more about this work.
Allyson Allen: Are you a young Cambridge artist with a masterpiece to share? Enter the Vacant Storefront Creative Design Contest for a chance to win $1,000 and see your artwork featured in Cambridge.
The City of Cambridge invites artists of all ages to submit their illustrations, prints, photographs, or other 2D media to the 2023 Vacant Storefront Creative Design Contest. Six winners will receive a $1,000 prize and their artwork will be displayed in the windows of empty storefronts in Cambridge. Applications can be submitted now and the deadline is March 1, 2023.
Submit your art and apply here: 2023 Vacant Storefront Design Contest Application
Find more information here including the art from previous winners: cambridgema.gov/storefront-contest
Claudia Ferrara: Join us for a Math Talk Play Session!
MathTalk is currently inviting families to play sessions! The goal of the play sessions is for kids to have fun and for us to collect feedback about how to make our math products better for families. See flyer for details!
Cambridge Camping: February School Vacation Camp-Cooking with STEAM! Kitchen science and cooking program for grades 6-8, Feb 20-24, 9-2:30PM, $50/child, hosted at The Foundry. Visit website for more information: cambridgecamping.org/cooking
Hello OST Community!
Below we’ve added a brief recap of the October Network meeting, resources, and community announcements, along with upcoming Network dates to remember. Here is a copy of our November 2nd meeting slideshow and Newsletter.
Click here to learn more about the OST Learning Institute Training Workshops and Series.
ESON & MSN Slideshows
Be sure to check out our recently updated ESON and MSN OST Opportunities slideshows. Make sure your program is included and accurate. These slideshows are shared with families, Family Liaisons, and shown in schools.
Opportunities and Announcements for You:
Network Coworking Session
Please join us for our Joint Network Coworking session this Wednesday, November 16th, from 10:30am-12:00pm at the Hive, in the Cambridge Public Library, (main library) on Broadway. These sessions are laid back, informal, productive, & fun! Bring what you are working on, and do that with others in the network. We will have a very lightly facilitated space for folks to share what they're working on and anything they'd want to talk about with other folks. We will start off by taking a tour of the Hive and learn more about how our programs can take advantage of this state-of-the-art space that is the home to a fabrication lab, a multimedia recording studio, a podcasting studio, and an extended reality lab (XR lab). Click here to learn more about the equipment and studio.
Opportunities for Young People and Families:
Greetings, OST Community! I want to send a big shout out to everyone who was able to join us for our October 4th ESON meeting. Below we have provided a recap and announcements that were shared during our meeting for those who were unable to attend.
Opportunities and Announcements for You:
Joint Network Coworking Sessions
ESON & MSN are now hosting Network coworking sessions. These sessions are laid back, informal, productive, & fun! Bring what you are working on, and do that with others in the network. We will have a very lightly facilitated space for folks to share what they're working on and anything they'd want to talk about with other folks.
Our first session will be Wednesday, November 16th, from 10:30-12:00 pm at the Hive, in the Cambridge Public Library (main library) on Broadway. We will start off by taking a tour of the Hive before jumping into our session.
STEAM in the Early Childhood Classroom
The STEAM Initiative and the Cambridge Office of Early Childhood are collaborating for their 2nd annual 4 session STEAM in the Early Childhood Classroom Workshop Series. Workshops are targeted at educators and OST providers working with 3-6 year-olds in classroom settings and after school programs.
Scan the code on the flyer or click here to sign up!
For more information, contact:
Barb MacEachern (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elizabeth Barlock (email@example.com)
Opportunities for Young People and Families:
STEAM IT UP!
Barb MacEachern, STEAM Initiative: Steam It UP Event, October 20th at PAUS (Putnam Ave Upper School)
Have you ever wanted to investigate the connection between rocket shape and launch distance? Does observing coastal critters excite you? Maybe you’d like to engineer a terrifically tall tower? Come join local STEAM providers for a fun filled evening!
The Bob Moses MathTrail is now up and running!
The Bob Moses MathTrail is a mile-long path in The Port neighborhood that begins at Sennott Park on Broadway and stretches along Elm, Broadway, Windsor, Main, Cherry, Eaton, and Columbia Streets. The goal of the Bob Moses MathTrail is to encourage Cambridge residents, especially children and families, to find the fun in math and explore math in the world around them.
Visitors can engage with visual and interactive installations along the trail. Math activities include examining painted candy circles at Squirrel Brand Park, measuring how far you can jump at Fletcher-Maynard Academy, exploring the patterns of a gigantic number line at Greene-Rose Heritage Park, and more!
Visitors also have the option of downloading the Measure! Everything! App to guide their exploration of the MathTrail and continue fun math activities at home.
Cambridge Community Center Pantry
The Pantry offers quality and nutritious foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables in addition to other quality grocery items. The pantry will also provide toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc. The Food & Supply Pantry is open Tuesday through Friday, from 1:00pm-3:00pm to all on a first come, first served basis until supplies run out.
Location: 5 Callender St., Cambridge
Check out the pantry’s feature in an article published on Waste360.com!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.