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The Network is Celebrating 35 Years!

The Network is celebrating 35 years of after school excellence…and more!

In 1989, the Network was founded as the Connecticut School Age Child Care Alliance (CSACCA) at the first After School Conference. Since then, we changed names (2x), moved to several locations and employed over 20 people. In addition to our after school work, we expanded to include early childhood and social emotional learning.

Here are some of the accomplishments of the past 35 years.

1989 – 1999 (10 years)

  • 1989 – The Network founded as the Connecticut School Age Child Care Alliance (CSACCA) at the first Conference held for After School professionals.
  • 1991 – Formally incorporated by the IRS as a nonprofit tax-exempt organization.
  • 1998 – Sue Krampitz hired as Office Manager (retired in 2016).

1999 – 2009 (20 years)

  • 2000 – Monica Whalen hired as Conference Coordinator.
  • 2001 – SDE asked to join CSACCA.
  • 2002 – CSACCA changed its name to Connecticut School Age Care Alliance (CSACA), in alignment with NSACA.
  • 2002 – 2003 – Branford office opens, CS Mott Foundation awarded SDE a 3-year grant to establish the Connecticut After School Network as part of their second cohort of state networks, CSACA begins its onsite training and consultation service.
  • 2004 – Connecticut School Age Care Alliance (CSACA) changed its name to CT After School Network, secured $100,000 for an after school pilot program in the state budget. Michelle Doucette Cunningham hired as Program Administrator currently Executive Director and *Carole Weisberg as Professional Development Coordinator.
  • 2005 – Hosted the first annual After School Day at the Capital and received 21st CCLC technical assistance contract. *Karen Swam hired as Resource Development Specialist.
  • 2006 – Second three-year Mott grant awarded; official Network website launched.  *Kathy Wilby hired as Director of Professional Development. *Jennifer Peifer hired as Communications Specialist. *Tricia Brown hired as part-time Business Manager.
  • 2007 – Developed Best Practice Guidelines and Self-Assessment Tool for Connecticut’s school age programs and helped secure an additional $2.2 million in state funding for after school.
  • 2008 – Satellite office opens in Manchester, first Middle School/High School Conference held. Ken Anthony hired as Director of Professional Development currently Associate Director, *Gardy Theodore and Marla Berrios hired as Cayen Training and TA Specialists currently Director of Operations & Finance.
  • 2009 – Third three-year Mott grant awarded, 20th Anniversary celebration during Annual Afterschool Conference honoring 18 long-time members.

2009 – 2019 (30 years)

  • 2010 – Joined Facebook and Twitter, created “Best Ideas in After School” booklet, Staff Meeting Starters and conducted first annual appeal. Rose Marie Dugas hired as Program Assistant (retired in 2022).
  • 2011 – Dr. Agnes Quiñones honored at National Afterschool for All Challenge Breakfast of Champions, launched PEARLS and Dr. Paul Young spoke at a Network event.
  • 2012 – Fourth three-year Mott grant awarded, held “Celebrate After School” Poetry Contest Award Ceremony at the Mark Twain House, Ken Anthony selected as part of the inaugural class of White-Riley-Petersen Policy Fellows & Michelle presented at National School Boards Association conference.  *Monique Meadows hired as Development Director.
  • 2013 – Released “Supporting Student Success in Connecticut: A Blueprint for Expanded Learning Opportunities” and “Literacy Strategies After School: A Teaching and Learning Strategies Guide” prepared by Dr. Helen Abadiano, CCSU Professor, sold out Fall Conference for the first time with 324 participants, collaboration with other sister Networks in the Northeast from the 50 State Afterschool Network to offer webinars to the field across the region.
  • 2014 – 25th Anniversary celebration during Annual After School Conference, began working with the Office of Early Childhood and the state’s Child Care Administrator to align and expand work, began annual Summer Staff Kickoff conference, 74 workshops on-site for after school programs reaching 1,827 staff as part of the training service, held seven monthly workshops on special topics, including grant-writing, Americans with Disabilities Act, legal issues, managing challenging behaviors, and promoting healthy lifestyles, ran full-day training for program managers on “The Business of After School from A to Z”, launched Coaching and Learning for After School Professionals (CLASP) & moved satellite office from Manchester to Hartford.
  • 2015 – Fifth three-year Mott grant awarded, protected state afterschool funding from large cuts, expanded training and technical assistance offerings; special focus on social-emotional learning. First Fridays and Deep Dives launched & created the first Professional Development Catalog. The Network also received funding provided by CT Council for Philanthropy to explore options for strengthening the connections of local communities. *Elise Scott hired as Asst. Director of Professional Development.
  • 2016 – Began to develop CLASP cohorts to connect site coordinators around common topics including Social and Emotional Learning, leadership development, and advanced topics for senior staff and program/district directors. Dr. Anthony published a first book chapter in the Growing of Out-of-School Time Field and a journal article in Afterschool Matters highlighting partnerships illustrated in his dissertation work in one Connecticut district.
  • 2017 – Professional development offerings began to be tiered to include direct-service staff, site coordinators/directors, and program/district leadership, The Network also re-started the Director’s Roundtable Series, calling it the Directors and Site-Coordinator roundtable. 
  • 2018 – Sixth three-year Mott grant awarded, with the focus being on creating a Research-Practice Partnership CLASP cohort. The revised 3rd Edition of the Connecticut After School Network Quality Self-Assessment Tool (CT-QSAT) was released (and validated in 2019) at the Annual After School Conference.
  • 2019 – The Network’s second Program and Salary survey was released in the Fall. The Network conducted a pilot data project on summer learning loss in one Connecticut city to help make the case for summer learning programs statewide. First CT Early Childhood Collaborative grant awarded. Shawna Viola hired as Research Assistant currently Quality & Engagement Coordinator, Khadija Bshara hired as PD Specialist/SEL Coordinator, *Mary Schone hired as PD Specialist & Barbara Vita hired as Early Childhood Network Specialist currently Director of Early Childhood Initiatives.

2019 – 2024 (35 years)

  • 2020 – With the Covid pandemic in full swing, the Network switched all in-person training to virtual sessions at free or low cost, including conferences. Monday coffee chats to help support the field through the isolation of the pandemic. The Network acted as a distribution hub for programs that were supporting those who needed to work as well, giving out masks, face shields, soap, hand sanitizer, and more. Through collaborations with others in the 50 State Afterschool Network, we were able to lead a national effort to create a virtual “Re-Boot” Camp, to help programs train up new staff. With seven Networks from across the country, we were able to put together 25 professional development sessions the out-of-school time field could take part in.  Aridyan Perez hired as Communications Assistant currently Communication & Design Specialist.
  • 2021 – Seventh three-year Mott grant awarded, the Network begins its transition into a flat organization, work expansion in afterschool, early childhood and social emotional learning. In an effort to help better understand what the needs of the field were in the “new normal”, we continued to host coffee and cocoa chats with the field.  *Kevin Rodriguez hired as Grant Writer.
  • 2022 – CT After School Network changed its name to CT Network for Children and Youth, CT After School Network officially becomes an initiative along with the CT Children’s Collective and SEL4CT, first in-person conference since 2019. First statewide Lights on Afterschool event (Celebrate – focused on celebrating the field and all that everyone had been through the past two years with relaxation, self-care stations, a pizza truck and recognition awards).  *Chenay Powell hired as Development Specialist.
  • 2023 – First Fun for the Field event held in June with vendors from across the region for programs to get ideas and information for their summer programs, second statewide Lights on Afterschool event (Come Play – STEM focused, celebration, self-care, awards & swag). Ashton Gauthier hired as SEL4CT Campaign Coordinator & Dan Holland hired as Administrative Assistant.

*No longer at the Network

35th Year Anniversary Gala, November 8, 2024, Hartford Marriott Downtown

Thank you to our sponsors! Event page coming soon.

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