Coaching & Learning for After School Professionals

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is CLASP about? – For the past six years, the Connecticut After School Network has offered the CLASP program to over 100 leaders of afterschool and summer programs statewide. Starting in Fall of 2021, we will be hosting an intensive, 16-18 month cohort that is focused on developing skills to help improve program quality and help leaders better assess and solve issues that occur within afterschool programs. Over the course of the CLASP program, participants will work with state and national experts that will help identify and dig deeper into common problems programs face. Through this process, those involved in the CLASP program make larger connections to the field including papers and presentations as well as develop peer relationships that will offer support for years to come.
  • What do I need to do to be part of the cohort? – Those interested will be required to fill out an application in which you will describe your program, reason for being interested in part of the cohort, what are you hoping to explore in your own program or practice, and what you hope to get out of it.
  • What do I get for being a part of the cohort? – Participants will be provided course materials, lunch & refreshments (in-person sessions), and exclusive CLASP alumni events. As part of the cohort, you will connect with state and national experts on a wide range of topics related to afterschool and summer programming relevant to common problems of practice. Additionally, your participation in CLASP connects you with past cohorts of afterschool professionals that have been part of the program that started in 2014.
  • How do I apply? – Interested applicants need to fill out the online application by July 1st.  Participants will be chosen by a national advisory committee and will be notified in early Summer 2021. Late applications will not be accepted.

Out of school time is an excellent place to explore fun, unique STEM practices and opportunities for young people. But are you confident in your STEM teaching skills? Is STEM a daily part of your program? Are you interested in expanding your STEM skills to enhance your program quality and participant experience? Are you interested in learning more about the variety of resources available to you as out of school time educators in Connecticut? Are you interested in building your own comfort with creating hands-on, experiential learning experiences that create real STEM learning experiences that bring STEM to life for the young people in your program?

Apply to join our 2 year STEM CLASP cohort that will connect realistic, relevant and hands-on learning and networking opportunities for you as an educators to add to your resources, practices and tools that will help you build opportunities for supporting the young learners in your programs to find the possibilities and skills that come from powerful learning experiences and thoughtful partnerships. We will review and explore various practices, frameworks and evaluation tools, connect with STEM providers as we explore creative approaches to engaging your students in a realistic and sustainable way that you can build into your programming long term. And most of all, plan to have fun as we try out some experiments, activities and opportunities first hand.

Click here to join our new STEM Cohort starting October 8th.


The Fall of 2021 provides many opportunities to reimagine what afterschool programming looks like in Connecticut. With the infusion of the largest investment in out-of-school time ever, we are poised to lead in a way that demands pragmatic leadership and forward thinking. The coming year will be a call for emerging leaders that are in supervisory positions to manage staff well, build lasting relationships with children and families, and help communities come together. 

CLASP PRO (Practical, Reflective, Operations) – The Connecticut After School Network has developed CLASP PRO. Building off our successful CLASP (Coaching and Learning for After School Professionals) program, this exciting new cohort will offer participants the opportunity to think about their programs in a practical, and reflective way that will help create smoother operations at the program level. CLASP PRO was developed using the Practical Reflective Operations (PRO) Framework (Anthony, 2021), which allows deeper learning in specific areas that are intended to build organizational and personal capacity.

The practical (P) element will expose out-of-school time professionals with topics based on research, current literature, or new resources in the field and provide the opportunity to connect with the larger out-of-school time community. The reflective (R) element allows a space for personal reflection on a topic exploring skills that can be applied to problems of practice that may be encountered at the organizational or programmatic level. The operations (O) element of the framework provides the opportunity to use self-assessment to note program growth, items of strength, and areas in need of improvement in targeted program aspects.

The time commitment for the Cohort is between 16-18 months, meeting 11-12 times from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. There are typically no sessions in April, June, August, or December. The cohort will meet virtually at first starting in October of 2021, will move to a hybrid (if needed) model in early Winter, and full face-to-face (if conditions warrant) in the late-winter of 2022. Your application will be reviewed by a team of national partners and other Statewide Afterschool Networks. We will be selecting a cohort of approximately 15 people. In order to be a part of this CLASP cohort, you must have written approval from your supervisor or director to ensure you will have adequate release time to participate.

Some of the topics to be covered include, Developing, Motivating, and Retaining Staff, Streamlining Operations, Improving Program Quality, and Partnership Development.

No more applications are being accepted at this time.


Past Cohort Participants

“I attended Clasp for the first time this year and I cannot tell you how glad I am for the experience! The class was informative, and I had a chance to experience working with fellow after-school educators who understand the groundwork and programmatic challenges of the work. Dr. Ken Athonthy’s energy, commitment, vision, and information made the workshops incredible!” ~Tiana Brown

“CLASP is a unique experience and one I have never had with a grantor before. In addition to funding support, clasp allows for program directors to discuss what’s working, what’s not and share ideas with one another while receiving research-based solutions. This helps to enhance the afterschool experience for staff, students and families as a whole.” ~Wendy Gerbier