Professional Development (PD) Bites

Created to provide easily accessible professional development for after school professionals, PD Bites are small bits of information for you to use in your program or it could ignite your interest in a topic and lead to a more in depth understanding.

PD Bites include SEL implementation, STEM activities, pocket size resources, space design, and much more… They will be available as printable activity plans, articles, reels, graphics, audios, and other formats. We hope to create pieces that will meet the needs of all our learners and be useful in your day-to-day work.  NEW PD Bites will be added each month.

Be an "after school rockstar"

An “After School Rockstar” has a tool kit full of skills from supervision to activity planning, building relationships with caregivers to behavior management.

Supervision is the foundation of a safe, organized, and engaging after school program.  Simply watching children is not supervision.  Take a moment to review the skills of a supervision rockstar.  Do you use these techniques when you are supervising youth?  How can you begin to implement some of these techniques? (JPG)

pocket resources

Print, cut and carry them with you!  These are easy to use resources on the fly.  Build a deck of cards and you will always have a backup plan.  Find a new set each month.

The new school year is a new opportunity to build strong relationships with the youth in our programs.  This month’s pocket resource cards are quick references for fun attention getters, words of encouragement, and after school questions to build connections with the youth in your program. (JPG)

Things to consider:

  • Use a variety of attention getters throughout the year to keep things fun and exciting.  You could also work together as a program to come up with an Attention Getter or Call Back that is specific to your program.  Working together creates opportunities for youth voice and a feeling of program ownership.

  • Keep 10 pennies in your pocket.  When you share words of encouragement with a child move a penny to your other pocket.  Your goal is to move at least 10 pennies to the other pocket each day.  Remember words of encouragement should be specific and sincere, avoid superficial words.  

  • Taking the time to show interest in a child creates trust and builds relationships.  After School Questions allow for deeper conversations vs Yes/No answers.  Use the questions with individuals or small groups.

Mizzen with Shawna

What is Mizzen? Have you downloaded the app yet?  Learn along with Shawna as she shares her favorite activities and more!  Download the app and dive into the world of Mizzen.

Decorate a Notebook (Blog)

Creating Spaces

AS spaces are often interesting and quirky. They can be a strength or a weakness in your program. This section will help you turn any space into an asset.

As the new year begins and we begin creating an amazing space for our children it is important to create a warm, welcoming, and informative space for our families as well.  Parents and care providers are equally nervous and excited as the new school year begins.  Your family center can provide a hub for morning sign in and afternoon sign out, information about the program, the weekly schedule of activities, upcoming events, family resources, a lending library, and even giveaways.  This is an amazing opportunity to share all the wonderful things that are going on in your program and make your families feel comfortable and “included” in your program. (JPG)   


In this section, you will find ways to embed seeds of social-emotional learning into your OST program to help you and your youth grow, evolve and thrive.

Self-Awareness, Active Listening, Empathy, Regulation, Conflict Resolution, Positive Reinforcement and more! (PDF)

stem sprouts

STEM is everywhere and is for everyone. STEM can sprout up at any time, especially with some of these OST tips, resources, ideas and activities.

Activities and resources for OST about bird nests.

Program Power Ups

If you are looking to bring your program to the next level, need a boost in your staff meetings or hungry for new content to present Program Power Ups may be just the thing to quench your staff’s thirst for knowledge.