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Issue brief

Stress at Camp? No, Never . . . Three Mindful Practices to Create Kinder, Happier, Healthier Campers and Counselors

This issue brief shares three mindfulness practices that can help children who are growing up in a culture that constantly stimulates a stress response. By using mindful breathing, mindful listening, and paying attention to emotions, we can help strengthen neural pathways in the prefrontal cortex to build resilience.

Eleven Tips to Build Resilience with Campers

This issue brief provides 11 tips for building resilience with those attending summer camp. It highlights the importance of relationships with peers and adults, building frustration tolerance, confidence, and patience, and encouraging effort and improvement over winning. These tips are relevant for any afterschool or summer program.

Summer Programs and the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)

This FAQ document is designed for summer program providers that serve children from low-income families and may be interested in serving families who use child care subsidies, but are not overly familiar with CCDF. A basic introduction to the CCDF program is followed by a resource list of links to provide information to summer programs.  These online resources will help summer programs learn more about their eligibility to serve children whose families use subsidies to pay for their summer child care.

Combining Resources to Support Quality Out-of-School Time Programs

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the largest national child care subsidy program used to support low-income families, yet these subsidies are only one part of the funding picture. In fact, more than 100 federal funding sources can be used to support out-of-school time care. Families and programs often rely on a variety of different public and private funds to make ends meet.

Improving the Quality and Impact of Afterschool and Summer Programs: Lessons Learned and Future Directions

This issue brief summarizes developments in the field including a growing research base, an increased understanding of high quality practice, and system-level efforts to improve quality. It provides recommendations for advancing the field on research and practice.

Summertime and Weight Gain

This issue brief is an interview with Paul von Hippel from Ohio State University; it shares research that children gain weight two to three times faster in the summer months than during the school year. This trend is especially true for African American and Hispanic children. It recommends a public health campaign to get children to eat healthier food in the summer, and is important for summer learning programs. 

Children Set the Pace for Family Activity and Healthy Eating: Family Impacts from Youth Participation in a Before School Physical Activity Program

This research brief summarizes a study of the impact of a before-school physical activity program. The children have physical activities and receive nutrition information in a program that has expanded to 2,200 schools in 4 states. The research found that as a result of involvement, family perceptions and habits on physical activities and nutrition have shifted. 

Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time Settings

This issue brief provides a concise overview of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) approaches that are specific to afterschool, as well as those designed for use across settings. It provides principles and considerations for adapting school-based SEL programs for OST. It is a companion piece to another NCASE library resource, "Navigating SEL from the Inside Out," which reviews 25 SEL programs.  This resource supports resilience.

Promoting Social and Emotional Learning in the Middle and High School Years

This issue brief reviews the common knowledge of school-based programs designed to build social-emotional competence in middle and high school years. It reviews exemplary programs on skill-focused promotion, academic integration, teaching practices, and organizational reform. While it is focused on implementation in schools, it recognizes the need to explore the role of out-of-school time, and there is great potential for using the curriculum, the teaching practices, and the climate suggestions in OST. 

STEM in the Summer: The Joy of Meaningful Learning

This issue brief provides case studies of best practices in four exemplary summer programs that provide engaging STEM opportunities. The programs in Ohio, Connecticut, Michigan, and Kentucky produce positive outcomes on grades, standardized test scores, social-emotional competence, and graduation rates.

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