Sprockets October Newsletter

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 October 2015 Newsletter

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National Conference on Summer Learning

by Liz Lasster

It is safe to say that the state of after school and out-of-school-time education is in good hands. Upon returning to Minnesota from Baltimore, MD for the National Conference on Summer Learning presented by the National Summer Learning Association I have a restored sense of hope, a clear vision for the future, and a fire lit within.

The conference featured all of the players in the summer learning “movement” – parents, youth, youth workers, summer learning professionals, foundation representatives, creators, inventors, collaborators, conveners, and more.  From the moment I stepped in to the exhibit hall I could feel the buzz begin to swell. I could see new ideas budding. I could hear the familiarity create connections from sector to sector.

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Neighborhood Network Team Meetings

City of Saint Paul map

East Side Network Cafe

Nov. 9, 10  – 11:30 am at Conway Rec Center

North End and Friends

Nov 12, 9:30  –11 am at

Leap Forward Collaborative for Youth

Nov. 17, 10 am – 12 pm at Gordon Parks HS

Neighborhood Learning Community

Nov. 19, 12  – 1pm at 
Riverview Library

We will be discussing this edutopia article during our NNT meetings!

Learn more about Neighborhood Network Teams, and let us know if you'd like to be on the listserv for one or more of these groups.

Hmong Leadership Summit


Students from across SPPS participated in the first Hmong Youth Leadership Summit, a one-day event on Oct. 15 where students engaged in equity and social justice work. During the summit, student leaders reinforced the importance of preserving language, heritage and the history of Hmong culture. Breakout sessions included topics about cultural identity, leadership, community service. See the full story.

Second Place in Believe It. Build It. Contest


Sara deeply embedded Believe It. Build It. in her program by giving each of her staff a copy of the book and structuring her staff meetings around the Building Blocks and Guided Reflection questions in it. She also focused on the strengthening the third Building Block in her program: Youth Voice & Leadership. Working with her music director Ryan LaBoy, Sara used the concepts in this Building Block to establish a youth leadership council whose voice will help ComMUSICation select repertoire, field trips, and other program decisions.

Sara found the Guided Reflection questions particularly helpful in, “initiating thoughts about strengths and areas of growth for the program.” Reflecting on how BiBi has been most helpful in strengthening ComMUSICation programs, Sara wrote:

“The best thing is that I have a resource to give to all staff and volunteers to communicate using the same language, and they have a go-to resource.”

Great use of BiBi! Congratulations to Sara and the staff and volunteers at ComMUSICation.

Lights On

Check out Senator Al Franken speaking on the importance of out-of-school time learning!

Al F

Professional Development Opportunities

Foundational Skills Workshop: 

Planning and Reflection

Friday, November 13th
10:30am - 12:30pm
Rondo Community Outreach Library
461 Dale St N
St Paul, MN 55104

Register Here

Foundational Skills Workshop: 

Social and Emotional Learning in Out-of-School Time

Thusday, December 3rd
Wellstone Center
179 Robie St
St. Paul, MN 55107

Register Here

Click for class descriptions, registration, and more upcoming opportunities.

Activator Improvement Cycle

Activator Cycle

A great way to improve the quality of your program is to became a Sprockets Activator.  The Activator Improvement cycle uses tools like YPQA and SAYO to improve programs effectiveness. The year around series includes workshops, trainings and assessment designed to help you best serve the youth in your program.

This years cycle has already started with our kick-off. Coming up are M3 tranings and working on improvement plans.   Stay tuned for some Activator Cycle updates and highlights.  To learn more check out our website.

Sprockets Program Finder Updates

Find programs now

Looking for things going on in your community! Check out the Program Finder!