With schools closed due to COVID-19, enterprising after-school professionals are exploring ways to provide programming online. Still, much remains in flux. Even if some programming moves online, it’s likely that many after-school staff will remain underemployed—or unemployed—this spring.
There may be a silver lining to this time—it could provide the perfect opportunity to offer professional development for line staff without competing against the demands of daily programming.
We have received many requests to offer our professional development trainings online. And we have spoken with public funders, who seem willing to reimburse after-school programs for them. In response, Dignity of Children is now making two of our trainings for line staff available online:
• Development with Dignity offers program specialists and youth workers the fundamental skills needed to effectively work with K-12 students in an after-school program setting. Choose a 15-hour or 30-hour training package.
• Project-Based Learning teaches staff how to use the Buck Institute for Education Gold Standard model, which imparts essential 21st Century skills to your students.
Our online trainings offer the same dynamic experience as our in-person sessions. We base our curricula on the theories of Lev Vygotsky, whose work has strongly influenced Social Development Theory.
This means that our trainings:
• Offer a collaborative learning experience.
• Involve a mix of participant skill levels, which leads to rich, engaging sessions.
• Incorporate reciprocal teaching, where participants gradually take the lead.
• Use multiple modalities to engage learners of all kinds.
Participants tell us they appreciate our lively, informative approach. Our online versions will offer this same engaging experience.
Funders have recently demonstrated remarkable flexibility in supporting nonprofits at this uncertain time. Check to see if your funders will help you keep your staff employed through online professional development.
In the many years we’ve offered trainings for after-school professionals, we’ve rarely heard participants say they feel they have enough time for professional development. This great pause we’re all taking might provide an opportunity to learn, grow, and prepare for when programs resume.
We will be happy to speak with you, answer your questions, and arrange sessions that meet your schedule. Feel free to contact us at (646) 639-7711 or email@example.com.
Stay safe and well.