PASA Blog

10/30/2014 -

Due to the First Lady Michelle Obama's visit at JSEC and the security measure in place as a result, the Roger Williams AfterZone is cancelled this afternoon. All other AfterZone school sites are continuing as planned. 

10/28/2014 -

 


 
The Providence After School Alliance (PASA), is excited to announce two opportunities to lead programming in both of our expanded learning after school models.
 
The AfterZone provides free after-school and expanded learning programming for over 1,900 middle school youth at five of the six middle schools throughout the City of Providence.
 
The Hub, in partnership with the Providence Public Schools, provides expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) for youth in Providence public high schools -- for which participating youth can earn credit toward high school graduation. ELOs in Providence allow youth to be engaged in meaningful, rigorous learning anytime, anywhere.  For example, musicians learn focus and perseverance from long hours of practice sessions and auditions; gamers and computer tinkerers learn to think critically and push through challenges every time they encounter a new bug or programming problem; artists expand their minds with big picture, out-of-the-box creative thinking.
 
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact:
 
AfterZone Director Rob Randall - rrandall@mypasa.org / 401 490-9599 x105 
 
PASA Deputy Director Alex Molina - amolina@mypsa.org / 401 490-9599 x108
 
We look forward to seeing your proposals and applications!

...

10/17/2014 -

By Michael Braithwaite, Director of Communications

posted 10.17.2014

This is Beling Todd!

Around PASA, Beling is known for her radiant smile, quick wit, and outgoing personality. And for being the first 8th grader to start her own AfterZone program. Beling has been dancing since 5th grade—it's one of her many passions (as is acting, writing, and strategizing about getting into NYU). Having pursued her passion for hip hop dance on her own, she'd never signed up for the AfterZone, but she decided in 8th grade that she wanted to bring her knowledge and passion to her fellow middle school students at Roger Williams as an after-school program. She gathered her pitch, wrote a curriculum and presented it to AfterZone Site Coordinator Lauren Proctor, who was so impressed she gave her the go ahead with the caveat that she had to have an adult supervisor.

Long story short, her program "Showstoppers" was a huge hit with her peers. 

Beling is now a 10th grader at the Met and while she's older and wiser and busier, she's still leading her Showstoppers program at Roger Williams. Because she's also just generally an all-star, she decided that she also wanted to intern with PASA in order to deepen her knowledge of youth development and nonprofit administration.

While interning with us through November, she'll be participating in PASA's professional development and training series, doing a variety of different professional projects, and serving as PASA's on-the-ground social media youth voice. She'll be live Tweeting her experiences through our Twitter account (watch for the "Beling" signature on her Tweets) and blogging every two weeks about what she's been doing.  

We're really excited to have her as part of the team!

10/15/2014 -

Ever wonder how your teenager's brain might be impacting his/her educational experience? Are you a teacher that wants to better understand your high school students? Or maybe you've just noticed that adolescents have a lot of feelings. Either way, we've got the event for you!

Join us next Thursday, October 23rd at 3:30 pm at the Providence Public Library as we host Abigail Baird—Developmental Neuroscientist, Vassar professor, and "avid fan of popular culture and anything adolescent." Baird will be joined in conversation by the Wallace Foundation’s Nancy Devine and PASA’s Executive Director, Hillary Salmons. They will participate in a panel discussion with some of PASA’s youth alumni on how adolescent brain development impacts educational success.

Abigail Baird earned her B.A. in biopsychology from Vassar College and her M.A. and PhD. in developmental psychology from Harvard University. Her research interests include the integration of emotion and cognition across development, with a particular focus on neural development during adolescence. She is currently working on a series of studies that examine how teenagers use emotional and cognitive information to inform their decision-making. Her other interests include neuroimaging, as well as the influence of psychological science on law and public policy.

It's not every day that you get a leading researcher of teen minds in dialog with young people, so be sure to register! https://10thbdaybashforum.eventbrite.com

This event is generously sponsored by The Wallace Foundation as part of PASA's 10th Birthday Bash celebration

 

10/06/2014 -

This post was written by Chris Mai, Policy and Communications Manager for Every Hour Counts and originally appeared on their blogEvery Hour Counts, formerly the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, is a coalition of citywide organizations that increase access to quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students.

Data can be a powerful tool, but only if you know how to use it.

For too long, the expanded learning field has struggled with the complex and elusive process of developing and adopting a common framework for measuring youth outcomes and the program and system practices that may influence them. In a webinar last week, we unveiled a new Measurement Framework, a tool to help communities set goals for their expanded learning systems and to help them assess their progress and make data-driven improvements.

How can the Measurement Framework help you? The Measurement Framework offers practitioners:

•    A clear, simple set of outcomes that reflect priority measures of success for expanded learning systems. The Framework presents eight elements across the youth, program, and system levels that reflect high-priority focus areas for a thriving expanded learning system. Each element has corresponding outcomes designed to show whether systems and programs are functioning well. The Framework provides a description of measurement activities that can accompany each outcome, suggestions for how the data can be used, direction regarding how data on a given outcome may be linked to other levels within the Framework, and evidence on the value of each outcome.

•    Tips for...

10/03/2014 -

This post was generously shared by TASC, one of PASA's Every Hour Counts partners, and originally appeared as part of their NeuroConnections blog series, where they explore the bridge between neuroscience and education. Saskia Traill is TASC's vice president for policy and research. Dr. Abigail A. Baird is Associate Professor of Psychology at Vassar. 

The following is an excerpt from their lively and enlightening conversation about the adolescent brain. Dr. Baird will also be appearing in Providence as part of PASA's 10th Birthday Bash celebration on October 23. Her event is free to the public, so we hope this conversation inspires you to join us! 

 

How are adolescent brains different from adult brains?
This question could fill volumes, and has. Perhaps the biggest difference is that the adolescent brain is still extremely "plastic," meaning it is still structurally and functionally flexible. Adolescence is the best time to acquire the "rules of the road" for adult behavior. Yet, the social and emotional complexities of societies are highly idiosyncratic. Fortunately, the adolescent brain is ready for anything. It’s similar to how we acquire spoken language. We don’t come hardwired for a particular language because we don’t know where we will be born. Because of this need for flexibility, the brain comes with a strong capacity for language, not the language itself. Likewise, the adolescent brain is uniquely set up to quickly learn socially relevant information, and in doing so, ensure the individual's survival. 

What happens to the brain during adolescence?
A lot. Okay, that is probably not the answer...

10/03/2014 -

by Hillary Salmons, PASA Executive Director

posted 10.3.2014

Photo Credit: Office of Mayor Taveras

 

When Mayor Taveras took office three years ago, PASA hoped that his administration would be supportive of the work that we and our partners had begun under former Mayor Cicilline's administration, but we had no idea that he would so enthusiastically embrace expanded learning and youth advocacy.

In those three years, Mayor Taveras has not only served as PASA's Board Chair, but has wholeheartedly brought his passion for making sure all of our city's young people succeed to his administration. Thanks to Mayor Taveras, the city has been one of PASA's strongest supporters and under his leadership we've grown, deepened community connections, and forged new and stronger partnerships with the Providence Public Schools.

We can't thank him enough for his visionary leadership.