CAN Newsletter – 2021: Challenge and Opportunity
January 13, 2021

CAN Newsletter
“You can cut all the flowers, but you cannot keep spring from coming.”  - Pablo Neruda

It’s time to envision and create the world our children, families, and communities deserve. 

It seems that each day is a new reminder of stark inequities in our social systems. The very ideal that every person is entitled to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness is far from a reality. The systems designed to support this ideal have long been rooted in white supremacy, racial injustice, economic inequity, and systemic oppression. Last week’s insurrection at the Nation’s Capital only serves to punctuate the systemic challenges we face. Our history has led us to this moment, and this moment is an opportunity.

Our field is grounded in Data-Driven Continuous Quality Improvement (CQI). 2020 and 2021 have offered us plenty of data. While many long for the world to go back to normal, it is clear that normal is not good enough.  It’s time to make a plan to improve the contexts for children, youth, families, and communities, especially those most impacted by recent events and historically oppressive policies.    

In this context, I want to thank you. Despite the challenges we all face, you continue to show up. You have addressed the stress and trauma of ongoing events and given rise to youth voice. You have supported the basic needs, provided positive developmental supports, and enriched the lives of children and families in the most challenging times. You are now a critical resource to support your staff and children and youth to understand, process, navigate, and address this new trauma of civil insurrection. We have provided a variety of resources below to support you in that effort.   

Your critical work and leadership have not gone unnoticed. By now many of you have likely seen that the Governor’s budget proposal for 21-22 includes $4.6 billion in one-time funding for expanded learning time and academic intervention grants. Many of our state leaders recognize the critical role of expanded learning as we begin to reopen. 

As 2021 unfolds our resolve is as sharp as ever. We can’t take our eyes off the ball. The California AfterSchool Network Leadership Team is currently revising CAN’s strategic plan to integrate equity, social justice, and anti-racism. In 2021 we will continue our work to build on a groundswell of research and thought leadership consensus to support multi-sector Whole Child Health and Wellness,  address the needs of the field in the COVID-19 context, and promote whole child health and wellness in Expanded Learning programs, supported by a thriving, adequately compensated workforce with strengthened career pathways. 

We continue to anchor our day-to-day work in a vision of the world that does not exist yet, but that we must create together. As we monitor California’s budget process this year, we are heartened that this vision is supported more broadly by the state of California. This year might be one of the strongest opportunities that we have to move closer to our bold vision, and create the kind of world our children, families, and communities deserve. 

I hope you will consider joining us. We are currently recruiting Leadership Team Members to advance this critical vision in the coming years. Learn more and apply here.

Resources to Support Navigating the Trauma of the Insurrection at the US Capitol

Take care of yourself, stay strong, stay healthy - California needs you. 

-Jeff Davis, the CAN Staff, and the CAN Leadership Team. 

Related Content


Join the CAN Leadership Team!
Deadline Extended: Friday, February 19, 2021

CAN is Seeking New Leaders!

The California AfterSchool Network Leadership Team is a geographically, professionally, and culturally diverse group of out-of-school time stakeholders charting the course for CAN. As the primary governing body of CAN, the Leadership Team guides all aspects of CAN’s work including its strategy, procurement and use of resources, Leadership Team and Field Committee operations, as well as Executive Director support. 


APR-Window II Open for Spring 2019

CDE is announcing the opening of Window II for Spring 2019 data entry that began on December 22, 2020 and will close on February 8, 2021.

Please be reminded that the timeline below will be the last opportunity to submit data for any of your Spring data. If you have not completed submitting your Spring data for Window I, please do so during this period.

Governor Gavin Newsom explaining the proposed budget.

Governor’s Budget Proposal for $4.6 Billion in One-Time Funding for Expanded Learning

To address learning loss due to the pandemic, Governor Gavin Newsom proposes to allocate $4.6 billion in one-time Proposition 98 General Fund for early action by the Legislature. This will provide districts with time to design targeted interventions that focus on students from low-income families, English language learners, youth in foster care, and homeless youth, including an extended school year or summer school. These funds will be eligible for targeted strategies that address learning loss related to the pandemic, including community learning hubs. 

Student raising hand in a classroom.

Expanding School Year in New Ways May Be One Outcome of Pandemic in California

Hit hard by the recession, summer schools have gone from being seen as a necessity to a “luxury” items for schools. EdSource explores how expanded summer school for K-12 students in California may be one positive outcome of the pandemic that has contributed to varying levels of learning loss among students across the state. As part of the proposed budget, Governor Gavin Newsom indicated that he will be including funds in the budget that might allow schools to effectively extend the school year into the summer, as a crucial way to help make up for the learning loss that many students have suffered during the pandemic.

Students in classroom with teacher at front of the room.

Attendance Policies and COVID-19 Report

Attendance Works’s new report Are Students Present and Accounted For? An Examination of State Attendance Policies During the Covid-19 Pandemic, discusses how the coronavirus pandemic impacted attendance data, presents an online summary of state attendance guidance developed since spring 2020, and examines the extent to which recent state guidance guarantees the availability of consistent, reliable data taken on a daily basis.

Times Square in New York showing "This is Afterschool" ads.

Afterschool Programs: Supporting Youth and Families During the Pandemic

The pandemic has shown that afterschool is more important than ever. National League of Cities showcases how the demand for afterschool programs has jumped from 19.4 millon students in 2014 to 24.6 million in 2020 based off of data released from the Afterschool Alliance’s America After 3pm survey

National League of Cities highlights the strides that afterschool is making to support students by highlighting events such as Lights on Afterschool, as well as the all day long community hubs created to serve students as much as possible.

NSLA Deadline Reminder

The National Summer Learning Associations’s 2021 Summer Learning Awards
Deadline: January 15, 2021

The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA) knows last year was an exceptionally challenging season for summer learning programs, yet they want to acknowledge the many programs that pivoted during the crisis and found innovative ways to keep kids learning, safe and healthy. 

Eligible candidates for the Summer Learning Awards must submit their applications by January 15, 2021. 

Webinar reminder; group of students linking arms in the grass.

Upcoming Webinar: Date Use in Out-of-School Time, Part I: Bridging Practice & Research Through Continuous Improvement
January 21, 2021; 11 AM PST

The Afterschool Alliance is excited to host this webinar in partnership with Every Hour Counts, a national coalition of expanded-learning intermediary organizations that increases access to quality learning opportunities. Every Hour Counts has developed a Measurement Framework to help intermediary organizations use data at the youth, program, and system level to guide continuous improvement.

Webinar flyer

Upcoming Webinar: Who Gets to Thrive? Accelerating Equity for All Learners in All Settings
January 22, 2021; 12 PM PST

Education is a cornerstone of democracy and essential to our individual and collective success. Yet each day, young people, particularly Black, Indigenous, People Of Color (BIPOC) young people, in America are faced with the challenge of learning within education systems that perpetuate deep structural racism. How can insights from the science of learning and development empower each of us to transform policies and practices to dismantle racism and cultivate experiences that enable all young people to thrive?

The Science of Learning and Development (SoLD) Alliance is inviting field leaders to join a series of conversations, “Who Gets to Thrive? The Science of Learning and Development as a Tool for Anti-Racism,” to find answers to these questions.

Afterschool Challenge Save the Date Flyer

Save the Date for the 2021 California Afterschool & Summer Challenge!
March 8-9, 2021

Join us for the 17th annual California Afterschool & Summer Challenge! The annual statewide California Afterschool & Summer Challenge educates and empowers professionals, youth, and families to engage in grassroots advocacy. In addition to helping advance the out-of-school time field, this advocacy experience helps show young people and emerging leaders how to speak out and use their voices to create change. 

MLK being arrested

Teach MLK in Connection With the Attack on the U.S. Capitol

The same day a Black man and a Jewish man were voted into the U.S. Senate, a mob holding Confederate and Nazi flags attacked the U.S. Capitol. As educators teach about Martin Luther King Jr. ahead of his birthday observation this month, acknowledge the link between the racism he resisted and the violence that was witnessed at the Capitol. 

Teaching Tolerance has compiled a list of resources to help foster related discussions within the context of U.S. history based on the events that happened at the Capitol.

Student and three months sitting down outside.

National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month!

National Mentoring Month is a time to focus national attention on the importance of mentors, and to reflect on how each of us — individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits — can help grow the mentoring movement and the positive effects it has on young people. 

Mentor National has a great list of resources showcasing the importance of mentoring and how you can help mentor youth in your community!