CAN Newsletter – Celebrating Mental Health Awareness Month!
May 22, 2024

CAN Newsletter
Be the Safe Space You Needed

Did you know that more than 40% of teens said they persistently felt sad or hopeless?

Did you know that 98% of educators said mental health challenges are a barrier to children’s education? According to the Kids Mental Health Foundation, the leading organization promoting mental health for children in the United States, states, “For kids, building connections matters,” and “helping children and youth build healthy relationships helps protect their mental health.” 

Asset building: Building strong bonds and relationships with adults and friends at school, at home, and in the community provides youth with a sense of connectedness. This feeling of connectedness is important and can protect adolescents from poor mental health and other risks like drug use and violence. Learn more

Research shows that high-quality Expanded Learning programs create conditions consistent with long-term success for children and youth. The Quality Standards for Expanded Learning in California describe high-quality programs as rich with protective factors that promote positive physical, social, emotional, and academic outcomes. In case you missed it, check out one of our Fall ELO-P Workshops that focused on Creating Conditions for Children to Thrive through Expanded Learning.

Tools and resources to help educators and practitioners talk with young people about their mental health.

Lastly, as rewarding as youth work can be, it can also be hard on our mental health. It is not healthy to pour into others from an empty cup. Therefore, it is essential that educators and practitioners also engage in their practices and techniques to support their Mental Health and wellness. Learn more. 

In This Newsletter:

2025 Site Coordinator Symposium Save the Date

Save the Date for the 2025 Site Coordinator Symposium!
February 5, 7 & 8, 2025

The Site Coordinator Network is excited to announce the 8th Annual 2025 Site Coordinator Symposium!

Presented by the Site Coordinator Network and supported by the California AfterSchool Network, California Department of Education Expanded Learning Division, and the System of Support for Expanded Learning. This hybrid conference will provide learning opportunities and lots of fun, virtually and In-Person. 


  • Virtual (Via Zoom): February 5, 2025
  • In-Person: February 7-8, 2025
Webinar graphic

Promoting Lifelong Benefits for Youth Through Out-of-School Time Webinar
Wednesday, May 29, 2024; 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM PST

The Collaborative for Advancing Health Equity in Out-of-School Time, part of the Education Development Center is hosting a webinar on how OST is the ideal environment to build protective factors for youth. Protective factors include caring relationships, high expectations, and meaningful opportunities for contribution, which can lead to lifelong healthy development and decrease risky, negative behaviors such as substance misuse. 

During this interactive webinar, they will share best practices for increasing protective factors and share successes from the field. Hear from our Director of Policy and Outreach, Heather Williams, and Ken Anthony with the Connecticut Network for Children & Youth!

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

10:00 AM – 11:30 AM PST

Register today!


Calling All Afterschool Artists! Lights on Afterschool Poster Contest
Monday, July 15, 2024

The Lights On Afterschool poster contest is officially open! They are looking for any artwork that represents the spirit of afterschool programs. The winning submission will be awarded $500 and will have their design printed on more than 50,000 posters and displayed at more than 8,000 Lights on Afterschool events across the nation.

To learn more about the content and how to submit your artwork, visit the Afterschool Alliance website!


Check Out Our Other Newsletters!

Access the CAN newsletter archives to view past newsletters today! You may be interested in some of our other newsletters as well:

CAN Health and Wellness Newsletters

  • Get informed on the connections between afterschool and Whole Child Health and Wellness.
  • Subscribe today!

CAN STEAM Newsletters​

  • Get informed about the Million Girl Moonshot project and access other STEAM resources.
  • Subscribe today!

CAN Policy Newsletter

  • Get informed about policy-related content, including national, state, and local updates, that supports our Expanded Learning programs.
  • Subscribe today!