CAN Newsletter – Keeping the Lights On!
October 12, 2023

CAN Newsletter
2023 Lights On Afterschool poster

As we transition to a new season, the Fall weather, and all things Pumpkin Spice, we hope you join us in celebrating the 24th annual Lights On Afterschool on Thursday, October 26, 2023! If you’re new to Out of School Time (OST) and Expanded Learning Programs, this is a day you don’t want to miss!

Launched in October 2000, Lights On Afterschool is the only nationwide event celebrating afterschool programs and their important role in the lives of children, families, and communities. The Afterschool Alliance organizes Lights On Afterschool to draw attention to the many ways afterschool programs support students by offering them opportunities to learn new things—such as science, community service, robotics, Tae Kwon Do and poetry—and discover new skills. The events send a powerful message that millions more kids need quality afterschool programs and opportunities for our afterschool programs to shine!

Join us, along with the California Department of Education and the System of Support for Expanded Learning, as we recognize afterschool leaders across the state for the California Expanded Learning Leadership Awards! Learn more.

Special shout to Lydia Ireland, a seventh-grade student from Folks Middle School Art Club in San Antonio, Texas, who is the winner of the Lights On Afterschool 2023 poster contest. Learn more!

In This Newsletter:

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2024 Site Coordinator Symposium Updates!
February 21, and 23-24, 2024

2024 Site Coordinating Symposium promo card We are excited to announce a few important updates for the 2024 Site Coordinator Symposium – Agents of Change: Growing with Expanded Learning!

  • Early Registration is open! Secure your spot at a great rate before Early Registration closes on Friday, October 13th!
  • The Hotel Room Block is open! For In-Person participants, the DoubleTree Hotel is ready for us! 
  • Interested in Partnering with us? Our Partnership opportunities include Tiers and customized opportunities.
  • We are searching for high-quality Presenters and Workshops! The Presenter/Workshop RFP is open and closes on November 1!

Please see the posts below for additional details and information.

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CAN On the Move
September 2023

This last year has been a year of growth, and with that comes exciting changes within the CAN team. Join us in celebrating new professional milestones for our CAN team members:

  • Melissa Perez has been promoted to Manager, Policy and Outreach. Melissa joined the CAN team in 2021 as a Specialist for the Policy and Outreach team and, since then, has been making amazing strides in our events and communications. Melissa leads and supports many of our statewide events, such as the ELO-P Academies and the Site Coordinator Symposium.
  • Nat Rosales has been promoted to Specialist, Policy and Outreach. Nat joined the CAN team in 2020 as a Student Assistant and became a permanent member of the team in 2022. Nat holds the title of “CAN’s Resident Designer” after teaching themself how to use Adobe inDesign and other programs. Nat works on designing CAN publications, event branding, and leads our social media channels. 
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Important Update! Extension of FY 22-23 ASES and 21st CCLC Funds
September 28, 2023

Due of the delay in the release of the grant award notifications because of applying the rate increase from the California American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funding, the California Department of Education (CDE), Expanded Learning Division (EXLD) extended the grant award notifications from a normal twelve month grant period to an eighteen month grant period ending on December 31, 2023. 

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Updated Expanded Learning Opportunities Program FAQs
October 10, 2023

The Expanded Learning Division is excited to share much anticipated guidance!

This email is notification that the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program have been updated. 

This section has been updated to reflect the guidance of SB 114 and address several pertinent program concerns. All of which are posted on the California Department of Education website at Expanded Learning Opportunities Program FAQs – Expanded Learning (CA Dept of Education)

Additional FAQs are in development! Thank you for your continued patience.

Please send your questions to

Cover of California's Expanded Learning Workforce

California’s Expanded Learning Workforce
A State of the State Brief: September 2023

California’s Expanded Learning workforce provides critical opportunities to children and youth grounded in Positive Youth Development and the Science of Learning and Development, supporting their social, emotional, and physical development and well-being.

This State of the State Brief provides a high-level overview of the Expanded Learning workforce in California, the barriers that the field has historically faced, as well as the possibilities to create a thriving workforce.

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October is National Bullying Awareness Month

October is National Bullying Awareness Month. This month focuses on preventing childhood bullying and promoting kindness, acceptance, and inclusion.

Explore these resources on Bullying Awareness:

  • The Office of Adolescent Health, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has resources on healthy relationships in adolescence, including how adolescents and those who care about them can help prevent or stop bullying.
  •, a special initiative from the Department of Health and Human Services, provides information and resources from government agencies on how to prevent, respond, and take action against bullying.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Striving To Reduce Youth Violence Everywhere (STRYVE) initiative provides communities with the knowledge and resources to prevent youth violence, including bullying.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrated in October, is a dedicated time to recognize the valuable contributions of individuals with disabilities in the workforce. 2023 marks 50 years since the passing of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 which prohibited discrimination on the basis of disability in the Federal Government. This led to further laws that protected the rights of disabled individuals such as the American with Disabilities Act of 1990. This month emphasizes the importance of creating inclusive employment opportunities and promoting workplace diversity. 

Explore these resources on how you can celebrate:


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!