CAN Newsletter – Celebrating Black History Month
February 8, 2022


Black History MonthHappy February! We hope you all are doing well and are staying as healthy and safe as you possibly can. Happy Black History Month!  What is it and why is it important? Below are a few resources and facts to share and help our community strengthen our understanding of Black History Month and ways we might celebrate it this year. We have also added additional resources throughout this newsletter to support our work. 

Did you know?

  • Black History Month’s first iteration was actually, Negro History Week, created in February 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, known as the “father of Black history.” This historian helped establish the field of African American studies and his organization, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, aimed to encourage “people of all ethnic and social backgrounds to discuss the Black experience.” Learn more
  • This week-long event officially became Black History Month in 1976 when U.S. president Gerald Ford extended the recognition to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.” Black History Month has been celebrated in the United States every February since. Learn more
  • Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today. 

2022 Theme: Black Health & Wellness

  • According to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASAALH), this year’s theme focuses on the importance of Black Health and Wellness by acknowledging the legacy of Black scholars and will also examine how healthcare has often underserved the Black community. 
  • This reiterates why our work in serving young people in equity-centered and inclusive environments is essential in achieving Whole Child Health and Wellness.Learn more about CAN’s work to support equity-driven whole child health and wellness.

Why is Black History Month Important?

  • It’s an opportunity to recognize and celebrate by teaching students and young people about Black and African-Americans’ contributions, as such stories and history has been largely forgotten and a neglected part of the national narrative.
  • It also offers an opportunity to reimagine what possibilities lie ahead. 
  • As we continue to engage in the work of Social Justice, it is important to understand that, “the histories, stories, and voices of Black people should be centered, honored, and uplifted in school curricula every day, because as educators, we have the responsibility to continue to uplift every student and reinforce that Black Lives Matter every day.” Learn more.

Lastly, this month, we also celebrate Love!

Love for each other, the young people we serve, our communities, and love for our passions that drive us to do great work, together! We are shy a few months of almost 2 years ago when our day-to-day operations and systems changed in March 2020, due to the COVID 19 pandemic. Educators stepped up in ways we never thought possible. Especially our EXL and OST educators who continue to persevere and support young people. We <3 Afterschool! We see you and we send you love, positive vibes, and…

“Never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” —Cornel West, philosopher, political activist, and social critic


In Celebration and Love, 

The CAN Team

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Equity Evolution: CAN’s Growth Story
Vol. 6

Being a Black Man Through My Eyes

Greetings and Salutations! It’s a pleasure to have the chance to introduce myself to you. Yes, I am tall, I am 6’9 actually. Yes, I did play basketball, but I am also a scholar holding an Organizational Communication Degree, a Masters Degree in Coaching and Athletic Administration, and currently pursuing my Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis on Organizational Development. I am also a son, grandson, nephew, father, teammate, coach, community organizer, philanthropist, farmer (Yes I said farmer!), friend, and a BLACK man; who has lived in multiple countries, states, and cities throughout my life.

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Site Coordinator Symposium Updates
New Dates: Tuesday, June 14 - Friday, June 17, 2022; Hybrid Event

After careful consideration, due to the COVID 19/Omicron variant’s surge and impact on communities and workforce, the California AfterSchool Network (CAN) and the Site Coordinator Symposium Planning Team (SPT) have decided to postpone the hybrid 2022 Site Coordinator Symposium: Back to the Future on Feb 2 – 5. 2022. The new dates will be Tuesday, June 14 - Friday, June 17, 2022.  

New Hybrid Schedule

  • Virtual: Tuesday, June 14 – Wednesday, June 15, 2022
  •  In-Person: Thursday, June 16 – Friday, June 17, 2022
ELO-P flyer

Sign up for February ELO-P Office Hours!
Friday, February 11, 18, 25; 12:00 - 1:30 PM PST

The California AfterSchool Network (CAN) in partnership with the CA Dept. of Education (CDE) Expanded Learning Division (EXLD), and the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE), will co-host ELO-P Office Hours!

  • Every Friday from 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM.
  • The first 30 minutes of the office hours will include an ELO-P 101 presentation
  • The remaining hour will be a time for Q&A and discussion.

Register for the rest of the February dates!

CDE Logo

ASSIST is Open for Reporting for FY 21-22
January 2022

The CA Department of Education is pleased to inform the After-School Support and Information System (ASSIST) has been updated with Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22, grant information. 

The following reports are now available for submission in the ASSIST for the After-School Education and Safety, 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC), and the 21stCCLC High School After School Safety and Enrichment for Teens Program grants:

  • Submission of Initial Program Budget for FY 2021-22
  • First quarter expenditure reports (July 1, 2021–September 31, 2021)
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The Children’s Movement Equity Fellowship Program
Application Deadline: Friday, February 25, 2022

Children Now is a nonpartisan whole-child research, policy development and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children’s health, education and well-being in California. Children Now also leads The Children’s Movement of California, a unique network of more than 4,600 parent, youth, business, labor, civil rights, faith, and community-based organizations, as well as thousands of individuals, working together to make children a top priority in public policy. Learn more at, including about Children Now’s core organizational values.

California Afterschool and Summer Challenge

Register for the Afterschool & Summer Challenge!
March 15 + 16, 2022; Deadline to Register: March 4, 2022

Register for the 2022 California Afterschool & Summer Challenge! Hosted by CalSAC, the annual statewide 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.

This year’s challenge is fully VIRTUAL.

Register by March 4, 2022!

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AIR Readiness Survey

Calling program leaders and staff! The American Institutes for Research (AIR) is developing a readiness survey and reflection toolkit that will help afterschool, summer, and other out-of-school time (OST) program leaders and staff understand how ready they are for new initiatives or changes. AIR is currently piloting the survey with a focus on social and emotional learning and development. SEL programs and practices can take a variety of forms, from implementing SEL curriculum, to intentional practices that create safe and supportive environments that foster social and emotional skills, for example. 


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!