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Achievery Learning Cohort’s NAA23 Kick-Off Sets Exciting Tone

Wednesday, 19 April 2023 11:15

The inaugural Achievery Learning cohort kicked off at the 2023 NAA national convention. It was a great time to come together as a group to learn, laugh, dance, and share their collective passion for OST. Meet our amazing group of leaders who will be working together through November to learn from each other and share strategies for finding, adapting, and implementing free online resources for use within OST programs.

The cohort consists of 10 afterschool professionals: Brittney Jones, Alexis Lopez, Sheila James, Ebony Burnett, It-Xetl Salas, Carrie Lienemann, Kate Aubin, Alexandra Hall, LaVasia Bullard, Jasmine Castleberry. During the kickoff, cohort members discussed what they look for when vetting online resources. The group brainstormed the characteristics they value during the process and came up with the following list.

  • Quality
  • Structure
  • Navigation
  • Easy Access
    • Gap Activities
  • Lighter Lift
  • Supplement
  • Adaptations for individual needs
  • Representation

While keeping the vetting characteristics in mind, the group moved through a visioning activity to capture and codify their thoughts to guide their projects as they move through the development process over the next few months. As the group continued to think about their visions, some thoughts, concerns and wonderings about digital learning in the field of afterschool in terms of young people, staff and operations arose. These thoughts are the beginnings of product development. By asking questions, they were able to start to develop ideas for potential solutions. Some of the questions included; 

  • How can we do this with youth, not for them?
  • How can we do a lesson plan review?+modifications
  • Is there a way to use these resources to train the adults?
  • How can we utilize our resources to direct sites?
  • How will you simplify this work?
    • Who what when where why
  • What Support resources are needed to propel this project?

The kickoff gathering wasn’t all business, cohort members connected with each other and built community through conversation, dancing, and a carefully curated playlist.  Each member selected a song that energizes or inspires them. Click here to listen for yourself and get a sense of the energy in the room.

Stay tuned for more updates from the cohort and hear directly from the members as they continue on their journey to developing resources for vetting free online resources designed for you, their teams, and other afterschool professionals. Learn more about The Achievery created by AT&T here.