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The Achievery Cohort Kicks Off an Action-Packed Summer

Monday, 12 June 2023 12:08

It’s no surprise that an energizing playlist, which begins each Achievery Cohort learning session, distracts from the stressors of our early morning deliverables, and encourages us to move our shoulders in a synchronized beat (on camera, mind you) while Beyonce belts out “Break My Soul”.  A song fitting for the working OST professional as we transition from a data-driven school year into an action-packed summer.  With the management of multiple programs, staff, student expectations, and data it would be easy to become overwhelmed with also managing the rigor of the expected outcomes of a learning group.  Yet the project is moving along at an appropriate pace.

The Achievery Cohort continues to generate ideas for how to educate the field on the importance and efficacy of online learning tools while networking with OST experts in their group. It only makes sense that the group conducts business virtually in order to discuss these customized experiences.  Currently in our 3rd month, the Cohort now focuses on adaptation and implementation strategies for their individual or group projects.  Some of the ideas bubbling up include:

  • Creation of rubrics to evaluate student interest,
  • building of content-focused playlists for instructors,
  • professional development for implementation of resources

As a response to the many solutions being proposed Cohort member Ebony Burnett, Senior Association Youth Development Director for the YMCA of Greensboro in North Carolina, imagines creating “a site with [these supports] in one place:

  • Vetted digital resources
  • Tab for training and development for staff
  • Funding opportunities for site leaders 

What makes this an incredible opportunity is the expertise of cohort participants who are currently involved in similar projects, along with the access to students and fellow educators who can provide general feedback as to what their specific needs are when accessing online resources and tools.  The Ohio Afterschool Network’s new STEM Consultant, Sheila James, is currently working with online platforms such as Click to Science, amongst others, to research best practices related to how they conduct trainings that are quick and simple.

With the pace the Cohort is moving, the field is likely to gain access to 10 new tools rather quickly; you can expect to hear all about them in November.  As the group continues to ideate tools for assessing free online resources created for you, their teams, and other afterschool professionals, be sure to keep checking back for further updates and to hear from the members directly.


Contributed by Harris County Department of Education’s Manager of Federal Programs & Compliance, Jasmine Castleberry. Submitted as a monthly check in for the inaugural class of The Achievery Learning Cohort.