OregonASK is a collaboration of public and private organizations and community members which seek to address common-issues and concerns across all expanded learning areas- child care, content specialists, recreation, education, and youth development.
OUR MISSION: To support, expand, and educate on quality expanded learning opportunities for children, youth, and families throughout Oregon.
OUR VISION: All Oregon children, youth and families will have access to quality expanded learning opportunities within their communities. All services will enhance children’s positive development, and future opportunities while keeping them safe from harm. All programs, services and activities will be of high quality and contribute to strong communities and schools.
OregonASK is part of the 50 State Afterschool Network, supporting efforts in every state committed to building the systems development and sustainability of quality afterschool programs and the growth of statewide policies to secure the resources needed to sustain programs. This work has been funded by the CS Mott Foundation since 2001. OregonASK is also the state affiliate to the National AfterSchool Association (NAA), the voice of the out-of-school time profession for those who work with and on behalf of children and youth during out-of-school time. In coordination with NAA, we are building the capacity, knowledge, and competency of the out-of-school time community. OregonASK also serves as the convenor for the Oregon Girls Collaborative Project to support girl-serving STEM organizations by working to strengthen capacity, increase continuation of girl-serving STEM programs, and create more champions for gender equity in STEM education and careers. As part of the National Girls Collaborative Project, we have access to thousands of programs and resources focused on providing high quality STEM experiences for girls and underserved youth.
OregonASK supports creating more high-quality expanded learning opportunities through connecting partners, supporting policy change, and providing professional development. We provide training and resources to education and community organizations to equip them with structured, educational, and enrichment opportunities for students. These organizations provide services to students before school, after school, on weekends, during school breaks, and during summer vacation – any time the students are out of the regular school day.
Professional Development: To assist in improving the overall quality of afterschool and summer programs in Oregon, we provide direct training opportunities to hundreds of people annually, as well as advancing the professional development infrastructure for all out-of-school time providers throughout the state. Our largest professional development event of the year is the Oregon Afterschool Conference or you can find out more about specific training opportunities on our website or training brochure.
Partnership: In addition to providing direct training opportunities, OregonASK connects partners with other professionals from around the state. We help programs find new local, state, or national partners, aligning our work to all those who have overlapping goals; this creates an efficient and impactful environment. Such partners include government agencies, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations.
Policy: Providers, organizations, and agencies interested in the field of afterschool look to OregonASK to answer questions and keep informed about local, state, and national issues and legislation that could have an impact on afterschool, children and youth, and families in our communities. Our work is centered on educating policy makers and organizations through research, tools, strategies, and partnerships with many organizations throughout the state. We educate the community about the importance of afterschool and summer programs by working directly with providers, public administrators, and elected officials to create policies supporting the work of afterschool programs, professionals, and youth in Oregon.
HOW WE DO IT
OregonASK believes quality afterschool & summer programs are a critical component in providing every youth with equitable, enriching experiences. As the statewide afterschool network, OregonASK is working with partners & stakeholders throughout the state to design and implement our Quest for Quality in Expanded Learning. This quality work is centered around five components we feel encompass quality expanded learning, regardless of your role in the out-of-school world. Our five components are:
- Inspiring Student Dreams
- Building Systems and Structures
- Supporting Professional Development
- Engaging Parents and Families
- Increasing School and Community Partnerships
Using Oregon Quality Standards for Afterschool & Summer Programs at our core, OregonASK provides support both directly to programs & through systems level partners. We work directly with programs, partners and stakeholders using Coaching & Consultation, Connection, Evaluation, Resources, and Training to equip programs to reach their Commitment to Quality.
Consultation & Coaching – OregonASK brings expertise to programs and individuals who want to focus on organizational and programmatic issues, as well as individual skills or needs.
Connection – We use our knowledge of afterschool programs and partners across the state to connect people who can learn from one another and build sustainable relationships with partner organizations.
Evaluation – The data and evaluation team uses a variety of tools to measure program quality and staff competency. Conclusions are used to encourage self- reflection, inform training plans, and support continuous quality improvement.
Resources & Curriculum – As an active member in the afterschool field nationally, OregonASK is the state affiliate of the National Afterschool Association and the Mott Foundation’s 50 State Afterschool Network, allowing us to bring the best resources back to Oregon. Our curriculum development specialists collaborate with programs to create custom, inquiry-based learning content perfect for local communities.
Training – OregonASK’s two certified Master Trainers share expertise in afterschool curriculum implementation, behavior management, youth development, program management, and family engagement. All trainings are approved for credit by the Oregon Center for Career Development’s Registry system.
WHY WE DO IT
OregonASK works to support & increase quality expanded learning opportunities that inspire learning, keep kids safe, help working families, and support whole-child development and wellness. We know that:
- 45% of Oregon’s children live in low-income families, as defined by household income at or below 200% of poverty level.
- 15% (or 229,050 families) of Oregon’s families are considered food insecure.
- Underrepresented students have disproportionate representation among Oregon’s high school dropout rate.
HOW WE DO IT
As the statewide afterschool network, OregonASK provides support through Coaching & Consultation, Training, Evaluation, Resources, and Connection. We partner directly with over 60 organizations and engages hundreds of members across the state, from five primary sectors of afterschool & summer providers:
- YOUTH DEVELOPMENT | 4-H, Boys & Girls Clubs, Scouts, Camp Fire and other youth leadership programs
- RECREATION | Park & Recreation, Community Groups, and other non-profit organizations.
- EDUCATION | Educational Organizations, Afterschool Programs, Schools, and School Districts.
- CONTENT SPECIALISTS | Programs/Individuals specializing in specific fields of study (eg. art, science, math, technology)
- CHILD CARE | Licensed programs throughout the state providing learning opportunities to their children up to age 13.
OUR OPPORTUNITY: OregonASK recognizes that…
- Over 91,000 children participate in afterschool programs in Oregon. However, 221,708 more children (44% of Oregon’s school-age children) would participate if an afterschool program were available in their community.
- Students who participate in afterschool programs attend school more regularly, engage in fewer high-risk behaviors, and perform better academically.
- 83% of Oregon parents support public funding for afterschool programs, while just 37% report receiving government assistance with the cost of afterschool.
- More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. As a result, low-income youth are less likely to graduate from high school or enter college.
IMPACT: OregonASK is delighted that…
- 93% of parents in Oregon with children attending afterschool are satisfied with their child’s afterschool program.
- Hundreds of afterschool and summer staff from dozens of programs have received professional development training on high-quality, evidence-based curriculums from OregonASK.
- Oregon has risen to be a Top Ten State in Afterschool, as determined by the Afterschool Alliance.
- More than half of Oregon parents agree that afterschool programs excite children about learning.
Join us in supporting afterschool and summer programs in Oregon to provide equitable access to children and provide them a safe environment to expand their learning opportunities and achieve at a higher level.
Founded in 2005, with a grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation and match contributions from Oregon Employment Division – Child Care Division, OregonASK was created as a collaboration of public and private organizations and community members which sought to address common issues and concerns across all out-of-school time services – child care, recreation, education and youth development and content delivery programs. In the ten years since, OregonASK has grown to over 35 organizations, and has developed partnerships across the state; created the first database of afterschool programs in Oregon; developed Quality Standards, Competencies and Outcomes; provided support to Oregon’s 21st CCLC programs; compiled reports to gain a better understanding of the issues surrounding afterschool in Oregon; plus a myriad of other projects and initiatives to advance the quality, accessibility and sustainability of afterschool and summer programs in the state.
As the statewide network, OregonASK works to coordinate and lead efforts throughout the state, including:
- Promotion of quality out-of-school time activities
- Education of legislators regarding affordability, accessibility, safety, and quality
- Advocacy for resources
- Outreach to the private sector
- Encouragement of true collaborative partnerships
To find out more about the work OregonASK is doing and our national affiliations, click here.