Out-of-School Programs Prepare for Quality Improvement Planning

On January 22, many of the Itasca Area afterschool programs will participate in a quality improvement planning day. The process is called M3 -- Making Meaning from Multiple Data sets. Jan Derdowski and Courtney Johnson will lead participants through a process to identify changes they can make so that their programs are more effective serving young people. Program teams are [...]

By |December 28th, 2017|Events, High quality out-of-school programs and activities|

Deer River Afterschool Champions collect awards from Ignite Afterschool

As Itasca County joined the national celebration of Lights on Afterschool last month, we were thrilled to have two of our local afterschool champions recognized by Ignite Afterschool, Minnesota’s statewide afterschool network. Kayleen MonacelliAfterschool ChampionYouthWorker/Practitioner Category Kayleen Monacelli from Deer River Community Education and the Deer River Boys and Girls Club was awarded Afterschool Champion in the Youth [...]

SPARK Community Engagement Coordinator November update

Two months into the school year, Courtney Johnson, SPARK's Community Engagement Coordinator, updated the SPARK Council on her work with young people in our community. She's currently working directly with students at Northern Lights Community School (NLCS), the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) in Grand Rapids, Bigfork High School, and Hill City High School.  At NLCS and the ALC the program [...]

By |November 2nd, 2017|Spark|

Programming for youth? Up your game with Youth Program Quality Basics training

Itasca Networks for Youth will be sponsoring a Youth Program Quality (YPQ) Basics training for all Itasca Area Youth providers on December 15 from 9:00 to 2:00 at the University of Minnesota Extension classroom.  This training is open to anyone who works with youth outside of school in the Greater Itasca Area. Participants will dig into the specific practices as defined [...]

Itasca Networks for Youth: 10 years strong and supporting kids afterschool

Today is the national celebration of Lights On Afterschool.  SPARK is celebrating all the great afterschool happenings in our area with the Itasca Networks for Youth (INY).  Courtney Johnson, Community Engagement Coordinator with SPARK and U of M Extension offers this blog post to highlight how the network advances quality afterschool opportunities for kids in our area.  From Courtney Johnson: This [...]

Where in the World is Afterschool?

Itasca Networks for Youth (INY) builds high quality afterschool programs for all kids in the greater Itasca Area. In 2016, INY adopted the quality principles described in “Believe it. Build it.  Minnesota’s Guide to Effective Afterschool Practices.”  You can learn more about the guide here.  By adopting these principles, INY is dedicated to recognizing the wide variety of ways and [...]

Calling all partners (and those who want to be): October Core Team meeting

Need a hearty start to a late October morning? Come to the next Core Team gathering! October 24, 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. University of Minnesota Extension -- Grand Rapids office  -- Parking is available behind the offices. Itasca Networks for Youth (INY) will share how area afterschool providers design programs to build strong relationships between area youth and supportive adults. [...]

Beyond the Family — SPARKing strong connections for youth

Spring is finally here.  And with the freshness that Spring brings, SPARK has taken a fresh look at our work. The leaders and residents of the Itasca Area are committed to building stronger futures for all young people who grow up here.  One way each and every adult can be part of that vision is to connect with young people [...]

By |May 2nd, 2017|Uncategorized|

Courtney Johnson: a new SPARK to engage community

  Courtney Johnson bubbles with enthusiasm as she introduces herself around the community as the “new SPARK hire”.  The source of her enthusiasm? A strong desire to give back to the community that supported her in her early years. “I am an Itasca County native,” she said. “I attended Hill City School grades K-12, and I am a proud 2010 [...]

By |March 20th, 2017|Spark|