Champions shines in D.C.

CaptureChampions and Knowledge Universe leaders headed to Washington, D.C. March 8 for two events focusing on after-school care and education. Champions representatives led training and workshops at the annual National Afterschool Association (NAA) Convention, while September Jones from the Government Relations team headed to Capitol Hill to advocate for after-school programs as part of the Afterschool for All Challenge.

Under the theme of “Passionate Professionals, Powerful Stories”, the NAA convention focused on participants sharing how they inspire, educate and make new connections each day.

Gretchen Yeager, senior quality & accreditation director for Champions, and an NAA boardmember, hosted the “Leaders Lounge” in which leaders from the school-age community shared their expertise in a range of topics. She presented “Classroom Management Made Easy: Transition Tricks,” a workshop geared toward teaching participants basic program management techniques, attention-getting activities, songs and games that keep kids engaged during transitions.

Jill Brown, licensing and compliance advisor for Champions, presented “Everything You Wanted to Know About Licensing.” During her training session participants learned how to interpret state child care licensing regulations, communicate with licensors, and good practices for organizing licensing paperwork.

Sylvia Benoit, Champions quality & accreditation advisor and Diana Owens, an Ohio Champions area manager in Ohio, led the “Ask-Listen-Encourage” interactive workshop. They introduced various communication techniques to participants to help them learn how to build and support youth-centered relationships.

Quality & Accreditation Award Winners and Site Directors Anne Leonardi and Amy Mosley also attended the conference along with several senior team members, regional and area managers. Learn more about the convention, and download copies of the handouts and materials from the NAA website.

While Champions leaders presented at the NAA Convention, Deb Merdinger, from Champions’ Client Relations Department, and Evila Flores, a Champions area manager in California, joined more than 400 after-school advocates on Capitol Hill for the Afterschool for All Challenge, visiting members of Congress to explain the importance of after-school and summer learning. They also met with legislators from their states to advocate for after-school care and education programs. September Jones, KU Government Relations representative, was also on the Hill, where she attended a Senate briefing in which the Afterschool Alliance released the new America After 3PM report highlighting national and state data on after-school programs’ efforts to keep students healthy and active.

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer from California speaks at a Senate briefing about the new "America After 3PM" report. Senator Boxer, an enthusiastic support of after-school care, is joined by members of the National Afterschool Alliance, the event sponsor.

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer from California speaks at a Senate briefing about the new “America After 3PM” report. Senator Boxer, an enthusiastic support of after-school care, is joined by members of the National Afterschool Alliance, the event sponsor.

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