Thursday, September 13, 2018

September 15th through October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month

Dolores Huerta - Labor Leader / Civil Rights Activist

"Let's teach kids, at the kindergarten level, what the contributions of people of color were to the building of the United States of America." - Dolores Huerta

Rigoberta Menchu' Tum - Guatemalan Indigenous Rights Activist  and Nobel Peace Prize Winner

"Peace cannot exist without justice, justice cannot exist without fairness, fairness cannot exist without development, development cannot exist without democracy, democracy cannot exist without respect for the identity and worth of cultures and peoples."

September 15th to October 15th in the United States is when we in the Expanded Learning field can engage our youth in learning activities that recognize the contributions that our brothers and sisters from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Chile, and Belize have made to make our world a better place.

September was chosen as the starting point for the celebration because it is the anniversary of independence of five Latin American countries: Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. All declared independence in 1821. In addition, Mexico, Chile, and Belize celebrate their independence days on September 16th, September 18th, and September 2nd respectively.

Here are a few additional activity resources for you and your Expanded Learning staff to possibly engage your scholars in:

a) National Hispanic Heritage Month Activities (Free) (Grades K-12) (NEA)

b) Bring National Hispanic Heritage Month to Life (Free) (Grades K-8) (Scholastic)

c) Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month (Free) (Grades K-6) (Education World)

STEM / Expanded Learning and Other Pertinent Education Articles:

1) Explore Why High School Expectations Matter (

2) Woodland Teachers Explore Sunflower Science
    (Woodland Daily Democract article by Cutter Hicks, 8/3/18)

3) Physical Computing Is Heading to Education: What You Need To Know
    (EDWEEK Market Brief article by Nikki Navta, 9/6/18)

4) Integrating Social Emotional Learning Isn't Easy. Here How It Is Done.
    (Education Week article by David Adams, 9/6/18)

5) Summer programs increase STEM learning opportunities for
    visually impaired students
    (Education Dive article by Linda Jacobson, 8/21/18)

6) STEM Worker Shortage at a Crisis Survey Shows
    (U.S. News and World Report article by Sintia Radu, 8/23/18)

7) 5 Proven Benefits of Play
    (NPR article by Anya Kamenetz, 8/31/18)

8) Race, Discipline, and Safety at U.S. Public Schools
   (Report by the ACLU)

9) Immigration and Afterschool 
    (LIAS Blogpost, 8/29/18)

10) The Most Popular High School Plays and Musicals
      (NPR article by Elissa Nadworny, 8/1/18)

STEAM (other core content) Activities / Websites / Podcast: 

1) PBS Design Squad Activity Guides 
    (Free to Download) (Grades 3-12)

2) CA Academy of Science Lesson Plans 
    (Free to Download) (Grades Pre-K to 12th)

3) PBS Design Squad Electricity and Circuits 
    (Lesson Plans)

4) PBS Design Squad Engineering Design Process 
    (Lesson Plans)

5) PBS Design Squad Green Design 
    (Lesson Plans)

6) PBS Design Squad Helping Others STEM Challenges 
    (Lesson Plans)

7) PBS Design Squad Simple Machines 
    (Lesson Plans)

8) PBS Design Squad Structures 
    (Lesson Plans)

9) Top 5 Ways to Welcome Students Back To School
    (Scholastic Lesson Plans) (Pre - K to 5th)

10) From Poverty to Rocket Scientist to CEO, A Girl Scout's Inspiring Story
      (NPR Podcast by Elissa Nadworny, 9/5/18)

11) To Raise Confident, Independent Kids, Some Parents are Trying "Let Grow"
      (NPR Podcast by Deena Prichep, 9/3/18)

STEM / Educational Grants: 

1) ASES Kids Code (Due November 5, 2018)

2) Afterschool Alliance Grant Page

3) Bank of the West Grant Page

4) CAN Funding Opportunities Webpage

5) The Impact Foundry Grant Page

STEAM / Miscellaneous Professional Learning Sessions / Contest / Events:

1) NBA Math Hoops (September 20, 2018) (Free)
    (Grades 4-8)

2) California STEAM Symposium
    (Fee: $350) (Dates: October 28-29, 2018)

3) How Kids Learn Conference
    (Fee: $125) (Date: December 6, 2018)

4) SMUD Free Educational Workshops

Thanks again for all that you do in the field. Please keep us posted about STEM 
events / activities in your area. Please feel free to contact us at any time.

Monica Gonzalez-Williams (SCOE: Region 3: After School Regional Lead):

Phil Romig (SCOE: Science Curriculum Specialist):

Mark Drewes (SCOE: Project Specialist II: Expanded Learning)    


  1. After school programs are a great source of positive activities. They help develop core values and keep your child well rounded. These after school programs are not only needed but serve as a safe haven. They provide parents with some peace of mind knowing their children are in a safe place with adult supervision.

  2. The after school Program NJ in the High Schools not only help the students to keep physically fit but they can teach them various skills which help them in their higher education and professional life.
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