Apr 27 2016 | 04:16:33 PM

CASE for Kids showcases educator training opportunities

Comprehensive offerings in afterschool professional development are being showcased by the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids, or CASE for Kids. The online and live workshops are being promoted during Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, from April 25-29.

“We’re committed to strengthening the skills of those working in the afterschool profession,” said Lisa Thompson-Caruthers, director of CASE for Kids. “As an outgrowth of this commitment, we offer extensive professional opportunities throughout the year to support out-of-school time professionals.”

CASE for Kids is an afterschool intermediary which provides funding, professional development and networking for the local out-of-school time community. Funds support students in grades pre-k through 12 in afterschool programs in schools, child care facilities and community centers. Services benefit approximately 12,000 kids in greater Harris County.

“Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week, a first-time national awareness-raising event, gives us the opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of our local afterschool professionals,” Thompson-Caruthers said.

Nationwide, an estimated 850,000 professionals work with the 10.2 million children who participate in afterschool programs each year. Afterschool offers an extension of the school day to enrich academics, broaden hobbies and explore career possibilities. Training for afterschool professionals helps enhance the benefits of out-of-school time.

Topics for afterschool professional workshops, conferences and symposiums range from science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, to behavior management to CPR.

A free, online training platform called Cypherworx provides 36 courses and useful resources for afterschool professionals.

“Research shows that professional development facilitates staff performance, and knowledge is vital to the success of afterschool programs,” said Thompson-Caruthers.

Through its annual End-of-Year Celebration on May 24, CASE for Kids will award its Professional Development Recognition Certificate to afterschool professionals who have completed multiple trainings throughout the 2015-2016 school year with CASE for Kids.

For more information about professional development offerings through CASE for Kids, visit www.afterschoolzone.org. For specific information about accessing Cypherworx online learning, email kevans@hcde-texas.org.

About the Center for Afterschool, Summer and Enrichment for Kids (CASE for Kids): CASE for Kids, formerly the Cooperative for After-School Enrichment, was launched by Harris County Department of Education in 1999. CASE for Kids is an after-school intermediary which leverages community resources and strengthens the capacity of the out-of-school time field. Services benefit approximately 12,000 kids in greater Harris County. CASE for Kids programs happen before and after school, on weekends and during the summer. Go to www.afterschoolzone.org for information.

About Harris County Department of Education (HCDE): Serving students, teachers, schools and communities throughout Harris County, HCDE is a local governmental organization providing value for school districts while supporting educational opportunity. Partnering with Harris County school districts, HCDE maximizes local resources and responds to the needs of locally elected school boards and education leaders. HCDE services include school-based therapy for students, afterschool programs, Head Start, educator training, adult education and programs to promote safe schools. To learn more about how your county department of education can help you: www.hcde-texas.org.