Making Afterschool Cool Blog

  • Summer Learning Week 2023

    Posted by Dr. Lisa Caruthers, PhD., MSW, Director CASE for Kids on 6/21/2023

    As an afterschool professional and a working mother of two, I understand and celebrate the importance of Summer Learning Week (July 10-July 14, 2023) from those two perspectives. Summer Learning Week is a project of The National Summer Learning Association (NSLA), a national, non-profit organization focused on the powerful impact of one achievable goal: investing in summer learning to help close the achievement gap. The research has already proven that 1) summer learning programs increase access to opportunities, 2) high attendance at summer programs improves scores in math and language arts, and 3) high attendance and consecutive attendance produce academic benefits for students, (McCombs et al., 2020). As a parent, I am thrilled that my children will have new experiences and I want to reinforce that learning at home. Let’s celebrate Summer Learning Week all summer by offering great activities and supporting parents with resources to reinforce learning.


    Summer Learning Week 2023 has daily themes; Love of Literacy and Learning, Amazing Arts, Wonders of Wellness, Health and Sports, STEM, and Community and Leadership to encourage fun-filled learning. If you are looking to incorporate these themes, try Mizzen by Mott, a free app with ideas and lesson plans or download the Summer Activity Guide with challenges and activities organized by age group. CASE for Kids also has materials you can borrow from our SMART Zone, a lending library, if you are looking for STEM or literacy resources. Contact Kathy Evans at to learn more.


    Support your families by providing resources that will enable them to engage their children in fun summer learning. The National Summer Learning Association offers extra  activities for families on the SLW themes on their site, as well as access to Discover Summer, an online resource that offers resources to keep kids learning, safe and healthy during the summer months. Together, afterschool professionals and parents can make summer a space for greater achievement and potential for all children.





    McCombs, J. S., Augustine, C. H., Pane, J. F., & Schweig, J. (2020). Every Summer Counts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Outcomes from the National Summer Learning Project. Wallace.

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  • Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week

    Posted by Dr. Lisa Caruthers, PhD., MSW, Director CASE for Kids on 4/25/2023

    Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week 2023, (April 24th-28th) is the perfect time to recognize, appreciate, and support those who work with young people during out-of-school hours.

    As director of CASE for Kids, I would like to recognize and express deep appreciation for the immense dedication of all the professionals who work with Houston area children and youth during out-of-school time hours. Afterschool matters for kids, and talented afterschool professionals impact the quality of that programming. Afterschool professionals throughout the nation support 10.2 million children in activities that help them enhance skills in STEM, literacy, social and emotional learning, health and wellness, and much more (Afterschool Alliance, 2023).   CASE for Kids recognizes that afterschool professionals are committed to enhancing their knowledge of OST best practices, exposing youth to new experiences, and supporting families. These unsung heroes are the heart and soul of OST programming and are a decisive element in young people’s access to high-quality relationships and expanded opportunities beyond school and home. CASE for Kids’ will continue to collaborate with local, state (TXPOST, Texas Partnership for Out-Of-School Time) and national level (NAA, National Afterschool Association, The Afterschool Alliance) organizations to convene, educate and promote the importance of afterschool and the professionals who are the heart of programming.  

    To all the out-of-school time professionals, your role with Houston's children, youth, and families is invaluable.  Your care and commitment will positively impact the community for years to come.  You truly touch the future! Thank you for all you do!

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