• Hayden M. Fink

Synergy 2019 Conference, April 24-25, 2019, Greensboro, NC

Updated: May 14, 2019

The Synergy 2019 Conference in Greensboro, NC was a huge success.  This year’s conference, “Doing the M.O.S.T.: Maximizing Out-of-School Time” featured workshops in Arts & Literacy, Closing Gaps, College & Career Readiness, Mentoring, Organization Capacity, Public/Private Partnerships, S.T.E.M. and Youth Development.

I thoroughly enjoyed the engaging keynote speakers, the dynamic range of workshop topics, and many wonderful opportunities to network with other program providers from across North Carolina including the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, and the Mountains. The workshops were effectively organized according to "STRAND" categories by specific subjects as mentioned above.

Synergy 2019 provided all the attendees with excellent opportunities to learn about successful afterschool programs, the challenges that we face as providers, and how we can all work together to provide better services and education to North Carolina children and youth in afterschool programs.

It was great to meet with new people and reconnect with folks who also attended last year's Synergy 2018 in Greenville, NC. The staff and management of NC CAP did an amazing job to ensure the success of this conference. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Here is a list of the workshops that I attended, along with the workshop description and the verified business weblink related to each presentation.

Workshop Session A

Making Them Visible: Recognizing, Supporting, and Advocating for Children of Incarcerated and Returning Parents

Youth Development

Participants will learn about the needs of children of incarcerated and returning parents, what services and programs exist and where the gaps are, and about tools to advocate for these children to improve responses, programs, and services

Presenter: Melissa Radcliff, Our Children’s Place of Coastal Horizons Center


Workshop Session B

Let's Get Moving: Walk, Listen, and Learn with The Walking Classroom


This session will introduce afterschool coordinators and staff to a program that kids enjoy AND that they and their participants can benefit from physically, cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally. Participants will get a chance to walk, listen, and learn with The Walking Classroom, and experience what it feels like to participate in kinesthetic and auditory learning, and become energized after just fifteen to twenty minutes of aerobic physical activity. The presentation will provide general information on The Walking Classroom, share the results of a recent research study, and reinforce the importance of participants creating opportunities to incorporate physical activity within their own programs!

Presenter: Natalie Dekle, The Walking Classroom


Workshop Session C

Infusing Dance/Movement and Engaging Youth in STEAM: Let's Activate Learning, Close Development Gaps and Spark Their Interest in STEM Careers!!!


Learn the science behind why integrating dance and movement is critical to a students’ overall success. Come prepared to tap into your creative and innovative side- as you are guided through a HIGH ENERGY LEARNING EXPERIENCE with music, dance and action based learning. All designed to help students learn and retain scientific content and concepts. Let’s get the next generation excited about pursuing careers in STEM! Presenter: Sesha Woodard, Dropping Seeds in Motion


Workshop Session D

Real Science! Right Now!


Investigate our new NC CAP STEM Sampler Kits to experience how easy and fun hands-on science can be. Each participant will receive a free kit for their afterschool, before school or summer program complete with lesson plans, supplementary materials, and resources to nurture the scientist in every child. This session will be limited to 30 programs. [Note: One kit per program].

Presenter: Meg Sauer, NC Center for Afterschool Programs


Workshop Session E

STEM-ulating Activities on Human Ecology


Discover innovative ways to teach middle school students about human-environmental interactions, while also building STEM skills through group problem solving, games, and interactive technology. Hands-on activities address natural resource use, population trends, wildlife habit, fresh water and our changing climate. Participants will come away with ideas to facilitate hands-on activities that can be used in afterschool programs to broaden awareness on issues of the environment and sustainability. Activity formats include games of strategy, cooperative-group problem-solving and role-playing simulations.

Presenter: Leigh Apple, Population Education



Established in 2002, the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) is a comprehensive statewide afterschool and expanded learning network, with key partners including afterschool providers, state agencies, state and local policymakers, law enforcement, universities and community colleges, business, and the philanthropic community, working together to increase access to high quality afterschool and expanded learning programs for all children and youth in North Carolina, especially for those at-risk of education failure.



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