Afterschool Educators in Illinois to Receive Free Professional Development for Next Four Years

The Illinois Afterschool Network has been chosen to participate in the National Science Foundation Scale-up Grant. IAN was one of 3 states (New York and Missouri), chosen by the ACRES (After School Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM) Project to serve as a Hub of professional learning. During this three year, multi-million-dollar scale-up grant, the Illinois Afterschool Network will offer free coaching to afterschool educators who wish to hone their STEM facilitation skills, and will have extensive support to train afterschool leaders as coaches. 

The ACRES project has received national accolades for virtual and innovative coaching in STEM for Afterschool programs. The Illinois AfterSchool Network had several educators participate in the pilot program over the last few years. One participant had this to say about the experience;” I would say that it was a hands-on training with amazing documents that we continue to use to this day. It was great for staff to get together in this format explaining how to work with STEM projects with students”

The Illinois Afterschool Network will receive funding and support to, first train coaches and then offer free professional learning statewide with an emphasis on central and downstate Illinois. There will be increased opportunities to reflect on how programs can make STEM career connections and STEM equity will be a focus our work. There will be no fees to participate, lots of resources will be extended to all participants, and there will even be stipends available to those that participate in MMSA’s educational research as we wrap up the four year project.

Further details about the Illinois project is forthcoming.

Contact Information
To learn more about the how to take advantage of these opportunities visit
Illinois Project Leader: Curtis Peace