Illinois ACRES (After School Coaching for Reflective Educators in STEM)
Afterschool Providers in Illinois to Receive Free Professional Development
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 after school educators who wish to hone their STEM facilitation skills, and will have extensive support to train after school leaders as coaches.
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 of 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.
Current Illinois ACRES STEM Coaches
- Latasha Battie – Northwest Region (outside of Chicago)
- Lynn Franco – Champaign Region
- Robert McIntyre – Quads City Region
- Christopher Otte – Quincy Region
- Amy Shields – Granite City Region
- Cynthia Yelich – Southwest Region (outside of Chicago)
To learn more about the how to take advantage of these opportunities visit
or reach out to Curtis Peace, Director at