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  • rebeccafab

Staying Relevant, January 2016

Last week I had a meeting with a young professional that I am mentoring. One of the questions he asked me had me thinking further long after our conversation was over.

He asked me how do I stay ahead of the game? How do I stay relevant?

After considering his question, I answered: “I read a lot; and I try to know what’s going on in terms of policy, local and national trends in funding, local and national conferences, trainings, opportunities for networking, etc.” Because my clients range from Executive staff to front line workers, from local, arts-based organizations to larger city-systems and national organizations, I need to be informed on a wide range of topics. When I am reading from any of these sites, I am mining for clues for information that will help me do my work better as well as for information that a colleague may want to know about or help them do their work better.

As I thought more about this, I realized that each day my inbox has about 8-15 resources (EVERY DAY) that I check to learn about new policy updates, grant opportunities, job openings, trainings being offered and other things. I also said to him, that I try to read from a wide range of sources including pop-culture online magazines, local and national newspapers, industry specific newsletters and I try to connect with individuals both inside my network and this field, and also outside of it. I also follow several individuals and organizations on Twitter, which also helps direct me to specific resources.

So as an exercise (I had a 6.5 hours train ride during the snow storm this weekend), I decided to write down all of the listserves and newsletters that I subscribe to that help me to stay abreast of trends and to be informed. I was surprised to see how long the list is of daily, weekly and monthly newsletters, blogs and reports I am signed up to receive (I don't think this even accurately captures off of them!).

I’m curious to know what you read to stay informed? Are any of these also links you rely on? Are you a generalist (like me)? Or are your readings based on a specific expertise? Let me know what at else you think should be on my list.

(In no particular order with a brief description- you can find links to sign up for their newsletters on each respective site. Most are free, though some do have membership fees)

The After School Corporation- ExpandEd (

  • NYC based, national reach, policy

The Partnership for Afterschool Education (

  • NYC based, policy, training

National Afterschool Association (

  • National, peer association, resources, core competencies, blog, conference

Summer Learning Association (

  • National organization, specializing in summer, learning loss

The Bamboo Project (

  • Career resiliency, workforce development

Out of School Time Resource Center (

  • Philly based newsletter with jobs, training, and MORE! A MUST for anyone in Philly.

  • Philly based newsletter with jobs, training, and MORE! A MUST for anyone in Philly.

America’s Promise (

  • National, focus on college access, equity

Youth Today (

  • National, OST, Youth development, grants, blog, articles

Guide Star (

  • National reports about nonprofits

Regional Foundation Center Free Library (

  • Local, grants

  • Local, jobs, grants, policy updates

Edutopia (

  • National, Blogs, videos, activities ideas by educators for educators

The Search Institute (

  • National, youth development, asset-based framework, training, resources

Grantmakers in the Arts (

  • National, arts, policy

New York Times Online (

  • National newspaper, various sections

Salon (

  • National online blog

Color Lines (

  • National online blog, focus on race, gender & equity

David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality (

  • National, youth development, assessment, policy, SEL

Forum For Youth Investment (

  • National policy, OST, Ready by 21 Blog

  • NY based, national jobs

Idealist (

  • National jobs, internships for posting and finding!

Afterschool Alliance- Afterschool Snack (

  • National, OST, Policy blog

  • Philly organization, Local, arts opportunities, grants

Public Citizens for Children & Youth (

  • Local policy, youth, education

Teacher Action Group (TAG) (

  • Education focus, local workshops, radical teaching

Huffington Post (

  • National newspaper (

  • Local Philly newspaper

I also get newsletters from local organizations like YouthBuild, MightyWriters, Norris Square Neighborhood Project. And I follow a host of individuals on Twitter who also have newsletters, policy reports, blogs and other resources I read. Stay tuned for that list in the future!

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