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A Peek Behind the Curtain: Developing a Culturally Responsive Framework Professional Development Training

In this month’s blog post, we’re going to talk to Kasey and Tyrone about an upcoming training that they’re going to present to the field.  

Would you please introduce yourselves and a little bit about what you do here at ACT Now?

KB: My name is Kasey Brown, and I am an Afterschool Resource and Support Specialist for Teen REACH and RPSA at ACT Now. In my role, I provide training and technical assistance to grantees throughout the state. This support varies and includes professional development, programming, and much more!

Fun fact about me: I am a former Teen REACH Program Coordinator!

TT: My name is Tyrone Taliaferro, I am an Afterschool Resource and Support Specialist for RPSA at ACT Now. I provide training, technical assistance, and support for RPSA grantees throughout the state of Illinois. I’ve been with ACT Now for 7 months and I look forward to continuing to assist grantees so that they are able to provide quality programming to youth in Illinois.

Fun fact: I worked at a Boys and Girls Club while in college. 

Why did you decide to create this training for the field?

KB: Tyrone and I knew that we wanted to develop a professional development opportunity on the topic of cultural responsiveness this year and wanted to provide the field with something new. The concept of integrating the topic of cultural responsiveness into the Illinois Afterschool Quality Standards felt like a great way to provide the field with a tangible resource!

TT: We thought about cultural responsiveness and how it relates to the afterschool field. Kasey and I wanted to give providers culturally responsive information and resources that they could implement into programming that would encourage equity. The Quality Standards Framework is what we based our framework on, we just tweaked it to also ensure programs are inclusive of the different demographics they serve.

What are you hoping participants will get out of this session?

KB: My hope is that participants will not only leave with the resources that we provide but also have the confidence to continue the conversation long after the training is over!

TT: Participants find the Framework table useful and use it as a guide to be more inclusive.

Why are you excited about this content?

KB: I’m excited to share the Framework that Tyrone and I developed for this training. With this framework, we have developed best practices that align with the seven core service areas of the Illinois Afterschool Quality Standards. Tune in to find out more!

TT: I’m really excited about presenting the Framework to participants. We believe this could be a very useful tool for making programming more relevant to the varying youth they serve.

How did you build engagement in this Professional Development opportunity?

KB: We wanted to give participants an opportunity to not only share their own experiences in the afterschool setting but also gain perspective from others in the field!

TT: Kasey and I wanted the training to be informational and engaging at the same time. We wanted to mix in some good engagement moments with important information.

How did you two work together to make this session?

KB: This was such a great collaborative experience! Not only were Tyrone and I able to develop some really cool resources for this PD, but we also had the opportunity to connect with experts in the field of DEI and gained a wealth of knowledge on the topic of accessibility.

TT: We did a lot of research and brainstorming on the framework together. We also spoke with people in the DEI field to gain extra knowledge on the topic.

For more information, register on ANCAL here

Interested in learning more about this PD? Contact Tyrone or Kasey for more information!