Unleash Your Inner Jedi – February Fireside Chat Recap

Our February 16th Fireside Chat was Unleash Your Inner JEDI With Special Guests Almetta Pitts, MSW, LSWAIC, Founder & Principal Consultant Attemla Consulting, and Clarke Hill, Nonprofit Consultant.

Almetta and Clarke took us on a journey beyond your typical DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) and into restorative justice. This session will inspire and teach you how that energy can be used in your Afterschool programs.

Recap Focusing on Preventative Practices

Restorative justice is made up of restorative practices starting with Preventative Practices. Here are some preventative practices that you can use in your own programs:

  • Equity
    • Leaders committed to dismantling systems of oppression.
    • Explicitly address the impact of white dominant culture on discipline disparities.
    • Build shared understanding of racial equity concepts.
    • Professional learning strategy that includes diversity and equity inclusion training for all.
    • Collect and analyze data, such as discipline data, to find disparities.
  • Identity and Community Building
    • Intentional opportunities for youth to build relationships with other youth and staff.
    • Circle Time – allowing for informal community building.
    • Staff work to ensure youth feel a strong sense of belonging.
    • Inclusivity for all youth regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.
  • Program Practices
    • Physically and emotionally safe environment.
    • Clear guidelines and expectations.
    • Trauma informed practices.
    • Opportunities for cooperation.
  • Curriculum
    • Social & Emotional Literacy
    • Identity exploration
    • Restorative practices
Additional Resources for Your Programs:

Community Healing Circles: A Model of Restorative Justice
“Experts Explain the Slavery Loophole in the 13th Amendment”
Antiracist Social & Emotional Learning
Somatic Abolitionism with Regards to Understanding How Deeply Rooted Implicit Biases Show Up Within Our Lives

Watch the Entire Fireside Chat Here:



Storyteller Series: Mental Health Awareness – Karla Johnson

Storyteller Series: Mental Health Awareness – Karla Johnson

Why is it so hard to talk about mental health? I’ve wanted to share my story for a few weeks now but have had a horrible time finding a way I’m comfortable in approaching it! If it’s hard for me, as I purposely want to address this—it’s no wonder we are all reluctant...

Storyteller Series: Mental Health Awareness – Lisa Verdin

Storyteller Series: Mental Health Awareness – Lisa Verdin

I’ve never thought of myself as an actor. I seek out genuine relationships and appreciate authenticity in others. I have always felt like those are the qualities others can count on receiving from me…and mostly that’s true. I have struggled with anxiety most of my...

The South Dakota Afterschool Network works to better our state and its communities by connecting providers, parents and policymakers with proven tools and resources to increase the quality of and access to out-of-school time programming for K-12 children and youth.

Afterschool is a lifeline that keeps youth safe, helps kids learn and grow, and provides parents the ability to work without worry. While South Dakota is home to more than 300 afterschool programs, the demand for programs exceeds available spaces. In fact, 1 in 3 South Dakota children (34 percent) who are not in an afterschool program would be enrolled if it were available. That’s more than 42,000 children who are missing out on opportunities to participate in programming that supports their development academically, socially and economically.

Afterschool can provide valuable opportunities for students to explore STEM, and we are here to help your program succeed in STEM Learning! From webinars and trainings to our signature TMC Trailers that bring turnkey STEM activities to your doorstep, our diverse collection of resources meets you and your students where you are and provides the support you need to deliver quality programming to your students at any age. 

The South Dakota Afterschool Network wanted to create a mapping tool to better understand the landscape of afterschool and summer programs available for children and families. From the initial launch of the new mapping tool, we have identified some startling findings.