Future Ready, Starts Today, VPOST 14th Annual Conference

Monday, 27 March 2023 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT

901 Prices Fork Rd, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, United States

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Monday, 27 March 2023 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT

The Inn at Virginia Tech and Skeleton Key Conference Center, 901 Prices Fork Rd, Blacksburg, VA, 24061, United States.

About our Conference 

VPOST is the only state-wide event for the out-of-school time field in Virginia. Our annual conference provides professional learning and networking for hundreds of practitioners and champions across the Commonwealth. 


This year’s conference theme, “Future Ready, Starts Today” speaks to the need to prepare young people for a future we might not yet imagine while recognizing the importance of the here and now. In the wake of the pandemic, as we are in the process of redefining our new normal, what is worth carrying forward into the future, and what are we ready to leave in the past? What skillsets and mindsets can we adopt today to help us and the young people we serve to prepare for the future? How can we be future-oriented while remaining rooted in the power of the present day? 

Join approximately 200 active leaders in education and out-of-school time, representing thousands of youth from across the Commonwealth. Our conference is designed for Afterschool/Summer Learning Programs, Schools, Community Centers, Mentoring Leaders, Libraries, Parks & Recreation Departments, Government Agencies, Faith-Based Programs, Early Childhood/Childcare Leaders, Nonprofit Organizations, and Business Partners!


Our Gift to You

NEW THIS YEAR! In our commitment in investing in you as a professional, every attendee is eligible to take a digital headshot during our conference! (Estimated value $250)

About the Keynote

For centuries HOPE has been discussed in theology, mythology, philosophy, and everyday conversation but science was slow in examining this powerful life-changing force we call HOPE.  Rick Miller’s keynote will examine this powerful concept by scientifically exploring how HOPE is created and activated for all, by all, and why it is important to understand the transformation from trauma-informed care to hope-informed strategies. 



Attendees are responsible for securing their own lodging. 

Please note, the discounted rate block at the event venue closed on March 6, 2023. 



Computational Thinking and Game Design Guided by Artificial Intelligence Students design fun and engaging video games simply by describing the logic of their games in English. The artificial intelligence will automatically convert the description into a playable game. Whenever there are unclear or erroneous sentences, the system will also generate suggestions on how to correct and/or improve the sentences. The students learn design and computational thinking, as well as improve literacy. Michael Hsiao, Virginia Tech
Beyond Rewards: Using Self-Determination Theory to Build Intrinsic Motivation Among Afterschool Students The students we most want to attend our after school sessions are often those that are least motivated during the school day. How can we recruit and retain them in our programs, and help nurture the intrinsic motivation necessary to regain ground academically? Using the lens of Self-Determination Theory, this workshop will explore the psychological foundations of student motivation and give them ideas to help reengage and support struggling students in our after school programs.  Rob Wright, King and Queen County Schools
Leading with Social Emotional Learning In order to cultivate social emotional skills in our staff and students, we must start by developing it in our leadership styles. In this session, participants will learn how to lead with SEL and model these skills. Participants will understand how to create an environment where social emotional skill building can thrive in both the staff and students that they lead. Participants will engage in self-reflection, group discussions and hands-on activities. Katie Frazier, WINGS for Kids
Coding with Bravery, Resilience, Community, and Equity We will provide an overview of Girls Who Code, our educational philosophy, and how our free Clubs include equity-focused practices that teach students more than code. We’ll engage participants in the partnership experience with GWC and discuss the ways that we support partners in launching their clubs, building their networks, and engaging with students of any gender at all levels of coding. Participants will have the opportunity to discuss how to incorporate our curriculum into their programs. Lindsay Jones, Girls Who Code
THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF POSITIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: BUILDING BLOCKS FOR OUR PROGRAMS, BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE What is Positive Youth Development (PYD): Overview of the theoretical underpinnings and key principles of PYD and a brief review of adolescent development. Building Positive Youth Outcomes: Definition of positive outcomes and discussion of strategies to build these outcomes. Youth Voice and Engagement: Discussion/Activity of ways to give young people opportunities for meaningful engagement and overcome common barriers and isms. Tamice Spencer-Helms, MENTOR Virginia
Digital & Social Media Conversations: The Impact of Poor Behaviors & The Consequences That Follow What are your students’ profiles saying to the world about themselves on Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Twitter? And WHY is it a problem? In this session, we will expose, discuss and share the impact of poor social media activity AND we will share tips and tricks on how to help students create a mindful, positive, and appropriate social media profiles and behaviors. Join us for this interactive workshop. Bring your phones! Jennifer A. Rodriguez , kid-grit
The WH Questions (why, what, when, and where) of relationships and partnerships and how they are the CORNERSTONE of a thriving Community Learning Center Strong partnerships built on relationships together are the cornerstone of a thriving Community Learning Center. These interior and exterior partnerships are the grounds for building programs that support students and their families through programming that promote family engagement, family involvement while making family connections Join us to examine your current approach and craft a plan for improving or enhance your networking skills and partner base.  Marci Goode, Henrico County Public Schools
Tycoons of Tomorrow: Using Youth Entrepreneurship to Develop Future Workplace Skills This session highlights the connection between the future workplace skills and Youth Entrepreneurship. Through engaging activities, participants will discover how to showcase student voice and choice as well as develop the skills and mindsets that students will need to tackle the problems of the future.  Kaitlin Ilnitzki, James Madison University/VPOST
Becoming an Afterschool Coaching, A Reflective Educator in STEM Learn proven methods for engagement and professional learning to support OST STEM educators as they build capacity around: 

1.) Finding Enriching STEM activities; 2.) Understanding What Youth Have Learned without a Test; 3.) Empowering Youth through Voice and Choice; 4.) Reaching All Youth through Active Math; 5.) Using Virtual Tools to Engage Youth at a Distance; 6.) Activating Critical Thinking through Purposeful Questions; and 7.) Taking Science Outside.
Christina Clark, STEM EIC
Building a National Service Program for your Agency  For Out-of-School Time organizations, an AmeriCorps (aka "National Service") program can offer a dramatic expansion of service, but the steps required can seem overwhelming. This presentation will breakdown the requirements of a National Service program, offer examples of successful program models and help participants consider which stream of service may be the best fit for their agency.  Sam Sokolove, Building Beloved Communiites 

Who knows quality best? You! Previewing and providing Input to the new VPOST Quality Standards

In this session, participants preview the revised Virginia OST Program Quality Standards. VPOST believes the OST educators in the field have valuable experiences and insight to share. Workshop participants are invited to advise on the draft standards before they are published. As experts in the field, participants will engage in sharing real-life examples of the quality standards in action.

Michael Courtney, Virginia Department of Education
Volunteerism for Transformation: What the pandemic taught us about creating a dynamic volunteer program for change The past three years have rocked individuals, organizations and their programs at every level, and volunteers were no exception. What are some lessons from the pandemic, and how can Out-of-school-time staff and leaders use volunteers in more thoughtful, flexible and intentional ways to fulfill their program’s mission? Hadyn Kihm, Fairfax County, Neighborhood and Community Services
Youth Voice This workshop guides staff to support young people by providing opportunities for voice and choice. With proper support and scaffolding over time, young people grow in responsible decision leadership.This workshop is part of the David P. Weikart Center's Youth Work Methods series. Built on more than 50 years of research and practice in positive youth development, these 10 interactive workshops are modeled on the Weikart Center's pyramid of program quality & designed to give point-of-service staff practical skills they can implement immediately. You will receive a workbook as part of your attendance. Charles Johnson, Virginia Commonwealth University
Square Pegs in Round Holes: Moving from Fitting In to Belonging, Creating Welcoming Environments Creating an environment where our young people feel supported and safe to learn and explore who they are is paramount to what we do as youth developers. In this session, attendees will learn how they can create an environment where participants feel welcomed and a sense of belonging, regardless of what participants bring to the table. By taking a proactive approach in program set-up, staff development and youth voice, attendees will be able to understand the role they play in ensuring participants feel truly welcomed. A review of inclusive best practices, Safe Zone fundamentals, and Kids at Hope philosophies help ensure that attendees can begin creating these environments as soon as they get back to their programs. The Workshop aims at improving connectedness, wellbeing, and outcomes for all. VPOST Quality Standards: Inclusion and Belonging, Safe Environments, Relationships, Child and Youth Voice, Leadership and Staff Development. Jonathan Melendez, Fairfax OST Network
From Youth at Risk to Kids at Hope This session is a deeper dive related to the themes discussed in Rick Miller’s keynote. Professor Miller will explore how HOPE can be integrated into the out-of-school environment by developing a culture that supports the belief and practice which demonstrates that all kids are capable of success, No Exceptions. Rick Miller, Keynote Speaker


Christine Jones-Monaccio

The Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time (VPOST), our vision is a future where all Virginia families have the out-of-school-time support they need to thrive. As the state-wide OST network, we pursue this vision through professional development, quality, and policy initiatives.

Contact the Organizer View other events

Rick Miller
Kids At Hope

About Rick Miller

Kids At Hope

About Bronze Sponsor: Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth

https://www.vfhy.org/ Sponsor Logo

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Sessions on Mar 27, 2023

08:00 AM

Registration, Networking, Breakfast and Exhibits

08:00 AM - 09:00 AM
09:00 AM

Welcome and Introductions

09:00 AM - 09:15 AMBallroom
09:15 AM


09:15 AM - 10:00 AMBallroom
    Rick Miller
    SpeakerKids At Hope
    10:00 AM

    Transition and Exhibits

    10:00 AM - 09:15 AM
    10:15 AM

    Workshop Round One

    10:15 AM - 11:10 AMVaries
    11:10 AM

    Transition, Exhibits

    11:10 AM - 11:25 AM
    11:25 AM

    Workshop Round 2

    11:25 AM - 12:20 PM
    12:20 PM

    Networking Lunch & Exhibits

    12:20 PM - 01:15 PM
    01:15 PM

    Lunch Plenary: Local OST Panel

    01:15 PM - 02:00 PM
    02:00 PM

    Transition, Exhibits

    02:00 PM - 02:15 PM
    02:15 PM

    Workshop Round 3

    02:15 PM - 03:10 AM
    03:10 PM

    Refreshments, Networking, and Exhbits

    03:10 PM - 04:00 PM
    04:00 PM


    04:00 PM - 04:30 PM
    04:30 PM

    Door Prizes and Closing Remarks

    04:30 PM - 05:00 PM