MMSA logo


ACRES Celebrates Afterschool Educators

A collage of photos of educators featured in the associated blog post that also includes the ACRES logo.

During Afterschool Professional Appreciation Week, the ACRES program at MMSA is thrilled to spotlight five outstanding afterschool educators who represent the #HeartOfAfterschool. In this post, hear from these ACRES participants about what makes their unique afterschool programs impactful and learn more about the ways they integrate STEM into their work. From engaging activities to inspiring mentorship, afterschool educators are shaping the future leaders of tomorrow. Join us as we appreciate these exceptional educators who make a difference in the lives of the youth they work with every day.

A photo of Angelica Tyler

Angelica Tyler
Statewide STEM Coordinator
South Carolina Afterschool Alliance
South Carolina

What’s something you’re proud of that your youth have accomplished recently?
South Carolina participated in Technovation Girls, a global initiative aimed at uplifting girls in STEM. Last year was our first year participating in this program and we made it to the Semi-Finals round of the Global Technovation Girls Competition.

How has ACRES had an impact on your work as an educator?
ACRES has been such a great train-the-trainer tool in South Carolina. We have incorporated learned principles from ACRES and implemented smaller cohort sessions with out-of-school time educators in South Carolina.

A photo of Zohreh Khoshnamak

Zohreh Khoshnamak
Chrysalis Development Group CEO
Teen Science Cafe/ Science Club/ Robotic Club
Alexandria, VA

What aspect of your role do you enjoy the most?
Working with kids and bringing opportunities where none existed before.

What is your favorite STEM activity?
I love all STEM activities, especially when the kids enjoy them. I’m partial to coding, robotics, chemistry, and physics activities.

A photo of LaTonya Miles

La Tonya Miles
Student Support Specialist/ 21st Century Afterschool Site Director
21st Century Community Learning Center
Burgaw, NC

What’s something you’re proud of that your youth have accomplished recently?
I am proud of all of them showing me growth every day in academics, their personality and just being great well-rounded kids.

What is your favorite STEM activity?
I would have to say slime because it is timeless. No matter what grade, they love to make it and it is therapeutic.

A photo of Patrice Boswell

Patrice Boswell
OST Community Manager
OST Carole Robertson Center for Learning
Chicago, IL

What’s something you’re proud of that your youth have accomplished recently?
This past month, we did Destination Imagination, a project-based, kid-driven program that teaches kids to be innovative problem solvers. Teams of students collaborate, think outside the box, and create unique solutions to one of seven different challenges in preparation for a fun, problem-solving competition. The team of 3rd-grade students selected an improv challenge but were very shy and unable to complete their first challenge. Over the course of a month, the same 3rd graders were able to “come out of their shell,” perform, and excel at their improv challenges, and will be headed to competition in two weeks to compete with other schools across Illinois.

What is your favorite STEM activity?
I love any STEAM activity that involves creating or building something out of everyday materials. Recently, I did an activity that involved making unique food dishes out of clay, and I loved it! I enjoyed the creativity and ‘kid-like’ wonder and ability that comes from these activities.

A photo of Delrisha Hayes

Delrisha Hayes
Founder/Executive Director
At Bat
Detroit, MI

What’s something you’re proud of that your youth have accomplished recently?
Understanding and learning how to get the mean, median, and mode of their base running scores. Students ran all four bases (first to second, second to third, third to home, and home to first), and then they worked with a University of Michigan UROP student to calculate the mean, median, and mode. They also learned a song to help them calculate the mean, medium, and mode.

What is your favorite STEM activity?
The hypothesis activity is where youth are asked if they need a glove or not to catch a baseball. They’re also asked if the batting order should be runners that are fastest to slowest or slowest to fastest. Youth will first make an educated guess and then work in a group to test out their hypothesis. This activity encourages youth to think critically and gain a better understanding of the sport of baseball.


To celebrate the Afterschool Professionals in your life, consider doing one or more of the ideas shared by the National Afterschool Association:

  • Declare on social media: “Research shows that Afterschool professionals make a profound difference in the lives of young people. #heartofafterschool”
  • Give a hand-written card from you and/or your child to the afterschool professionals you know.
  • Send an email to an afterschool professional’s supervisor describing why that person is appreciated.
  • Make healthy or non-food treats for the staff at your afterschool program.

And if you are an Afterschool Professional, check out ACRES to connect with other professionals in a supportive and brave professional learning environment! And thank you for the meaningful, impactful work that you do!

Join Our Newsletter

Related Posts

Copyright © 1992 — 2023 Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance • All rights reserved
Physical Address: 343 Water Street, Augusta, Maine 04330
Mailing Address: PO Box 2246, Augusta, Maine 04338

This website uses cookies.

By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies. Please read our privacy policy to learn more about the use of cookies on this site.