Ellen Gannett, M.Ed., senior strategist and former director of the National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST), was honored for her decades of leadership in the field of out-of-school time (OST) during the National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention in New York, NY, in March 2019.
Georgia Hall, Ph.D., current director of NIOST, was one of many speakers at the event. She commended Gannett’s career, saying, “Thank you for your dedicated, life long service for ensuring high-quality out-of-school time experiences for the children, youth, and OST workers of this country.”
In a speech accepting the honor, Gannett spoke to the strength of the OST field. She said, “Even in these trying times, when the future of education and afterschool and youth development seems to be in such a vulnerable place, our community of leaders will stand up to the needs of young people and the future of our movement.”
In addition to the award ceremony, Gannett, Hall, and their NIOST colleagues presented a number of educational sessions during the National AfterSchool Association Annual Convention. Gannett and Kathy Schleyer, M.S., director of training and quality improvement, showed attendees how evaluation tools, like those offered by NIOST, can help youth development programs to self assess, improve, and grow. Schleyer also led a session for managers on using a coaching mindset to better support staff.
Hall led two presentations at the Convention on diversity in afterschool. One session gave OST professionals language, resources, and ideas to be more inclusive for youth of all gender identities. The second helped youth development professionals become more aware of their own biases to increase empathy for themselves and the youth they mentor.