Super Tools For Super Programs with Mike Ashcraft

November 13, 2023 @ 8:00 Am - 4:00 PM
Acadia Recreation Complex - Rose Hall


Come join our company-wide PD Day led by the incredible Mike Ashcraft! you and 84 of your closest peers will enjoy an energy-filled day of learning and laughter (lunch included) bringing our teams the opportunity to work and PLAY together. Don’t forget to where comfortable shoes!


Mike Ashcraft is a thought leader in the fields of positive child and youth development and out-of-school-time (OST) programming. He is the Founder and Lead Learner of Children’s Choice, a highly-acclaimed and successful provider of OST programming in Albuquerque New Mexico, USA. Mike’s mission in life is to continuously learn new and innovative theories and practices and passionately share them with others, and helping them benefit by developing their own competences. He works with leaders, educators, & caregivers who want to have less stress, be more effective, & have more fun at work!



Mike Ashcraft, Founder and CEO of Children’s Choice, holds a Master of Arts Degree in Education with an Emphasis in School-Age Care from Concordia University. He holds a graduate-level certification as a Pedagogista in the Reggio Emilia Approach from Webster University. He is a doctoral of education candidate (ABD) with Nova Southeastern University.  He has more than 20 years of experience in child care and education.  He served as a training and technical service contractor and a professional writing contractor for the New Mexico Public Education Department. He served as a guest professor on the faculty of Concordia University, teaching college courses in school-age care programming. He is a former Accreditation Endorser for the National Afterschool Association. He is the former President of the New Mexico School-Age Care Alliance and the New Mexico Association for the Education of Young Children.  He is the author of Best Practices: Guidelines for School-Age Programs, and the Best Practices Workbook, and co-author of Learning to Lead: Leading to Learn: Organizational Leadership for the Child Care and Youth Development Director.



Cultivating a Culture of Caring, Collaboration, and Commitment

In today’s fast-paced and ever-evolving afterschool landscape, organizations that prioritize a culture of caring, collaboration, and commitment tend to thrive. This workshop is designed to provide you with the knowledge and tools needed to create and nurture such a culture within your program. Understand how to establish meaningful rituals and practices that demonstrate care and concern for your employees, leading to increased loyalty and engagement. Explore the importance of aligning your organizational goals with the individual aspirations and needs of your team members to create a sense of purpose and belonging. Discover the art of building and maintaining strong interpersonal relationships within your organization, fostering trust and cooperation.


Super Tools for Super Afterschool Programs: Environment, Relationships, and Experiences.

Do you want some powerful tools for facilitating physical, emotional, cognitive, and social development in the children you work with? Come explore effective strategies for the intentional design of the Great Afterschool Programming Triad: the Environment, the Relationships, and the Experiences! Together we will build valuable insights and practical strategies for creating a positive, enriching, inclusive environment where all children feel a sense of belonging, and environment that facilitates the positive development of children. We will explore ways to build meaningful and authentic connections with children beginning with a foundation of trust. You will learn effective listening techniques to create nurturing and supportive relationships with the children you work with. We will discuss proven strategies designed to build child-focused enrichment experiences and learn about the benefits of play, the role of playfulness in afterschool engagement and enthusiasm for learning.


Games that Build Community – F.A.S.T.

Learn games that help kids and staff learn how to handle making mistakes.  Learn “in case of emergency” games to use when your group has to wait for the next thing to happen. Learn name games, get-to-know-you games, circle games, silly low-stress games, team-building challenges and more.  This is a hands-on experience and a time to share some favorite proven games and activities perfect for afterschool programs, summer camps, or staff teambuilding events.