September 5, 2022

Nominate an Afterschool Champion

Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) is accepting nominations for the 2022 Afterschool Champion Awards.

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Champions should demonstrate outstanding work in developing, supporting, and promoting meaningful high-quality afterschool/out-of-school time programs to benefit children, youth, and families across Pennsylvania.

The winners will be recognized during the PSAYDN EMPOWER 2022 Out-of-School Time Conference on Thursday, December 1, 2022.

Submit a Nomination

Awards and their criteria are as follows:

  • Outstanding Policy and Advocacy Award: Setting actionable advocacy goals, strong policymaker relationships, and educating families and communities about quality afterschool.

  • Outstanding Quality Award: Structure and management, positive connections, safety and health, obesity, safety, activities, life skills, core activities.

  • Outstanding Sustainability Award: Developing intentional partnerships (i.e. business, higher ed., STEM), fundraising/resource development, professional development, policy and procedures-continuity of services.

  • Youth Award: Leadership within a program, mentorship abilities, consistent participation, champion for youth (e.g., resilience, strong peer relationships).

  • Policymaker Award: Familiarity with afterschool/OST/summer learning programs, support through funding, resource help, and community connections.

  • Organization Award: Demonstrate dedication and inspiration for the out-of-school time community and help children and youth succeed. Other criteria to be considered: policy and advocacy, sustainability, quality (structure and management, positive connections, safety and health [obesity, safety], activities [life skills, core activities]) as well as PSAYDN’s Statement of Quality in Afterschool and Vision Statement’s three goals.

Submit a nomination on the PSAYDN website. Nominations are due Monday, September 26, 2022.

More Information

Contact Alison Shughart or Steven Williams with any questions regarding the nominations.


August 19, 2019

First Up: Champions for Young Children

Join First Up on September 24 as they celebrate the 2019 Champion of Young Children and raise funds for a worthy cause!


For 25 years, First Up has honored individuals and companies from outside the field of early childhood education for their dedication and commitment to young learners at the Champions for Young Children event. Past Champions have included elected officials, authors, industry leaders, foundations, and corporations that have made a significant investment to benefit all children in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

At this event, participants will eat, dance, and play, with ticket purchases including open access to a selection of beer and wine, a chef-curated menu, and opportunities to release their inner-child through quality early education experiences with a grown-up twist.


Registration for this event is now open and can be completed on the First Up website.

NAEYC Members

NAEYC members receive a $50 discount by registering with Drew Martin at

More Information

For more information, contact First Up at or 215.893.0130.


November 29, 2018

Remind Your Legislator to Prioritize Young Children

Just a few weeks ago on election day, many Pennsylvania legislators and early childhood champions were re-elected and will soon be voting on issues affecting our children and families.

Trying Together and its statewide partners at First Up and PennAEYC are asking advocates to contact their legislators to congratulate them on their re-election. If you have newly elected officials and are an administrator, director, or other early care and education professional who wants to invite them for a tour of your program, Trying Together can help. Just complete and submit this form and someone will be happy to help coordinate a visit or join you!

As the year winds down and preparations are made to get ready for the holidays, it is important to keep our legislators’ inboxes and social media full of reminders about the importance of children. Please take two minutes to contact your legislator in support of early learning programs!