RALEIGH, NC (March 5, 2018) – The Public School Forum’s NC Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) will host its 14th annual Synergy Conference on April 25-27, 2018 at the Greenville Convention Center in Greenville, NC. This year’s conference theme is Building Tomorrow’s Workforce Today through Expanded Learning.

The Synergy Conference brings together hundreds of afterschool and expanded learning program directors, staff, K-12 educators, and college faculty to share research-based information, as well as relevant strategies for engaging students and parents in the afterschool environment to help strengthen students academically, socially and emotionally. Last year, attendance at the conference reached 400.

Featured speakers and events this year include:

  • The First Lady of North Carolina, Kristin Cooper
  • Girls on the Run International Founder, Molly Barker
  • Graig Meyer (D-Durham, Orange)
  • Awards ceremony recognizing afterschool champions in NC
  • Screening of “Resilience,” a film about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

This year’s three-day conference will kick off on Wednesday with a welcome from Dr. Michael Priddy, former Pitt County Schools Superintendent and Chairman of the Public School Forum of North Carolina, as well as a keynote address from NC Representative Graig Meyer.

Meyer is one of only two trained social workers currently serving in the General Assembly and has focused his legislative and professional life on protecting children who are marginalized and vulnerable. A career educator, from 1998 to 2014 Meyer was the coordinator of the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate program for youth in Chapel Hill- Carrboro Schools.

On Wednesday evening, awards will be distributed to recognize individuals that have served to bridge the gap for youth across North Carolina in regards to afterschool and out-of-school time programs, initiatives and policy. Programs that have met the NC Healthy-Out-School Standards (NC HOST) will also be recognized. First Lady Kristin Cooper and Girls on the Run International Founder Molly Barker will speak at the awards ceremony.

Thursday will feature a screening of the film “Resilience.” “Resilience” is a documentary that delves into the science of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and a new movement to treat and prevent toxic stress. Following the screening, Dr. Katie Rosanbalm from the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy, Melea Rose-Waters from Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, and Elizabeth DeKonty from the Public School Forum of North Carolina will discuss the impact of trauma on children and how we can build resiliency among youth through afterschool and summer programs.

The 2018 Synergy Conference is open to the public and stakeholders who are interested in learning more about out-of-school time opportunities and how they help strengthen student success in school and life. Space is limited, and registration closes April 25, 2018 with on-site registration.

For more information or to register for the conference, please visit www.ncafterschool.org/synergyconference2018. For questions, contact Sheronda Witter at switter@ncforum.org or 919.781.6833 x135.

About the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP)

As North Carolina’s only center dedicated to serving the afterschool and expanded learning community, the North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs (NC CAP) leads and supports a network of over 6,000 providers. NC CAP is a part of the Public School Forum of North Carolina. Our work impacts 160,000 K-12 students in the afterschool community throughout the state. We support the afterschool and expanded learning community by advocating and helping to shape policy, providing professional development opportunities, and bringing together state and national stakeholders.

Follow us on Twitter @ncafterschool and visit our website at www.ncafterschool.org. The Synergy Conference is the only statewide conference that convenes providers of out-of-school time programs, educators and community stakeholders.

About the Public School Forum of North Carolina

Since 1986, the Public School Forum of North Carolina has been an indispensable and

nonpartisan champion of public schools and the most trusted source in the state for research and analysis on vital education issues. We bring together leaders from business, education and government to study education issues, develop ideas, seek consensus, and ultimately inform and shape education policy. We do that through research, policy work, innovative programs, advocacy, and continuing education for educators and policymakers. Follow us on Twitter @theNCForum and visit our website at www.ncforum.org.