November 13-15, 2019 | beaver creek, co

The PwrHrs Rural Afterschool Conference is a unique opportunity to connect, collaborate, and create. It will bring together a strong network of educators, organizations, and thought leaders to share information, gain expertise, and collectively build a roadmap to support the quality and sustainability of afterschool programming in our rural communities.

The conference line-up includes keynotes from national education leaders along with a special evening with New York Times best-selling author, Sarah Smarsh. Individual tickets on-sale early summer 2019.

The Grove Consultants International will lead collaborative learning sessions and interactive workshops with practitioners and experts in the field to provide all attendees with and actionable road map to take back to your community.

I’m interested in…


Early Bird Registration: $150 (until September 1, 2019)

General Registration: $200

Special registration discounts available through our partners! For more information, contact

Certificates for Continuing Education Credit provided. Refer to your own state Department of Education for more information. Some session blocks are approved Professional Development for Colorado licensed school-aged childcare providers. More details coming soon. 

Special lodging pricing is available at the Park Hyatt, Beaver Creek for $129/night!

Instructions on booking your stay will be communicated in your registration confirmation email. For more information, contact

Epic Mountain Express can get you to and from Denver International Airport to Beaver Creek. Book your travel with 25% off special pricing!



A full online program book will be available Summer 2019. Here are some highlights of the conference line-up…

Best Practices: practioners in rural afterschool will use interactive and hands-on to share their expertise in…

  • Literacy and Math
  • Family Engagement
  • Social Emotional Skills
  • Student Led Project-Based Learning
  • Building an afterschool program from scratch
  • Multiple skill integration

The Power of Partnerships strand will…

  • share details on creating afterschool community committees
  • ways to integrate community needs in program development
  • tactics to leverage what you’ve got to make magic happen
  • explore best practices in utilizing AmeriCorps for positive academic outcomes
  • highlight the library-learning equation
  • offer options for 21st Century Learning Centers
  • help practioners and communities tap into resources, financial and otherwise, to make dreams happen.

Quality and Evaluation sessions will…

  • provide authentic ways to incorporate student voice and leadership in program development and decisions, led by youth themselves
  • expose participants to Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR) that put youth at the center of the research and evaluation process, making them participants rather than subjects, even within the challenges of rural afterschool
  • share research around evaluating the impact of afterschool
  • engage participants on how to deepen or begin their own program evaluation
  • lead discussions on what constitutes quality in rural programming, and how it can be measured within the strengths of communities

Advocating for Rural Afterschool Sessions will…

  • share different strategies that focus on community leverage, from government to academia, from businesses to schools and everyone in between that can not only keep afterschool doors open but bring incredible value to curriculum and wrap-around services
  • highlight how to track in-kind value in a meaningful way
  • discuss the black, white, and gray areas of advocacy for extended learning providers and highlight positive outcomes of advocacy across the nation
  • provide advocacy training through best practices for messaging and how to talk about after school, as well as draft a plan for local advocacy on issues that matter to their programs, kids, and families and understand how their voice can influence policy makers and help their students succeed

The Fifth Day Strand will…

  • explore the challenges and innovative solutions around the growing needs of four-day school weeks
  • share best practices for fifth-day from career exploration to STEM to wrap-around services


The Grove Consultants International will graphically record facilitated listening sessions providers, stakeholders, and youth around experiences, ideas, and problem-solving strategies around afterschool in rural communities. Participants will all contribute to creating a “roadmap” tool to support their work in their in-home communities after the conference.



Check back soon! We are fine-tuning our detailed schedule. 


Afternoon only

2:00 – 5:00 PM | Pre-conference site visits to PwrHrs program location

5:00 PM | Welcome Reception & Keynote Presentation


Full Day

8:00 AM | Continental Breakfast and Networking

8:30 AM | Opening Remarks

9:00 – 10:00 AM | General Session & Keynote Presentation

10:20 – 12:00 PM | Session Block 1

12:00 PM | Lunch & Keynote Presentation

1:15 – 2:45 PM | Session Block 2

3:00 – 4:30 PM | Session Block 3

4:30 – 5:30 PM | General Session: Heart Mapping for Rural Quilt

5:30 PM | A Special Evening with Sarah Smarsh: Rural Afterschool and Education: A Door to the World for Low Income and Minority Students

6:30 PM | Book Signing with Sarah Smarsh


Morning only

8:00 AM | Continental Breakfast and Networking

8:30 – 9:30 AM | General Session & Keynote Presentation with Gina Warner, National Afterschool Association

9:30 – 10:45 AM | Session Block 4

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Final Collaborative Session with Grove

12:00 – 12:30 PM | Final Remarks


Presenting: Rural Afterschool and Education: A Door to the World for Low Income and Minority Students

Thursday, November 14 | 5:30 – 6:30 PM | Q & A + Book Signing

$25 | Individual tickets will be available starting early Summer 2019. 

Sarah Smarsh is an author, educator, speaker, and journalist who focuses on socioeconomic class and rural America. Her book Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth examines historic economic inequality and tells the story of her upbringing among the working poor on a Kansas farm.
By ninth grade, Sarah attended eight southern-Kansas schools, ranging from a 2,000-student high school to a two-room prairie schoolhouse. She holds an MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia, as well as degrees in journalism and English from the University of Kansas. Her book, Heartland, has been compared to Jeannette Walls’ bestselling memoir The Glass Castle and is a perfect companion to Barbara Ehrenreich’s iconic Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America. A former English professor and grant-writer for social service agencies, Sarah aims for all of her work to have a backbone of civic responsibility.
Sarah’s reportage and commentary have been published by The Guardian, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s, and many other publications. Her essays on class and poverty, “Poor Teeth” and “The First Person on Mars,” were both listed as notables in Best American Essays. Sarah recently published a four-part piece in No Depression about Dolly Parton and the working-class feminism found in country music. She is a regular commentator in national media and has spoken on poverty, politics, rural issues, cultural divides and the future of news. Sarah was recently a Fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy and will soon launch a much-anticipated podcast about class and rural America.
As a fifth-generation Kansas farm kid, Sarah is a long-time dancer of the Country Two-Step, and she once won a nail-driving contest. She lives in Kansas.


Since 2005, Jodi Grant has been Executive Director of the Afterschool Alliance, a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.
In America today, 11.3 million children take care of themselves after the school day ends, more than 10 million students are in afterschool programs but the parents of almost 20 million children say their kids would participate if a program were available. The Afterschool Alliance seeks to educate the public, the media and policy makers about the enormous potential of quality afterschool programs and how programs across the country are inspiring children and creating opportunities for them to succeed academically, socially and professionally. The Afterschool Alliance serves as a national voice for afterschool and provides resources and materials to more than 25,000 afterschool programs. It organizes national and local afterschool events, including the organization’s signature event, Lights On Afterschool; conducts research on the need and support for afterschool; creates tools for afterschool practitioners; and connects afterschool leaders to national, state and local opinion leaders.
As Executive Director, Grant oversees all aspects of the Afterschool Alliance’s work – setting its goals and strategies for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, working with the field to help programs tap into federal funding streams, and supervising research to help national, state and local afterschool advocates and providers support, create and expand quality afterschool programs.


Carrie Morgridge serves as the Vice President and Chief Disruptor of The Morgridge Family Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to invest in transformative gifts. Carrie is the award winning Author of Every Gift Matters – How Your Passion Can Change the World. Her second book, The Spirit of the Trail was just released on May 5, 2018.

Carrie and her husband John created Student Support Foundation, a national organization that inspires youth philanthropy. For the past decade they have celebrated and advanced the educator profession by creating mindSpark Learning. mindSpark Learning is focused on empowering educators to tackle the most challenging conditions in their schools through Design Thinking and other strategies.

Carrie speaks nationally to education advocacy forums, at poverty alleviation conferences, and many convenings, globally, that are philanthropically focused. She divides her time between Colorado and Florida. She and John have two children who both reside in Denver, Colorado.


Growing up in rural Alabama I was fortunate to have been a part of 4-H through most of my junior high and high school years. I still remember vividly the absolute terror I felt in the minutes leading up to my first public speaking event! Thank goodness for those adults who worked with me, mentored me and helped me grow – not just as a speaker, but as a leader. Those afterschool experiences certainly helped make me the person I am today.
I was named President and CEO of the National AfterSchool Association in June 2012. NAA – the voice of the afterschool profession – has over 20,000 members across the country and hosts the most comprehensive program of professional development opportunities for afterschool professionals anywhere in the United States. In this role I am tasked with reinvigorating a thirty year old organization to meet the needs of both emerging and experienced afterschool professionals through enhanced training and development as well as increased communication, outreach and membership engagement. I am proud of the number of innovations that I’ve helped develop at NAA, including the first national e-learning platform for afterschool, the first nationally-recognized STEM Credential for afterschool professionals and an Early Reading Literacy Initiative that will be launched in late 2016. I’ve also worked hard to broaden and expand the reach of NAA, diversifying its partnerships through the creation of a Corporate Advisory Board and the International Learning Exchange Program.
In 2014 I was honored to be selected as one of the inaugural members of the Presidential Leadership Scholars program, an initiative operated by the combined presidential libraries of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson. During my time as a scholar I focused on the creation of a Leadership Initiative for the afterschool field.


YouthPower365 is a non-profit based in Eagle County, Colorado. The organization’s PwrHrs K-12 programming utilizes a strong partnership with Eagle County Schools, coupled with support from grants, individual donors, and local volunteers to provide quality afterschool and summer programming to thousands of young people each year.

Our mission to provide year-round extended learning that inspires, educates and empowers the youth and families of Eagle County from cradle to career-readiness.





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