OST Conference offers training, tools and ideas

As the school year ends, frontline staff involved in offering summer programming gathered from across the city to access training opportunities and new ideas at the fifth annual Out of School Time (OST) Conference.

The conference is an opportunity for people who work with children and youth in out-of-school-time programming to access valuable training while sharing stories from the field and engaging in meaningful discussion.

“It was another fabulous conference,” said participant Sharon Gritter.

“The blanket exercise really touched my heart. It was such a tactile experience as we reimagined hundreds of years of Canadian history through the eyes of Indigenous people. The behavior management workshop was very helpful as well and I plan on implementing what I learned into my program the summer.”

REACH Edmonton supports the conference in many ways, such as chairing the organizing committee, with the aim of supporting organizations in keeping kids engaged in educational and recreational activities in a fun and safe place during the summer months.

“This conference is a collaboration between nine partners to provide quality training around summer programming,” said Lindsay Daniller, director of community initiatives and strategic development at REACH Edmonton.

“It’s a simple, pragmatic way to equip frontline staff with tools that they’ll use every day, which enhances the experience for the youth.”

This free conference is an opportunity for non-profit organizations that may not have training budgets to access new skills, tools and ideas for creating engaging and effective recreational and academic programming that will support them in their upcoming summer programs.

The event also serves as a hub for programming and training ideas, giving professionals in the field an opportunity to gather and network before their summer programs begin in July.