Seeking: Associate, Afterschool

The afterschool field is growing exponentially with more young people served in quality programs after school and during the summer. The growth of the field includes the need for professionals to serve in a variety of roles to build capacity and coordinate national efforts to help expand opportunities for young people.

Are you creative, organized and a problem-solver?  Are you knowledgeable about afterschool, having worked with an afterschool network, youth advocacy group, or organizing an afterschool or summer program?  Are you looking for the next step in your career at a small, dynamic communications firm?

Collaborative Communications Group, Inc. is looking for an associate focused on afterschool to help coordinate the work of the 50 statewide afterschool networks (funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation).  We’re seeking someone with natural curiousity, developed writing skills, clever with technology solutions, and a commitment to supporting children and youth. Flexibility and attention to detail a must!

The associate works as part of a team that develops strategies, initiatives, events, and products that further client goals in a project-based work environment. S/he will support 50 statewide afterschool networks, a portfolio of afterschool websites, databases, and collaboration platforms, and support communications and logistics for events. Web-based tools to match client needs include but are not limited to Twitter, GoToMeeting, EventBrite, WordPress, and Groupsites.

About Collaborative: Collaborative works to improve public education within the United States and across the world through learning, collaboration, communications, and engagement.

We are a learning-focused consulting firm that works to:

  • Connect networks of people in learning communities within and across organizations to significantly enhance their knowledge and capacity;
  • Create, share and use knowledge to generate new ideas and improve performance; and
  • Engage diverse stakeholders to go beyond traditional approaches, create solutions aligned to the values of the people affected by them, and build sustained attention to complex problems.

For more than 18 years, Collaborative has partnered with leading education organizations, foundations, government agencies, school districts, and community-based organizations that share our values and commitment. We provide access to and connections within a growing network of organizations, researchers, consultants, practitioners, and community members whose collective content knowledge, expertise, and experience supports the learning and growth of everyone in the network. We build tools, processes, and products intended to accelerate learning and productivity and that regularly produce breakthrough results.

Responsibilities:  The Associate will provide leadership and support in the following areas:

  1. Support all aspects of the afterschool portfolio.
  2. Help manage multiple websites and platforms showcasing the power of afterschool.
  3. Support events and meetings by overseeing production of printed materials, development of overall meeting agendas, communications with participants and speakers, travel support, and overall customer service.
  4. Manage online communities, listservs, and other ways for networks of people to stay in touch via online resources.
  5. Manage networks of people, understanding the relationships, details, and ideas that support and extend their work.
  6. Support network development essentials including audio and web conferences, Web site content, technical assistance teams, and documentation of meetings.
  7. Develop marketing, invitation lists, and social media content for events and initiatives.
  8. Document meetings, tasks, and deliverables. Prepare agendas for client meetings and document follow-up.
  9. Manage and host webinars on GoToMeeting.

Qualifications: The associate will have or demonstrate:

  1. Bachelor’s degree and a minimum of one year of professional experience.
  2. Experience with afterschool programs or systems strongly preferred.
  3. Commitment to and understanding of afterschool policy issues, particularly for children and youth in underserved communities.
  4. Demonstrated competence in using technology-based tools.
  5. Demonstrated experience and success in organizing people and products.
  6. Ability to travel 4-5 times per year.
  7. Flexibility during peak workload periods is a must.
  8. Strong oral and written communications skills and sound judgment.
  9. Problem solving and organizational skill, analytical thinking, attention to detail, and ability to work on multiple tasks independently as well as collaboratively in a team environment.
  10. Being a team player, teamwork, and working well with others is essential to the success of this position and the department.
  11. Interest in supporting events and webinars. We seek continual improvement and want to explore new ideas for materials, participant experience, and formats to improve the participant experience.
  12. Interest in managing multiple websites, platforms, and communication streams and passion for learning new skills/platforms.
  13. Advanced knowledge of Microsoft Office with strong Excel skills required.
  14. Additional experience in communications, community/civic engagement, or community-based organizations focused on youth issues ideal, but not required.

Salary is competitive. This is a full-time position based in our Washington, DC, office.

To Apply: Please visit to find more information about Collaborative Communications Group’s corporate capabilities, values, philosophy, practice areas and client base. Please combine a cover letter and resume into a single file and send via email to by July 31, 2017. No phone calls please.

The statements in this description represent typical elements, criteria and general work performed. They are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills for this job. Collaborative is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. It is a strongly held value of Collaborative that power and possibility are not limited by gender, race, class, sexual orientation, disability, or age. All candidates will be evaluated on a merit basis.

Our Clients’ Work Shines: Collaborative Wins Six Honors at 22nd Annual Communicator Awards



At Collaborative we are committed to excellence. This is evidenced by our clients, who we are honored to work with, and the incredible work our clients produce. And while we believe good work speaks for itself, there is also something to be said for outside recognition of such work.

For the past three years Collaborative has participated in The Communicator Awards to highlight the work our clients do and to pay tribute to our shared commitment to excellence. Each year we’ve entered, our clients’ work has been honored..






We are thrilled to announced that for the 22nd Annual Communicator Awards, six of our clients received an award, and we hope you will join us in congratulating them and celebrating this tremendous achievement.


Penguin Young Readers Group and Baltimore’s Summer Reading Program

Everyday Hereos Poster

Every Hero Has a Story: Read to Unlock Them!
Winner, Award of Excellence for Print & Design


This poster represents a collaboration between Penguin Young Readers Group and the Baltimore Grade Level Reading Campaign that got young people excited about reading and writing across Baltimore. As part of our work promoting Brad Meltzer’s Real Heroes children’s book series, we reached out to the Baltimore Grade Level Reading Campaign to see if we could help their mission of engaging youth in reading over the summer. A few weeks later, we developed this poster promoting Baltimore’s summer reading campaign, Every Hero Has a Story, which encouraged children to write their own hero stories. Christopher Eliopoulos designed the poster and designed book covers for the five winning stories. When you work with people that are passionate about youth, amazing things happen.


The World Bank Group, a collaborative effort with Social Driver

World Bank STEP Video
Winner, Award of Distinction for Video & Commercial


Systematic Tracking of Exchanges in Procurement, or STEP, is an online planning and tracking system for World Bank projects. It transforms data into knowledge, speeds up the procurement process, and improves accountability and transparency–driving results for better development. Watch the video above to learn more.


The George W. Bush Institute

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 3.51.57 PM (2)

The North America Competitiveness Scorecard
Winner, Award of Distinction for Interactive Media


The George W. Bush Institute created The North America Competitiveness Scorecard as a tool to compare the competitive position of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, as a region, relative to other major economic regions and countries with large economies. The Scorecard provides the opportunity to see at a glance how well North America—country by country and altogether—is performing in the global economy. The Scorecard enables users to compare any countries they wish, look at economic data over time, and examine the economic performance of entire regions.


The QED Group, LLC.


Our Children, Our Future: Ensuring Child Well-Being in Uganda
Winner, Award of Distinction for Print & Design


Developed in support of the National Forum on the State of the Ugandan Child, held in Kampala in October 2015, Our Children, Our Future: Ensuring Child Well-Being in Uganda is a major report and call to action that lays out the National Action Plan for Child Well-Being, as well as the numerous challenges facing children in Uganda. The report also articulates strong goals for addressing those challenges to improving outcomes for children in the country.


College Success Arizona


Doubling Arizona’s Economic Growth: The Potential Fiscal and Social Gains From Increasing Postsecondary Attainment
Winner, Award of Distinction for Print & Design


College Success Arizona released this report in January 2016. The report shows that raising the post-secondary attainment rate has the potential to double Arizona’s economic growth, equating to $660,000 per additional college graduate. The report was the second in their series of publications that highlight the economic and social importance of increasing the number of students that enroll and stay in post-secondary education, and graduate with a degree or certificate.


National Afterschool Association Convention

MyAfterschoolStory Template


View the Twitter campaign here.

Winner, Award of Distinction for Content & Marketing

For the 2015 National AfterSchool Association Convention, we chose a theme of Passionate Professionals, Powerful Stories to help our audience of 1,500 afterschool professionals tell their stories. As part of this, we designed a template for users to print, customize and share their story with the hashtag #MyAfterschoolStroy. By asking them to share their stories, they had to think about themselves: why they do what they do, what drew them to afterschool, what afterschool programs did they do as a kid and why it all matters. Hundreds responded with their stories, ranging from personal growth after tragedy to their goals for the future of afterschool. By digging a little deeper and having these dedicated educators think about themselves, we connected them to a larger community of like-minded peers, highlighted what they have in common in their personal histories and beliefs, helped them to refine their stories and encouraged them to keep telling their stories.

We are honored to participate in The Communicator Awards, and we extend our congratulations to our partners and collaborators who have helped make our work and their work shine.

The Communicator Awards are presented by the Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts (AIVA), and serve to honor achievements in marketing and communication across a range of mediums and platforms.

Think Affordable Afterschool Isn’t an Important Issue? Think Again

By Shawn Griffin

Last week NPR told the story of Jennifer Carter, currently living at a homeless shelter in Salt Lake City, Utah with her five- and seven-year old. Jennifer’s story is representative of a trend. According to The American Almanac of Family Homelessness, the typical homeless family in the U.S. includes a single mom and one or two children.

By all accounts Jennifer had done things right. She earned a degree in business management and accounting. She had a full-time job and worked during the day while her kids were in school. She had an apartment and the family was getting by. She stretched her $13.50 per hour wage to cover rent on a two-bedroom apartment and a staggering $800 per month for afterschool care for her two children.

$800 per month. Two children, two hours per day, five days per week. Four weeks a month. Nearly as much as her $900 per month rent. Jennifer was barely getting by, but she was getting by.

That all changed when her work hours were changed to evenings. There was no way she could afford increased afterschool costs for her kids.

In Jennifer’s case, the cost of caring for her children while she was at work was the tipping point. Her family ended up in a shelter. It’s stories like this—affecting families across the country—that inspired me to share my expertise at the Beyond Housing Conference sponsored by the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homeless January 13-15 in New York City.

It is not okay that families make up nearly 40% of the homeless population in the U.S. It is not okay that nearly 1.3 million children in the US are homeless at some point every year (National Child Traumatic Stress Network). It is not okay that families are losing their homes because they have to choose between affordable afterschool programs and a job.

It is time to do something. So I’m joining hundreds of practitioners, policymakers and service providers to help figure this out. I want to contribute to a solution that ensures Jennifer Carter’s kids don’t have to go to school tired because they are sleeping in a loud common room with 198 other people. I want to ensure moms don’t have to lose their homes because they can’t afford afterschool programs for their kids. I won’t tolerate 1.3 million children homeless each year in the US. Join me and fellow practitioners, policymakers, and service providers to share new and effective programs, solutions, and policies aimed at reducing poverty and homelessness among children and families. Register today at

Proof Point Day

Incubated through the Aspen Institute and its Paraha-Aspen Education Fellows program, May 30 is the start of a new effort, Proof Point Day. As explained by the Aspen Institute, Proof Point Day is intended to start a national conversation on first-generation college students and the challenges they face in achieving that sought-after college diploma.

This is an important conversation for all of us to participate in. While we regularly talk about the importance of postsecondary education or the need to return the United States to glory as the country with the highest percentage of college graduates, we can often sell short those factors that are so important to determining college success, particularly among first-generation goers. We can often lose sight of the motivations, supports and encouragement necessary to both get first-generation college students into postsecondary opportunities and then to help them ultimately earn their degrees. We can overlook that it all starts with making sure high school students recognize they are college material, regardless of their socioeconomic or educational backgrounds.

Across the nation, individuals and organizations are sharing stories of first-generation college goers on social media, using the hashtag #ProofPointDay. I’ve written about the most important first-generation college goer on the Eduflack blog here. As we reflect on helping first-generation college goers earn their college degrees, it is also valuable to look at the work being led by groups such as the Arizona College Scholarship Foundation. As #ProofPointDay talks about the issue, groups like the Foundation and many others like it are acting, day in and day out, to help these students get to college while providing them the financial and mentoring supports to be the first in their families to earn a college degree.

The true proof is found in those groups and individuals who are preparing kids for college, helping them earn admission, making it financially possible and helping them through all the twists and turns one encounters from freshman orientation to donning the cap and gown.

Top Down or Bottom Up – Two Approaches to Funding Education

One of the most important roles of state government is to fund public education. Funding such an important, but inherently divisive function invites equal amounts of kudos and criticism. This post, the first in a series, sets up further discussion about how state governments balance constituent desires, state budget realities and social good to create quality education systems. Continue reading

The end of InBloom and the future of education data systems

Imagine your community was developing a new data initiative for health care.  Your primary care physician could enter your medical information into a secure system to let other medical professionals access your records to ensure you get the best health care possible. You end up in another doctor’s office or emergency room and staff can get immediate access to your medical history—allergies, blood type, medications, surgeries, medical directives, living wills.

Additionally, this system would provide doctors with information that was not personally identifiable to you but would advance their ability to prevent and treat diseases. This has the potential to revolutionize health care. This data system had made great progress. Then it was suddenly shut down.

This happened this week—but it wasn’t in health care.  It was in education. Continue reading

Testing and the “mainstream”ing of assistive digital tools

For years, as the use of online adaptive assessments has continued to increase, many have wondered how technology-focused testing would impact students with disabilities.

As part of its Technology Counts 2014 series, Education Week offers an interesting look at how states are taking the assistive digital tools used for students with disabilities and moving them “into the mainstream.”

While it is clear this is still a developing subject, the piece by Michelle Davis provides some interesting insights into what states like Virginia are already doing. And it shows how digital technology has the power to bring all corners of the learning community together to focus on student needs and opportunities.

Technology, Innovation and Edupreneurs

Innovation plays a powerful role in school improvement and educational transformation. For years, we have heard from leaders like Clayton Christensen speak and write on the impact of disruptive innovation. We have witnessed not-for-profit organizations, startups, individuals and even public entities embody that philosophy, looking for new and exciting ways to teach kids, improve instruction and better our community.

Tom Vander Ark, the founder and CEO of Getting Smart, offered up his thoughts of the “110 Interesting Edupreneurs at SxSW.” And it is indeed an impressive list. Vander Ark provides a thought-provoking list of those individuals looking to improve education in new and thought-providing ways. Continue reading

Technology and Early Learning Classrooms

Researchers, educators, pediatricians and passersby warn parents against putting smart phones and tablets in children’s hands too much and too early. I dare you, though, to find a parent that has never given their child a smart phone or tablet to avoid a potential meltdown.

What should parents believe? Will too-early exposure to technology ruin their children or help them grow into the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates? Interesting research is emerging that can help parents and educators understand the promise and pitfalls of using technology to support children’s early learning. Continue reading

“Just Have Coffee”

In education, we seem to deal in absolutes far too frequently. Positions are black or white. You are either with us or against us. Friend or foe. Right or wrong. There is far too little gray. And we are far too dismissive of those with different opinions or a different take on the same perspective. Continue reading