Professional Learning Communities (PLC)

For many years, NSLA has invested in Program Quality and Partnerships through webinars, national conferences, training, and tools. Leveraging our expertise, we have expanded our efforts to empower and equip more programs at all stages of development and create deeper partnerships through the formation of Professional Learning Communities (PLC) offering summer programming to students. Each PLC will:

  • Regularly convene and train youth development staff from like-minded groups across the U.S.
  • Be planned, led and facilitated by NSLA program staff and a skilled NSLA expert Field Consultant.
  • Hold quarterly training meetings and one in-person, all day retreat at NSLA’s Annual Conference.
  • Cover key topics such as: COVID-19 Planning, Virtual Learning, Racial Equity, Evaluation, and Program Quality.

To learn more about or join a PLC, please contact the Team Leader listed.

Arts Education

Team Leader – Beth Salyers
Contact Beth

Arts education refers to learning, instruction and programming based upon the visual and tangible arts. It includes performing arts like dance, music, theater, and visual arts like drawing, painting, sculpture, and design works. The programs in this PLC focus on providing youth with meaningful arts education that will enrich them throughout life.


College Access & Summer Melt

Team Leader – Stacy Silverman
Contact Stacy

College access programs foster students’ pursuit of postsecondary education by providing activities such as promoting college aspirations, preparing students to meet college entrance or eligibility requirements, connecting students with peer mentors, and supporting students during the transition to postsecondary education (“summer melt”). Programs in this PLC have supported youth through this process as a central goal.


Environmental & Nature

Team Leader – Beth Salyers
Contact Beth

Programs in this PLC provide an environment and outdoors-focus curriculums. Environmental education allows youth to explore issues, engage in problem-solving, and take action to improve the environment. As a result, they develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues and have the skills to make informed and responsible decisions.


Literacy & Libraries

Team Leader – Liz McChesney
Contact Liz

Public libraries are in an ideal position to deliver education programs over the summer because of their strengths as trusted community hubs for learning. The Literacy and Libraries PLC aims to deepen children’s learning in the summertime by expanding libraries’ offerings through experiential learning.


New Vision for Summer Schools

Team Leader – Devonne Nobles
Contact Devonne

The New Vision for Summer School Network (NVSS Network) of school districts is committed to summer learning that engages more children and youth, boosts academic achievement and supports teaching and learning throughout the school year. Districts in this group work to close the opportunity gap to ensure that all young people have access to high-quality summer learning to help them succeed in college, career and life.


Public Housing-Based

Team Leader – Jason Perry
Contact Perry

Public housing-based summer programs meet youth where they are and strive to provide safe, high-quality summer experiences in a community setting. This alignment of housing, education, and health can have positive long-term outcomes for those experiencing poverty.


Special Populations

Team Leader – Sterling Leija
Contact Sterling
Programs in this PLC work with youth facing unique life circumstances–physical or learning disabilities, bereavement, homelessness, etc.–while providing a traditional summer experience.


Sports & Health

Team Leader – Becky Wade-Mdivanian
Contact Becky

Physical activity is critical to the development of young people, supporting their physical, social and emotional health. Programs in this PLC use sport to facilitate learning and life skill development in youth.


STEM & Health Careers

Team Leader – Brodrick Clarke
Contact Brodrick

This PLC includes programs that support youth from underrepresented backgrounds who aspire to have careers in the STEM and Health fields. Like the College Access PLC, these programs aim to expose youth to STEM and Health education and careers to encourage them to pursue those pathways.


Youth Employment & Internships

Team Leader – Dawn Hill
Contact Dawn

Programs in this PLC provide older youth with supportive and meaningful employment experiences and paid internships. Their goal is to guide youth to achieve personal goals and prepare for career paths through empowerment, education, and employment opportunities.