Texas launches lesson plan database

The Texas Afterschool Centers on Education™ (ACE™) program administered by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) has launched the Texas ACEActivity Collection, a database designed to help build capacity of out-of-school-time practitioners to deliver high-quality activities to students and families across Texas and the nation.

This database, available at TexasACE21.org provides out-of-school-time practitioners with a venue to search through a collection of activities and lesson plans using a variety of search criteria (e.g. topics, objectives, etc.). This database allows users to download activities and lesson plans and modify them to meet their specific program needs. All lessons are aligned with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards and include standards for the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, English language proficiency and Texas College and Career Readiness.

The Texas ACE Activity Collection supports the goal of building enduring ACE programs through high-quality programming which contributes to successful students, families, and communities across the state. Activities that complement the school day instruction and prepare students for college and the workplace, as well as those that facilitate family engagement and community involvement are a core of the collection.

Candace M. Ferguson, TEA State Coordinator/Program Manager for the program states, “The vision for the Texas ACE Activity Collection is to bring rigor and consistency across all ACE programs and to provide a resource designed specifically to meet the 21st CCLC requirements and the goals of the Texas ACE program. It is a venue for Texas ACE practitioners to come together, contribute to an online collection of activities, and access shared knowledge and experience in out-of-school-time programming.”

Ferguson continues, “We want our Grantees to be able to choose from a collection of hands-on and engaging activities that have been successful in other ACE programs and provide a basis for which activities can then be tailored to the specific needs of the different programs across the state without having to reinvent the wheel. We also want to connect and combine experience with out-of-school-time practitioners in other states by offering the collection online.”

ACE Grant leaders and their staff will be provided with additional benefits of the database through the secure online learning site at MyTexasACE.org. In addition to being able to create and publish their activities and lessons online, Grantees will be able to share ideas on any modifications, lessons learned, and best practices around the implementation of the activities and lessons, thus contributing to this community of practice through interactive collaboration. The current collection features exciting and interactive lessons such as eWaste (environmental awareness), Newton’s Laws of Motion (science) and service learning through a Hope for Haiti activity, as well as the integration of web 2.0 tools and technology.

ACE is administered by the Texas Education Agency and funded by the Texas 21st CCLC Program administered by the US Department of Education. Edvance Research, a women and minority employee-owned firm, is the provider to TEA for Program Enhancement & Quality Assurance for ACE, and is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.