Grateful for the Contributions of This Out-of-School-Time Workforce Pioneer
October 17, 2022
After more than 40 years of dedicated service, Ellen Gannett, Senior Strategist and former Director, retired from The National Institute on Out-of-School Time (NIOST) at Wellesley College at the end of September. Her contributions to the field are numerous and her presence as a leader and advocate for professionals in the out-of-school time (OST) field and the youth they serve will be missed. As Ellen shifts to more time with her grandchildren and walks on the beach, we reflect back on some of the “firsts” for the OST field in which she played a critical role:
- First national standards for quality, developed in partnership with the National School Age Child Care Alliance (now NAA) in 1994 as part of a National Improvement and Accreditation System.
- A groundbreaking system-building effort, the MOST (Making the Most of Out-of-School-Time) Initiative, launched in 1995 in Boston, Chicago, and Seattle, taking a multi-level approach to solving school-age care needs.
- First national core competencies for afterschool and youth development professionals, adopted by NAA in 2011 (now known as Core Knowledge, Skills, and Competencies for OST Professionals).
- First evidence-based standards to foster healthy-eating and physical activity in afterschool programs, created in 2011 by the founding members of the Healthy Out-of-School-Time Coalition (HOST) (which included NIOST along with the YMCA of the USA and the University of Massachusetts-Boston).
NIOST celebrates Ellen, the deep personal relationships with her we all cherish, and all of her professional accomplishments this week with a small gathering of current and former colleagues and her family. Congratulations on your retirement, Ellen!