Radio Report: “New Standards Improve Jacksonville Afterschool Programs”

Efforts in Jacksonville, Fla., to boost afterschool have led to higher quality standards for programs, but there’s still work to do – including expanding programs to every school in the district, the NPR affiliate in Jacksonville, WJCT, reports. Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown is quoted as citing the importance of measuring progress through indicators such as the number of children attending programs and whether these kids end up graduating high schools. “We want to make sure kids are learning,” he says. The radio report covers a meeting of about 300 people involved in afterschool in Jacksonville to assess where the city stands halfway into an initiative to advance the development of a districtwide afterschool system. The initiative, supported by The Wallace Foundation, seeks to coordinate the work of programs and other key afterschool players in the city. “When you network programs together you can really help improve access and, therefore, close the opportunity gap,” says Priscilla Little, Wallace’s initiative manager.