FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Erin Brownfield
The Wallace Foundation
NLC AND THE WALLACE FOUNDATION ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP TO IMPROVE OUT-OF-SCHOOL LEARNING
WASHINGTON, D.C., July 16, 2007 – The Wallace Foundation has awarded a three-year, $1.275 million grant to the National League of Cities (NLC) to help the organization share information about how cities can better support high-quality out-of-school learning opportunities for all their young people.
The three-year grant, which will go to NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, will enhance the group’s efforts to help municipal leaders build coordinated, citywide approaches to out-of-school learning. The grant is also aimed at improving the Institute’s communications and networking, and promoting both NLC and Wallace as key resources on out-of-school time issues. The partnership will also further Wallace’s goal of sharing lessons about out-of-school time with a broad audience of decision-makers.
“The Wallace Foundation and the Institute share the same vision – that city leaders are essential in building a strong system of out-of-school time programs that meet the needs of all children and youth. This progress can only occur with dynamic and informed city leadership and resources,” said Clifford M. Johnson, executive director of the Institute for Youth, Education, and Families.
“In five cities around the country – Boston, Chicago, New York, Providence and Washington, D.C. – Wallace is supporting significant change efforts to provide coordinated, high-quality out-of-school time for the kids who need it most,” said M. Christine DeVita, president of The Wallace Foundation. “This new partnership with the National League of Cities will help Wallace share the lessons we and others are learning about how cities can achieve this goal, so that city leaders have the knowledge they need as they lead efforts in their own cities.”
Growing evidence shows that high quality, out-of-school time programs can help keep children safe, assist working families and support a range of positive outcomes for kids. They also help prevent crime during the after-school hours, while contributing to the overall quality of life for families. Since 1995, NLC surveys of mayors, city council members, and other municipal leaders have consistently shown that local elected officials consider after-school programs a top priority and an essential component of efforts to make their cities more family-friendly.
The most effective out-of-school time programs provide a diverse array of activities, such as dance, music and sports. Successful programs also help young people master new skills through hands-on learning, the use of formal curriculums, and homework help provided in small groups. Such programs can be offered before or after school, in the evenings or on weekends, and during the summer.
NLC will also work with the Seattle-based Institute for Community Change to devise ways to expand effective out-of-school time programming citywide and develop methods for measuring the impact of their efforts over time.
NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education, and Families has provided in-depth assistance since 2001 to mayors and city council members in 22 cities as they have sought to build effective out-of-school time systems. Another 220 cities are connected to the Institute’s Afterschool Policy Advisors Network. These initiatives have encouraged cities to introduce program standards, helped increase the number of high-quality programs, led to expanded financing so more children and middle-school students participate in out-of-school time activities, and assisted in the creation of partnerships between the public sector and area businesses and non-profit organizations.
The Wallace Foundation
The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for all people. Its three current objectives are: strengthening education leadership to improve student achievement; enhancing out-of-school learning opportunities; and expanding participation in arts and culture. For more information, go to www.wallacefoundation.org.
The National League of Cities
The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. It is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. The Youth, Education, and Families Institute helps municipal officials take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.
For more information, go to www.nlc.org/iyef or www.wallacefoundation.org.