In this front-page story, Youth Today profiles the Providence After School Alliance (PASA), which, through its "AfterZones," is providing neighborhood-based after-school opportunities for the city’s 6,000 middle-schoolers.
The Wallace Foundation is supporting PASA and the AfterZones with a grant of $5 million. It is one of five cities (Boston, Chicago, New York and Washington DC are the others) in Wallace’s Out-of-School (OST) Learning Initiative, which seeks to improve citywide systems for providing high-quality OST, especially for those children who need it most, and build knowledge about effective practices for doing so.
"We’re encouraging the cities to offer good enough quality to keep young people participating in programs," Nancy Devine, Director of Wallace’s OST Initiative told reporter Kathleen Sylvester. Providence is tackling the challenge of attracting and retaining youth in OST by providing a wide range of offerings, from boxing to circus school to sailing—many with "well-disguised" academic components.
Key to the success of the AfterZones is cultivating community partnerships and building relationships locally, and the article describes the ups and downs of this process, as well as the challenges of attaining Providence’s goals for sustaining the AfterZones into the future. To read the full story, click here.