FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PASA Director and Vice President for Community Engagement
The Education Partnership
The Wallace Foundation
AfterZones Provide Diverse After-School Experiences in Providence
After years of planning and coordination by a network of public and private community partners, city departments and neighborhoods, Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline’s initiative to provide after-school programs, called AfterZones, launched this week with more than 300 students participating. For the first time in the city’s history, middle school youth in the neighborhoods of Olneyville, West End and Upper South Providence participated in a diverse mix of fun and learning opportunities ranging from design to dance, football to basketball, cooking to sailing and performing arts to martial arts. Under the leadership of Mayor Cicilline and The Education Partnership, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) has created the infrastructure to deliver high-quality, safe after-school opportunities to the youth of Providence.
Today, the Mayor welcomed middle school youth at the Springfield Middle School for the launch of break dancing, City Arts Drawing and Doodling, and World of Media (video arts) programs. “Kids and parents have expressed their enthusiasm by helping shaping this dynamic mix of fun, safe and engaging activities that are being offered,” stated Mayor Cicilline. “PASA’s strategic investment in training, funding and management support is making Providence a model city for after school systems and programming not just in Rhode Island, but across the nation.”
Many programs are full, but registration is still available for several AfterZone programs. Applications are available online at www.mypasa.org. For information about how to register for the Olneyville AfterZone call Adriana DePoint, 401.474.9165; for the West End/Upper South Providence AfterZone call Sarah Bernstein at 401.374.6997.
An AfterZone operates as a community “campus” that provides a variety of programs for middle school youth such as art, dancing, football, cooking, filmmaking, basketball and maritime exploration. An AfterZone is not in one specific building and is not a single after-school program. Rather, it is a network of providers in one neighborhood who are committed to working together to provide quality opportunities for middle school youth. Each AfterZone is led by a coordinating council made up of representatives from these neighborhood providers. PASA has committed $2 million to build five AfterZones throughout the city with the financial support of The Wallace Foundation and Bank of America and is actively raising funds to support more AfterZone programming. PASA recently awarded an additional $200,000 to seven non-profit after school organizations for innovative high quality programs that are being offered in the first two After Zones that were launched on January 17, 2006.
The Olneyville and West End/Upper South Providence AfterZones are the first to be launched. The additional three AfterZones located on the East Side, Lower South Side, and Smith Hill/North End will be launched later in 2006. AfterZone programs will be offered throughout the school year.
The Providence After School Alliance (PASA) is a partnership between public and non-profit after-school providers spearheaded by Mayor David N. Cicilline and funded through the generous support of The Wallace Foundation and Bank of America. PASA’s mission is to expand and improve after-school opportunities for the youth of Providence by building a system of after-school supports called AfterZones. PASA helps build this infrastructure and provides organizational and financial support for the AfterZones and the providers. This system provides access for all Providence youth to high quality after-school programs and learning opportunities. PASA is operated by The Education Partnership, a partnership of business and education leaders committed to improving the quality of Rhode Island's K-12 public education system.
About The Education Partnership
The Education Partnership is a partnership of business and education leaders who are committed to improving the quality of Rhode Island’s K-12 public education system. Visit us at www.edpartnership.org
About 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 the arts and culture. More information and research on these and other related topics can be found at The Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center at www.wallacefoundation.org or by calling 212-251-9700.