Three Cities Join Out-of-School Learning Initiative

July 18, 2006


Contact: Erin Brownfield
Communications Officer
The Wallace Foundation
(212) 251-9861



Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Each Commit to Citywide Plan to Improve Out-of-School Time for Youth; They Join New York City and Providence in Wallace Initiative

NEW YORK, July 18, 2006 — As a step toward building a stronger citywide system for out-of-school learning in their cities, Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. have each received grants of up to $8 million over 3 years. The grants are part of The Wallace Foundation's out-of-school learning initiative to help cities build comprehensive systems for out-of-school time programs that consistently meet high standards for quality.

More than 14 million school-age children in the U.S. are left to fend for themselves after the school day ends — and hours that could be times of learning and development are instead times of boredom and risk. Research from RAND suggests that high-quality programs may be linked to positive outcomes for youth. But a Public Agenda survey also commissioned by Wallace reveals frustration, especially among poor and minority parents and children, about the lack of access to high-quality programs in their neighborhoods. And cities are only beginning efforts to establish ways – including mapping need, developing quality standards, and tracking participation – to improve services.

"Cities across the country are beginning to looking for ways to provide better out-of-school time services, so we think the solutions pioneered by Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C., will have broad interest," said Wallace President M. Christine DeVita.

"Like New York and Providence, each is committed to re-imagining how resources can be more effectively used to deliver high-quality programs to the kids who need them most. We hope these grants will encourage additional support from every sector of the community and serve as a springboard to the development of the kind of coordinated, citywide systems needed to create lasting and meaningful improvements in the opportunities we provide for children in the hours outside of school."

All five of the cities receiving Wallace grants were selected after a nationwide scan of cities revealed that leaders in these cities were taking significant steps to improve out-of-school time opportunities for children. Wallace then supported a year-long business planning process that allowed each city to develop a well thought-out approach to building the components of a system to sustain quality out-of-school time for children.

"As in many other cities, Chicago's leaders and parents increasingly see the crucial role that high-quality out-of-school time programs play in helping youth succeed, both in school and later in life," said Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. "This grant from The Wallace Foundation will assist Chicago's citywide effort to improve the support system that students need to develop skills outside of the classroom. We are committed to ensuring that our youth have every opportunity to develop artistically, academically, professionally and athletically."

  • In Boston, a national leader in its system-building efforts to support high-quality out-of-school time opportunities, the nonprofit Boston After School & Beyond will pilot an innovative strategy to reach those elementary students attending failing schools and at highest risk of falling behind.
  • In Chicago, the Department of Children & Youth Services, a city agency, will lead a citywide effort to build a system that supports increased teen participation in high quality out-of-school time services.
  • In Washington, the nonprofit DC Children & Youth Investment Trust Corporation will lead a citywide effort to build a more effective approach to serving the needs of middle school youth beyond the school day.

New York City and Providence received grants in 2004 and are currently implementing their own city-wide plans to strengthen support for and quality of out-of-school time for children.

Additional information about the cities' plans is available at

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 building appreciation and demand for the arts. More information and research on these and other related topics can be found at The Wallace Foundation Knowledge Center at or by calling 212-251-9810.