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Cities make progress in building afterschool systems.

Municipal officials participating in NLC's City Leaders Supporting Afterschool and a New Day for Learning project continue to make progress toward creating citywide afterschool systems. The project is sponsored by NLC's Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.

The seven cities competitively selected to participate in phase two of the project are Albany, N.Y.; Morgantown, W.Va..; Omaha, Neb.; St. Paul, Minn.; Tampa, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; and Vancouver, Wash.

Albany

Mayor Gerald Jennings, Albany's Common Council and key community stakeholders created the Albany Community Afterschool Network (ACAN) to provide middle school students with better afterschool programming. ACAN has mapped the location of existing programs and surveyed older youth to understand their needs.

Modeling Albany's efforts on the Providence, R.I., "AfterZones," Mayor Jennings appointed a full-time city staff person to lead the Kid by Kid initiative, which will expand afterschool options at middle schools, and to participate in ACAN. The Albany Police Department has provided ACAN with $225,000 in Edward Byme Justice Assistance Grant funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to support expanded afterschool programming.

Morgantown

Morgantown's Vision for Our Children collaborative recently launched a website, www.morgantownparent zone.org, to help parents find quality programs based on their child's age, program location or activity.

Mayor Ron Justice, Councilmember Jenny Selin, the city manager's office and parks and recreation department, Monongalia County Schools and West Virginia University participate in the collaborative. They have focused on raising funds to increase programming, addressing transportation barriers, developing business partnerships, building public will and creating a centralized data system for providers to communicate more efficiently. Afterschool providers have also met with corporate leaders to discuss how they can support youth by volunteering in afterschool programs and providing exposure to careers through mentoring and job shadowing.

St. Paul

Mayor Christopher Coleman's Second Shift Commission has recommended creating a formal intermediary organization to take the lead in organizing St. Paul's existing afterschool opportunities, ensuring high-quality programming, raising funds and promoting data sharing.

Leaders in St. Paul have strived to implement the Mott Foundation's "New Day for Learning" vision, which uses a broader definition of student success and urges the entire community to take responsibility for student learning. The city is focused on using afterschool opportunities to promote civic engagement and enhance young people's work force skills.

St. Paul leaders are also considering a data management system to facilitate communication about student outcomes in school and afterschool. City, school and community leaders listened to a presentation by staff from the City of Louisville, Ky., on how that city uses the KidTrax data system to share and integrate information from schools and afterschool providers.

Tampa

Mayor Pam Iorio is working with the Hillsborough County Schools superintendent and the Children's Board of Hillsborough County to improve afterschool opportunities for middle school youth. Tampa's project team has mapped programs at all local middle schools, city recreation centers and community-based organizations to identify areas that need increased services, and is working to develop an online program locator.

NLC staff recently visited Tampa to share information on the New Day for Learning vision with leaders from the Partnership for Out-of-School Time (POST) network of afterschool providers and facilitated a dialogue about how providers can expand their partnerships.

Tulsa

Mayor Kathy Taylor joins parks and recreation department staff, local school districts, the Tulsa Area Community Schools Initiative and Campfire USA in leading Tulsa's afterschool efforts. Mayor Taylor has worked with superintendents and the police department to increase program options in neighborhoods with high juvenile crime rates. Tulsa leaders have also discussed how to create a transportation system to get children to afterschool programs in their neighborhoods and to other educational institutions throughout the city.

Finally, upon learning about the city's afterschool initiatives, more than a dozen local funders suggested creating a central system to track all afterschool funding to get a better understanding of what additional support is needed.

Vancouver

The City of Vancouver's police, library and parks and recreation departments have papered with local school districts, Washington State University and nonprofit service providers such as the YMCA and Boys and Girls Club to create the Vancouver Coalition for Out-of-School Time.

Mayor Royce Pollard, Councilmember Jeanne Harris and the city manager's office have played key roles to support the coalition's efforts to create a sustainable, coordinated out-of-school time system. Like Morgantown, the coalition has launched its own online program locator, www.schoolsoutlets go.org, to provide resources for parents, afterschool providers and youth. The coalition has also developed quality afterschool standards to ensure that programs offer academic support and engaging learning opportunities.

Details: For more information on NLC's afterschool initiatives, visit www.nlc.org/iyef or contact Lane Russell at russell@nlc.org or (202) 626-3008 or Bela Shah at shah@nlc.org or (202) 626-3057.
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Title Annotation:National League of Cities
Author:Shah, Bela P.
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 27, 2009
Words:804
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