Based upon local research as well as national data, the Department recognizes that most youth engage in negative behavior and/or become victims of violence between the hours of three o'clock and six o'clock in the evening.
So Philadelphia Parks & Recreation has instituted After School Programs to improve the lives of Philadelphia's children and to support Philadelphia's families. The primary goal is to provide safe places and structured activity during non-school hours for children to learn and grow.
The Philadelphia Parks & Recreation After School Programs operate Monday through Friday from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Programs operate primarily in recreation facilities. In cases where there is no recreation facility and a there is a demonstrated need, the Department collaborates with other community agencies in their mission to provide after school programs.
The program began in April 1996 with 12 recreation after school sites. Currently, close to 100 sites operate five days per week, serving 2800 children each week. 90 programs operate in playgrounds and recreation centers. The others operate in collaboration with faith-based institutions, schools and non-profit partners. Children receive homework assistance, play games, participate in sports and experience enhanced visual and performing arts programming. Additional supports include a conflict resolution unit, snacks, and a bus trip to a museum or entertainment venue. Healthy snacks are served each day.
Most programs are staffed with a Recreation Specialty Instructor supported by the Recreation Department. Several programs operate with collaborative support from other agencies in the community. In some cases, community volunteers assist with programming.