PHILADELPHIA – Today, the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) announced awardees for the City’s $23 million investment into Out-of-School Time (OST) programming.
Over 300 applications were received through this competitive Request For Proposals (RFP) process that invited youth-serving organizations to apply for quality OST program funding. Considering the high number of applicants and the City’s commitment to prioritizing school-based and high-need areas, the City has allocated an additional $2 million to support quality OST.
This RFP prioritized quality OST program sites at public schools and applications that demonstrated active collaborations with public elementary, middle, and high schools. In line with this priority, 78% of OST programs funded through this RFP will be in public schools. Included in this award is a $2.8 million investment from the Mayor’s Office of Education to ensure quality OST programs in Community Schools. In addition to OST sites at schools, community organizations also received support through this RFP.
The awardees also demonstrated alignment with the City’s focus on programs that build skills for early literacy, high school transition, career exposure, and college preparedness. Decades of research confirms that children who participate in quality OST programs are more likely to be engaged in learning, have better school attendance, increased levels of physical activities, and are less likely to become victims of violence or be involved in violent activity.
All awardees will receive DHS technical assistance, training, and resource development, which is supported in part through a grant from the William Penn Foundation. Philadelphia’s OST Initiative connects to a national movement that is committed to quality OST, literacy, and college and career readiness. All programs will start in the 2019-2020 school year.
“I’m excited that children and youth will have access to quality Out-of-School Time programs in their schools and neighborhoods,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “Children deserve fun, safe, and engaging opportunities to learn and explore even when they’re not in school – and focusing on quality OST means that those experiences will complement what’s taught in schools. This funding is one more example of how the City and School District are working together to support students’ well-being and long-term success.”
“Out-of-school time programming provides important supplemental learning opportunities for students,” said School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. William Hite. “We are excited that many of these programs will align with the work we are doing at the School District of Philadelphia to grow children into confident readers and prepare students for college and career. Our students are in the best position to succeed when we come together as a community to support them.”
Cynthia Figueroa, Philadelphia DHS Commissioner added, “We are so thrilled to bring quality after school activities into the community. Quality Out-of-School Time reflects the Department of Human Services’ commitment to supporting children and their families and investing in community-based programs that work to build up our neighborhoods and provide safe spaces where children can thrive.”
“Bringing quality Out-of-School Time programming to neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia will help children and expand what is possible for their lives,” said Waleska Maldonado, Philadelphia DHS Deputy Commissioner, Prevention Services. “This is a great step forward for children and families!”
For more information on awardees and program locations, visit: https://www.philadhsost.org/