“Ring, ring, ring!”

That’s the sound of the bell bringing an end to the school day.

That’s also the start of numerous after-school opportunities and activities for youth of all ages — hosted by the City of Philadelphia and community-based partners, and available at low or no cost to families.

In fun, safe, supervised settings, young people can do homework, make new friends, play sports and board games, engage in the arts, gain mentorship support and much more. In the evenings, older youth can engage in gaming, take Driver’s Ed, connect to job training, learn to cook, and share a free dinner with friends.

There’s plenty to choose from!

To help, we’ve condensed to six ways to keep Philly young people busy and involved during the crucial out-of-school-time hours:

1. Out-of-School Time

  • Ages: PreK – 12th grade
  • Host: Community-based partners
  • Focus: Creative and performing arts, athletics, health, science, technology, engineering, and math
  • Sites: Public, private, parochial schools; Rec centers, community centers
  • Registration and info: phila.gov/ost

2. Parks & Recreation Programming

  • Ages: 6 – 12 years old
  • Host: Philadelphia Parks & Recreation
  • Focus: Homework help, recreational time, field trips
  • Sites: Neighborhood rec centers
  • Registration and info: phila.gov/ppr

3. Literacy Enrichment Afterschool Program

  • Ages: K – 12th grade
  • Host: Free Library of Philadelphia
  • Focus: Reading, literacy, homework help, humanities, science, technology, engineering, and math
  • Sites: Neighborhood library branches
  • Register and info: libwww.freelibrary.org/programs/leap

4. Community Evening Resource Centers (CERC)

  • Ages: 10 – 17 years old
  • Host: Community-based partners, City of Philadelphia
  • Focus: Academic support, sports and recreation, job readiness training, conflict resolution
  • Sites: Designated CERC centers
  • Registration and info: phila.gov/cerc

5. Don’t Fall Down in the Hood

  • Ages: 13 – 21 years old
  • Host: Institute for the Development of African-American Youth
  • Focus: Youth impacted by violence. Mentorships, crisis intervention groups, academic support, employment linkages, and other supports and services aimed at preventing future risk of violence
  • Site: 2305 N. Broad Street and 6101 Limekiln Pike
  • Registration and Info: phila.gov/dhs, Abradley@iadaay.org, 267-536-7715

6. Intensive Prevention Services (IPS)

  • Ages: 10 – 19 years old, at risk for involvement with juvenile justice
  • Host: DHS-funded community-based providers
  • Focus: Academic support, conflict resolution, relationship building, field trips
  • Site: Seven community-based sites
  • Information: phila.gov/ips

    M.E. smiles for the camera outside the Intensive Prevention Services site at the Juvenile Justice Center of Philadelphia.
    “It’s to help me stay out of trouble, and I haven’t been in trouble so far since going here. They teach us life skills and lessons. It helped me think more. I felt like I could talk to somebody here if I need to.” – M.E., IPS participant