Since late June we’ve had the pleasure of working directly with the Mayor of Charlotte and her office to support out-of-school time (OST) programming across the city. We want to use this blog post to explain more about this project.

Our scope is to assist the Mayor’s office in locating a partner in the Charlotte community to serve as an OST intermediary. The intermediary would specifically focus on increasing the capacity of middle school program providers by:

  • Coordinating and connecting program providers and local families
  • Advocating and increasing funds for after school / summer programs
  • Offering professional development opportunities for OST staff

Our role is multifaceted. We have committed to:

  • Gathering best practices from similar organizations across the country
  • Advising the Mayor’s office on strategy and organizational design
  • Convening stakeholders from the public and private sectors to serve as collaborators and partners

This project is immensely exciting for us because we truly understand the importance of offering expanded learning opportunities for all students, especially middle school students in low-income areas who often lack access to these very programs. We have data to support these types of programs but most importantly we’ve seen first hand how students can thrive in programming outside of school hours. This project has the potential to create an organization that truly serves as the leader in the OST space for families, schools, program providers, funders, and more. The possibilities and impact of a program like this are truly limitless.

Perhaps the most important aspect of this project is that it’s in response to the needs of the Charlotte community.  The Mayor received feedback from community members and schools but also program providers regarding the need for an organization to serve as a leader in this space. It is inspiring to have our Mayor, an elected official, responding with such a sense of urgency and championing the need for these opportunities.

We are fired up & honored to work on such a critical initiative to support our local OST program providers to serve even more Charlotte youth.  Engage with us to learn more about our work.

Action

  1. Read more about the project.
  2. Leave a note and tell us why you believe after school programs are important or how they’ve been critical in your life.
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