Helpful hints from the Providence After-School Alliance on a variety of topics, including starting a program, securing funding, and best practices for mentoring relationships.
February 23, 2012
PASA, located in Providence, Rhode Island, has revolutionized the idea of after-school programs. PASA looked beyond the more common school-based model and replaced it with a community-campus approach made up of different zones -- dubbed AfterZones -- where students coming from nearby schools can attend enriched arts, skills, and sports programs of their choosing.
By building high-quality enrichment programs and linking the public and private sectors through a youth-centered agenda, PASA has successfully attracted and retained one-third of middle school youth in Providence.
Getting Started Tips
Want to start a full-time-learning model in your community? Whether you’re a teacher, administrator, or community member, these tips will help you get going.
Do your research:
- View this site and others for ideas about what type of program you want to create, for which age groups, and during which hours.
- Review academic standards. Always make sure standards fold into the project.
- Talk with leaders from similar programs for background information.
Recruit good people:
- Principals should play an active role.
- Recruit people with strong leadership skills and connections to the community.
- Ask colleagues, parents, and friends to help. Assign specific roles and tasks.
Develop a business plan:
- Highlight how the project benefits students.
- Refer to historically successful learning programs: Include essentials, such as the project goal, outline, funding ideas, resources, and directive.
Sell the project:
- Get the PTA and parent groups involved. Parents can participate directly (by becoming mentors) or indirectly (by recruiting their employers).
- Ask civic organizations and businesses for support.
Involve the students:
- Ask them to brainstorm their own full-time-learning programs.
- Encourage them to take part in the plan.
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