June 17, 2014
NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio, Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, and Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Commissioner Bill Chong today joined students, parents, elected officials, advocates and leaders of community-based organizations at New Settlement Community Campus in the Bronx to announce the selection of the 271 providers that will oversee expanded afterschool for middle school students beginning in September and to encourage middle school youth to take advantage of free summer enrichment programming.
“Middle school is a tumultuous time for teenagers, and we need to ensure we are giving them the resources to support their development beyond the school day,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Whether it’s finding a passion in art, playing sports, or getting extra time to focus on academics our students are struggling with, after-school programs are critical to our young people’s educational experience.”
“Ensuring students have access to academic enrichment programs outside of the classroom can often be the key to a student’s success inside the classroom,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “After-school programs are a critical part of our efforts to prepare students for college and beyond, while providing important opportunities for the development of talents and hobbies. This expansion marks a real cornerstone of my priorities as Chancellor.”
“With expanded and enhanced afterschool and summer enrichment, our City’s middle school students will have new year-round learning opportunities during some of the most important years in their young lives,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong. “From STEM and the arts to dance and fitness, afterschool and summer activities tap into a young person’s passions and existing skills, building on what they learn in the classroom. I thank Mayor de Blasio and his administration, Chancellor Fariña and the Department of Education, and all of our new and longtime community partners for their unwavering commitment to our City’s youth.”
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his unwavering commitment to expand educational opportunities for the youth of New York City. Greatly increasing the number of seats for after-school programs for middle school children and doubling the number of summer enrichment programs is an excellent investment in our youth that will bear many positive results in the future. As the Chair of the City Council’s Youth Services Committee, I believe that we as a city should provide our young people with the resources they need to be successful throughout their lives,” said Council Member Mathieu Eugene, Chair of the City Council Youth Services Committee.
“I have always been a believer of after-school programs. We need these programs for the academic success of our students in order to be fully prepared for high school and even college. After-school programs help fill the literacy gap positioning the students at, and above, grade level. I commend Mayor de Blasio for taking a stand for education for a successful generation,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera.
After-School Expansion for Middle School
As a result of a Request for Proposals (RFP) released by DYCD in March, middle school students will have access to after-school programs in 562 schools (including 60 in District 75) beginning this fall, a 142 percent increase over the current 231. In FY15, the number of seats citywide will jump 76 percent, to more than 79,300. Overseeing the new programs will be 108 eligible community-based organizations, nearly half of which currently do not operate a DYCD-funded after-school program (complete list can be found at www.nyc.gov/dycd). A separate RFP for non-public schools and community sites will be issued this fall.
In addition to expanding afterschool to 85 percent of middle schools in the City, the RFP calls for programs to be open five days per week for 36 weeks during the school year. Providers must offer 540 hours of after-school programming during the school year. The proposed price per participant was also increased to $3,000 (higher for providers servicing youth with special needs) to cover additional hours and reflect the actual costs providers say will enable them to hire and retain certified staff and offer high-quality programs.
Middle school can be an especially challenging time for students, parents and teachers. Students are undergoing extraordinary changes and can face obstacles to becoming successful adults. After-school programming helps develop new skills and interests; prepare students for high school, graduation, college and beyond; encourage young people to pursue their passions during the challenging years of early adolescence; keep youth out of trouble between the hours of 3 and 6 PM; and help reduce the achievement gap among diverse communities.
The middle school expansion builds on the initial OST launch in 2005, which included a significant investment in elementary school. The City will continue that longstanding support, with a projected enrollment in FY15 of 37,480 elementary school students in 289 different programs across all five boroughs.
“By the time students enter middle school, kids born into poverty have spent, on average, 6,000 fewer hours learning than their middle class peers through experiences such as afterschool and summer programs,” said Lucy N. Friedman, President of TASC (The After-School Corporation). “By making high-quality after-school learning opportunities available to tens of thousands more kids, New York is bringing schools, families and great youth-serving community organizations together to shrink that gap.”
“Ensuring middle school children are engaged in positive activities after school is critical to ensuring youth stay on the pathway to graduation and success,” said Jennifer March, Executive Director of Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York. “CCC is grateful for the Mayor’s leadership and commitment, which has secured the funding and plan needed so that every New York City middle schooler can participate in an after-school program this fall.”
“Phipps Neighborhoods applauds Mayor de Blasio’s prioritization and expansion of middle school programs, while leveraging existing space and community partners,” said Dianne Morales, Executive Director and CEO of Phipps Neighborhoods. “After-school programs during this critical developmental stage support youth in exploring their identity and interests in a safe, nurturing environment, while promoting the skills necessary for success in school and life.”
“Afterschool at the Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School is a true partnership, thanks to our longstanding relationship with the Child Center of New York,” said Anthony M. Armstrong, Principal of Nathaniel Hawthorne Middle School 74Q in Queens. “We have developed a strong program, which has extended the school day in an aligned manner that maintains the rigor for our students. The adolescent age can be a time of concern, however, but thanks to our afterschool program, our students receive supports and experiences that have added to their skills and will help them transfer into well-adjusted citizens for the future.”
“Being prepared to excel in school and compete in today’s world often requires that youth participate in extracurricular programs that strengthen their academic, social and emotional development,” said Jennifer Jones Austin, CEO and Executive Director for the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA). “The impending expansion of New York City’s after-school program for middle school students will give more youth the support needed to transition and succeed in high school, college and beyond.”
“As providers of high-quality after-school programs, UNH member agencies know firsthand that the middle school years are a critical time in a young person’s development,” said Nancy Wackstein, Executive Director of United Neighborhood Houses (UNG). “After-school programs are uniquely well-suited to providing holistic support for young people’s development. UNH is thrilled that New York City is moving forward with this historic expansion of afterschool.”
Summer enrichment programs will run from the first week of July through August 22, and are designed to support children of working families. Approximately 55,000 students will receive free summer programs in 2014, including 34,000 middle school youth, twice as many as the current number. Summer participants must pursue literacy and STEM-enrichment activities, along with other projects in theater, music, creative arts and recreational activities, plus planned trips and community explorations. Programs are open from 8 AM to 6 PM (varying by program). For pre-enrolment information and application form, visit www.nyc.gov/dycd. Deadline to enroll is June 30.
“We congratulate the City on the expansion of middle school afterschool and summer enrichment programming,” said Sr. Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services. “These vital services keep youth safe, enhance the educational goals of the schools and provide youth-centered and engaging activities year-round.”