News and insights about Out-of-School Time in Philadelphia
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 February NewsBOOST

OST Matters
Local Spotlight
Data and Quality Insights
Other News and Highlights
Did You Know?
Fun Facts


OST Matters

Philadelphia Launches OST Strategic Initiative!

Philadelphia formally unveiled a new OST initiative, “Time for Change: A New Way Forward for Philadelphia’s OST," to improve and coordinate the city's Out-of-School Time programs. The initiative addresses three specific areas which include: Quality Programming, Community Engagement, and Partnerships. The event was attended by Mayor Jim Kenney, Dr. William Hite (Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia) and other top City leadership including Mike DiBerardinis (Managing Director, City of Philadelphia), Cynthia Figueroa (Commissioner, Department of Human Services), Kathryn Ott Lovell (Commissioner, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation), Siobhan Reardon (President and Director of the Free Library of Philadelphia), and Otis Hackney(Chief Education Officer) among others. Other guests included OST provider staff and funders. Facilitated by the John W. Gardner Center at Stanford, the half-day event led to an interactive and lively discussion.


More details including progress will be communicated via our website and through our newsletter as we continue to work on various activities of this initiative.

Below are some links to the media releases pertaining to this event:

Pictures courtesy: Amy Gerstein (John. J. gardner Center)

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Local Spotlight

Free Library of Philadelphia: Literacy Enrichment After-School Program (LEAP) 
Cecil B. Moore Library and Whitman Library
Located in all of the 54 Free Library neighborhood libraries, the Free Library of Philadelphia Literacy Enrichment After-school Program (LEAP) provides homework assistance, computer literacy, and library skills to students K - 12. Under the supervision of the librarians and library staff, Afterschool Leaders (ASLs) lead the program and receive support from Teen Leadership Assistants (TLAs) and college students (Associate Leaders). Sometimes students who attended LEAP as elementary and middle-school students go on to become High School TLAs, giving them an opportunity to provide the same support and mentoring they had received.  At Whitman Library, the current ASL has been involved in LEAP nearly all his life - attending the program as an elementary student and working as a TLA in high school at the Free Library, and then as an ASL once he graduated college.  

 “[I like LEAP] for access, like just having the space so I can do my homework and to have research options” - N., 7th Grade
At the Cecil B. Moore Library LEAP program, students can participate in hands-on creative projects and play games that involve pattern recognition, spelling, numbers, and more. During LEAP at the Whitman Library, students can engage in literacy and STEM-based activities on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A 7th grade student at the Cecil B. Moore location explained that he values LEAP “for access, like just having the space so I can do my homework and to have research options.” 
“I didn’t hear about the library until recently,” said R., who is in 6th Grade. But once he started going to LEAP, he really enjoyed it and now comes almost every day. 
More details about LEAP can be found here...
Note: Map represents data that was entered to PhillyBOOST data system as of Feb. 7, 2017. Data entry at some branches is incomplete due to staffing constraints. Additionally, five library branches (Lillian Marrero, Logan, Lovett Memorial, Lucien E. Blackwell West Philadelphia Regional, and Tacony) have been closed for portions of this school year due to building renovations.

Data and Quality Insights

How does the grade level breakdown of OST participants compare to the grade level breakdowns of all public school and charter school students in Philadelphia?
This month, we are comparing numbers of OST participants in each grade level with the numbers of students enrolled in all Philadelphia public and charter schools. The chart below displays the percentages of School Year 2016-2017 students attending public schools who are known to attend an OST program that tracks data in PhillyBOOST's information system, broken down by student grade level and color-coded by OST provider network.

Next is a similar chart, but this time for charter school students. If you compare this to the chart above, keep in mind the difference in the y-axis scales.

Dataset Disclaimers
This analysis excludes OST participants with missing data for School and/or Grade (about 19% of SY 16-17 participants). Also, there may be some overlap where participants attend more than one OST program, in different provider networks (historically less than 5% of all SY participants tracked in our system).

Other News and Highlights...

    • Afterschool Alliance is looking for great artists to showcase their creativity on this years’ Lights On Afterschool poster! The 2017 Lights On Afterschool poster contest is also a great opportunity for an afterschool program to gain national recognition for the great enrichment opportunities it offers since the winner’s afterschool program will be credited on the poster, too! This year's poster contest entry period will close on April 15, 2017. All submissions must be postmarked no later than April 15 to be considered, and submissions must include a completed entry formContest rules and submission guidelines are available for download now.
  • Grant Opportunities:  
    • Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
      The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes invites applications for its 2017 awards. The Barron Prize celebrates inspiring, public-spirited young leaders ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive impact on people, their communities, and the environment. Each year, 15 winners each receive $5,000 to support their service work or higher education. More details can be found here.
  • Job opportunity
    • Middle School Summer Coordinator position available at Sunrise of Philadelphia. Sunrise seeks a Middle School Coordinator to organize and oversee our high quality, middle school summer program operations in accordance with all grant requirements, program guidelines, and federal/state/local regulations. This a non-exempt, part-time, seasonal position that reports directly to the Program Quality Director. This position begins in March, 2017 and ends in August, 2017. For more details please contact Angela Jubinville, Program Quality Director at More details about this position can be also found here...
  • Other
    • Read Across America Day
      Those who are six, sixteen, sixty-four, and more have all kinds of great events in store for the National Education Association’s annual observance of NEA’s Read Across America. NEA is calling America’s children, both young and old, to reward their learning by celebrating the joys of reading on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Readers of all ages are encouraged to celebrate with this year’s book. More details can be found here...
    • Two-Generation Learn and Lead
      • Info Sessions
        Register: March 6th 5:30 pm or March 12th 2:30 pm
        South Philadelphia Health and Literacy Center
        1700 South Broad St 
        You can also call to register 215-686-5250
        Two-Gen Learn and Lead
        is a family service-learning pilot; a deliberative process to engage families in learning together through service to the community. The National Center for Family Learning has developed a very promising model of Family Service Learning in 17 U.S. cities over the past 2 years, and Toyota Family Learning Foundation has supported the growth. The NCFL model is two-generational and incorporates content learning, technology and problem-solving linked to 21st century college and career readiness skills for both child and parent.  Essentially, Family Service Learning is community leadership training for effective civic engagement and is proven to boost employ-ability skills. More details can found at the above two registration links.

 Did You Know?

Consistent participation in quality Afterschool programs is linked to significant gains in student test scores and work habits. Afterschool programs not only have a positive effect on students at risk of failure, but help reduce the math achievement gap between students from lower and high-income families.

Source: Afterschool Alliance citing these sources:
  • A meta-analysis of 35 separate afterschool program evaluations showed afterschool programs had positive and significant effects among students at risk of failure in reading and math achievement. (Lauer et al., 2006)
  • Consistent participation in quality afterschool programs has also been shown to improve student behavior and social skills with peers. (Vandell et al., 2007)
  • Afterschool programs not only have a positive effect on students at risk of failure, but also help reduce the math achievement gap between students from lower and high-income families. (Pierce et al., 2013) 

 Fun Facts

As we celebrate Black History Month, here are some little-known facts about Black History!
  • As a child, Muhammad Ali was refused an autograph by his boxing idol, Sugar Ray Robinson. When Ali became a prizefighter, he vowed never to deny an autograph request, which he honored throughout his career.
  • Allensworth is the first all-black Californian township, founded and financed by African Americans. Created by Lieutenant Colonel Allen Allensworth in 1908, the town was built with the intention of establishing a self-sufficient city where African Americans could live their lives free of racial prejudice.
  • Phillis Wheatley was the first published African American female author. She was a servant who published her first poem at the age of 12 in the mid 1700s.
  • In 1954, Dorothy Dandridge was the first African American woman nominated for the Best Actress Academy Award for her lead role in Carmen Jones.
  • Most likely you’re aware of Nat King Cole and his unparalleled voice. But did you also know that he was the first African American to reach #1 on the Billboard charts? Cole was also the first African American to host his own television show.
  • Someone you may not have heard of is Claudette Colvin. As a school girl she refused to give up her seat on the bus and was taken to jail nine months before Rosa Parks.
  • Before the Williams sisters, Arthur Ashe was the first African American male to win both the U.S. Open and Wimbledon.

Happy Black History Month!

PhillyBOOST is a collaboration between the various networks of Out-of-School Time (OST) Programs of Philadelphia. We have been working towards building an engaging, robust, data-driven out-of-school time delivery system so that all youth will have the opportunity to be engaged in positive activitiesduringafterschool hours, weekends and summer. PhillyBOOST out-of-school time programs (currently, DHS funded CBO’s, PPR, FLP and a few others) are marked by their use of our Information System and a commitment to continuous program quality improvement. Efforts and resources are being aligned to provide all children in Philadelphia, especially those in greatest need, with accessible, high quality programs and activities resulting in more and better opportunities for learning, while ensuring their safety and wellbeing.

Questions, ideas or feedback (including how you can be part of our growing network of providers)? Please email us at

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