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

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


OST Matters

Community Perceptions Survey...

The OST "Community Perceptions Survey" is now live! (click here...)

As part of Philadelphia's Citywide Out-of-School Time Initiative (see one-page overview), this 10-minute survey is intended to help us better understand how parents, caregivers, and other community members make decisions about Out-of-School Time (OST). We are also offering participants the opportunity to enter a drawing to win one of six $50 gift cards.
Please share the survey with others and take it yourself!
(This survey is preferably for residents of Philadelphia.)

Local Spotlight

Bridesburg Recreation Center
At Philadelphia Parks and Recreation's Bridesburg Recreation Center, students start off their afternoon playing in the gym or outside for fun exercise. Following this recess time, the students receive lunches and get right into homework time. Both the younger (grade K - 2) and older (grade 3 - 5) students work on their homework and receive help from student volunteers and staff members. After completing their homework, students can play board games, draw, and work on arts & crafts. In addition, some students participate in dance, gymnastics, or other classes that are offered. The Bridesburg Recreation Center is closely connected with the community, and some of its school-year and summer youth volunteers previously attended the program as a child. As one volunteer explains, “Everybody gets along...we’ve [my sibling and family] been a part of Rec for a while.”

More information about PP&R's Youth Development Programs can be found here.


Data and Quality Insights

Which schools have the highest percentages of students participating in OST this year?
This month we have been analyzing data on where OST participants attend school and comparing participation rates for different schools. This information can help us to compare levels of access to OST programming for different parts of the city.

Below is a map of the ten Philadelphia public schools with the highest percentages of students who are known to have participated in a City-tracked Out-of-School Time program* this school year. Overall, for all public schools, an estimated 10.5% of students have participated in City-tracked OST programs this school year. This varies widely from school to school (from less than 1% for 12 schools to 44.4% for Sheppard ES). We are missing data on the schools attended for some OST participants (about 17.6% of all City-tracked OST participants), so in reality somewhat larger proportions of students are likely participating in OST programs than these numbers portray.

Ten Public Schools with Highest OST* Participation Rates - SY 16-17

*This includes DHS funded OST programs, Philadelphia Parks & Recreation centers, Free Library LEAP programs, Police Athletic League sites, some (but not all) 21CCLC funded programs, and After School Activities Partnerships clubs.


Other News and Highlights...

  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT) president Randi Weingarten penned an op-ed for U.S. News and World Report to outline how President Trump's budget proposal threatens vulnerable kids and families: Click here.
  • Take Action to Save Afterschool
    The President's budget eliminates funding for afterschool and summer programs. Nearly 2 million children and families could lose the programs they rely on. Congress will decide what happens next.. More information on how to prevent this is here.
  • Grant Opportunities:  
    • STEM Grant Opportunities
      • STEM programming grant of $25,000+ from GM
        General Motors (GM) is investing in education programs that improve the presence and persistence of students studying science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM)—and they are offering grants of $25,000 or more to do just that! GM is committed to “high-quality and relevant [STEM] learning, both inside and outside the classroom.” More details can be found here.
      • Colocation America Invites Applications for STEM Innovation Grant of up to $7,500
        Colocation America supports the development and integration of STEM learning opportunities for youth in the communities it serves. To that end, Colocation America is inviting youth organizations and K-12 educators to apply for its STEM Innovation Grant. More details here.
    • Youth Literacy Grant Program
      Dollar General Literacy Foundation Accepting Applications for Youth Literacy Grant Program
      The foundation is accepting applications for its Youth Literacy Grants program. Grants of up to $4,000 will be awarded to schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations in support of efforts to help students who are reading below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading, including those with individualized education plans (IEPs). More details here.

 Did You Know?

New Research: Afterschool STEM helps close America's skills gap

Supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and STEM Next, the study surfaced several key findings that illustrate the potential for afterschool to prepare students for future success:

  • 72 percent of students reported an increase in their perseverance and critical thinking skills
  • 73 percent reported an increase in their personal belief that they can succeed at science
  • 78 percent reported a positive change in their interest in science
  • 80 percent reported a positive gain in their science career knowledge

Check out findings from the study in the new “STEM Ready America” compendium, alongside articles from 40 experts and thought leaders in the out-of-school time and STEM learning spaces


 Fun Facts

The month of April is about to pass us by and we bid adieu to it by presenting these few fun facts.... 
  • Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is celebrated in April and is a joint effort of community partners, afterschool programs, youth and child care workers and individuals who have committed to declaring the last full week of April each year as a time to recognize and appreciate those who work with youth during out-of-school hours.
  • Afterschool Professionals Appreciation Week is a joint effort of community partners, afterschool programs, youth and child care workers and individuals who have committed to declaring the last full week of April each year as a time to recognize and appreciate those who work with youth during out-of-school hours.
  • It is thought that the name April comes from the Latin word "to open" and describes the trees opening at springtime.
  • The Boston Marathon is held during April.
  • Some experts believe April Fool's Day began after the shift from the Julian calendar (with the new year starting around the March equinox) to the Gregorian calendar (which start the new year on Jan. 1) in the 1500s. Some people were mocked if they didn’t know about the switch and followed the old calendar.

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

Visit our website for more in-depth information and regular updates.
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Copyright © 2017 Citywide OST Initiative, All rights reserved.

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