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In 2004, Providence established the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) as a public/private partnership to increase access to quality after-school programming for the young people of the city, starting with middle school age youth. In the last eight years, PASA has grown exponentially to include two primary initiatives that it collaborates with the city of Providence and the local community to build, operate, and support: the AfterZone for middle school youth, and the Hub for high school youth.
Since 2005, PASA has facilitated after-school and summer programming for over 7,000 over Providence Middle and High School students! Currently, PASA can support 40% of Providence Middle School students - help us achieve our goal of 100%!
PASA'S THREE STRATEGIES
Middle School Initiative: The AfterZone
Middle school youth want freedom to experiment and explore their new and changing interests. The AfterZone annually gives 1400 Providence young people a way to do this safely and constructively, while improving attendance, academic, and social-emotional outcomes. Acting as a "second shift" after school for Providence public middle school students, the AfterZone provides them with access to a wide variety of hands-on learning and enrichment opportunities that motivate and inspire them to succeed, while giving them freedom to experiment with new things. Who says learning can't be fun?
The AfterZone builds on the community’s strengths and assets by enlisting organizations and individuals who have a strong commitment to serving youth, to build a coordinated schedule of programming that maximizes the youth opportunities for exploration. PASA works with over 70 community-based program partners, with the AfterZone operating 31 weeks a year, including 4 weeks during the summer.
High School Initiative: The Hub
The Hub is a citywide approach to building sustainable, high-quality expanded learning opportunities for high school-aged youth in Providence. The Hub works with Providence public high schools to provide high school students across the city with high-quality expanded learning opportunities (ELO) that not only garner them credit towards graduation, but provide flexible hands-on learning activities grounded in relevant, real world skills and professional experience.
The Hub's ELO community program partners provide students with off-campus learning experiences like video game development, Android App development, English language programming,open source web development, environmental science, debate and much more. Providence high school youth are having a blast getting ready for 21st Century careers!
Building the capacity of after-school providers to deliver high-quality after school programming has been a central component of PASA's work since its inception. PASA's quality improvement strategy is founded on the quality standards developed by PASA and its community partners, with the guidance of national experts.
Knowing that standards alone cannot change the quality of programs or the skills of program staff and volunteers, PASA and the Center for Youth Program Quality have developed the Rhode Island Program Quality Assessment (RIPQA). Adapted from a nationally known assessment tool, the RIPQA has allowed PASA to develop a quality improvement system that uses data and information to inform professional development for hundreds of after-school providers.
Through partnerships with RIASPA and the Rhode Island Department of Education's 21ST Century Community Learning Center initiative, PASA's quality improvement work has reached after-school providers statewide.
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