Adolescents as Citizens

Adolescents as Citizens - Overview

The program seeks to increase meaningful learning opportunities and positive youth development for school-age children during non-school hours.

  • Strengthen statewide efforts to ensure access, quality, accountability and sustainability of out-of-school-time programs. Because so many of the funding streams that support out-of-school time originate or pass through the state, a statewide approach is critical.
  • Support efforts to strengthen the local youth development programs, with four areas of priority:
    • Support strong school-community partnerships in providing out-of-school-time programs for Pittsburgh Public Schools students. This has included building capacity within the district to coordinate work more effectively with out-of-school time programs. Endowments staff expects that applicants seeking to provide academic supports to Pittsburgh Public Schools students are or become official partners of the district. That process is detailed here.
    • Develop a local system that will create a policy and advocacy agenda on behalf of programs serving youth. Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) is an important part of this system-building effort, currently housed at the United Way of Allegheny County. Endowments staff expects that applicants participate in APOST activities.
    • Provide limited support to programs that offer safe and engaging places for at-risk youth in high-need areas, with attention to ensuring their sustainability. The Endowments’ support for out-of-school time programs prioritizes those that partner with school districts, particularly Pittsburgh, to provide expanded learning and enriching activities.
    • Support the Endowments’ Summer Youth Philanthropy Internship Program as an exemplary model of youth employment and leadership development. More information about the internship can be found here.

Quality Matters

Research has shown that high-quality out-of-school time programs have positive impacts on participants. Because of the diversity of the after-school sector, the Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) has promulgated guiding principles about quality that highlight five areas: Structure and Management; Positive Connections; Safety and Health; and Activities. The full statement can be found here.

Organizations seeking grant funds from the Endowments should be able to discuss their program relative to these principles. Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) led the development of a self-assessment tool for this purpose.

Professional development for staff is an important strategy for improving program quality. Allegheny Partners for Out-of-School Time (APOST) provides regular symposia, seminars and certification training. Announcements for these events are posted at AfterschoolPGH, the local information source for programs. In addition, this website provides a directory of programs for parents, teachers and children. The Endowments expects that applicants keep their program information current in this directory.

An important part of quality is measuring participants’ outcomes and using those to improve programming. The Endowments has supported agency-driven efforts to improve programs’ abilities to measure outcomes. That work, managed by The Forbes Funds, has resulted in the creation of several tools that program staff should find helpful.

What the Children, Youth & Families Program Generally Does Not Fund:

  • Uninvited requests outside of southwestern PA
  • Capital projects
  • Uninvited requests from youth sports programs for new uniforms, equipment or field repairs
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