After school programs seek to improve academic outcomes for kids in Philadelphia

(Gabrielle Mahler/Philadelphia Office of Children and Families)

(Gabrielle Mahler/Philadelphia Office of Children and Families)

As students across Philadelphia head back to the classroom, the city is also working to provide after school opportunities for the 2022-2023 school year.

The city is partnering with the School District of Philadelphia and local public safety partners to enhance after school programs.

One reason for the initiative is to keep kids safe in the wake of a number of gun violence incidents this summer. Studies also show high quality after school programs can improve academic outcomes.

(Gabrielle Mahler/Philadelphia Office of Children and Families)
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Johniece Ray, director of Out of School Time and Literacy, said getting students engaged with high quality programs makes them more engaged with learning.

“They have higher school attendance, they have increased levels of physical activities,” Ray said. “They’re less likely to become victims of violence or involved in violent activity, and they’re able to have fun.”

(Gabrielle Mahler/Philadelphia Office of Children and Families)

On top of academics, Laura Morris with the Department of Human Services said some programs can get students connected to job training and mentorship programs.

A complete list of after school programs can be found on the city’s after school and summer program locator site.

In Pennsylvania, a 2021 Joint State Government Commission report found that for each dollar invested in after school programs, the return on investment is approximately $6.69, which is based on potential benefits of reducing high school dropout rates, teen pregnancy rates, substance use disorder, and crime and delinquency.

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(Gabrielle Mahler/Philadelphia Office of Children and Families)
Broke in PhillyWHYY is one of over 20 news organizations producing Broke in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push towards economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.

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