26 JULY 2015 | PARKCITIESPEOPLE.COM
FOCUS ON PHILANTHROPY
LEARNING CAN BE FUN AFTERSCHOOL Nonprofit aims to keep kids active
many of the kids, expecting them to participate every day the program is offered.” Dallas Afterschool has partnered with SMU to learn what elements truly have an impact on education and social and emotional development. They’re takBy Jacie Scott ing a systemic and collaborative Special Contributor approach to this through their Out of School Time Initiative, to There was a time when afterbe implemented in August. school care was just homework “If we work intentionally in help, apple-juice boxes, and peafour neighborhoods and we add nut butter sandwiches — not the additional resources to work between parents and providers and most appealing situation for today’s youth. schools, then we can determine Introducing Dallas Afterwhat kind of programming parschool, where there’s more to ents want in their neighborhood, what kind of interventions are programming than just snacks. The staff is in the business of imneeded, and what the schools proving the quality of afterschool want afterschool providers to be and summer programs. Since focusing on,” Hanger said. Q U I C K FAC T S The OST initiative will zone 2007, Dallas Afterschool has collaborated with nonprofit afterin on neighborhoods in the West FOUNDED: 2007 school sites in low-income neighDallas, Fair Park, South Oak Cliff, borhoods to suit the needs of the and Bachman Lake areas. Right BEING NOTICED: Dallas youth in that area.. now about 3 percent of the chilAfterschool has twice been “There’s something to be said dren in those neighborhoods are nominated for the Center for having kids safe between in programs that Dallas Afterfor Nonprofit Managment’s school supports. Hanger hopes the hours of three and six,” said “Nonprofit of the Year” award. to increase that number to 7 perChristina Hanger, CEO at Dallas FIND THEM AT: Afterschool. cent. dallasafterschool.org Today, Dallas Afterschool The goal for OST is to deliver serves 120 nonprofit afterschool equitable access to quality proC O U R T E SY O F D A L L A S A F T E R S C H O O L grams and use the collected data sites, including Trinity River Bottom left: Dallas Afterschool works with 120 sites throughout Dallas, collectively serving 9,000 Mission and Family Place shelter, to provide programs that meet students. Activity boxes contain 45-minute activities to help actively engage the students. serving nearly 9,000 students. the needs of students. UltimateThe organization doesn’t work ly, Hanger would like to use the with students directly. In essence, cent of a child’s time awake is born into poverty experience a Hank Lawson, community en- outcome of the initiative to push they serve as a one-stop shop for spent away from the classroom, 6,000-hour learning gap by sixth gagement advisor at Frazier Revi- for public funding of afterschool other programs, providing staff and schools are already given so grade in comparison to their mid- talization, Inc., saw this as an op- programs. “If we can work in these training, free engaging curricu- much to cover that social and dle-class classmates. One way portunity to upgrade programs at lum, funding for field trips, and emotional enhancement is not al- that Dallas Afterschool works all of their afterschool sites. neighborhoods and show what a professional development. “We can now count on having positive impact it has, maybe we ways addressed. to bridge this gap is by providEach partner site is evaluated “Kids in Dallas face a lot of ing creative activity boxes for af- quality hands-on activities at all can get there,” Hanger said. on 10 elements of quality. There’s challenges, and so many of our terschool programs. Each one is of our sites,” said Lawson after a In the meantime, Dallas Aftera follow-up assessment at the end kids are growing up in poverty,” a 45-minute lesson that teaches training session with the Dallas school is taking on more sites and Highland Park Village - ParkCity Preston Hollow - July 2015 of the year. Hanger said. spreading skills that align with the Texas Afterschool staff. “This turn partners lastinmodified: Jun 10,and 2015 5:07 PMits misTrim: 10”w x 3”h, Bleed: 10.25”w x 3.25”h, Safety: .25” Hanger noted that eighty perStatistics show that children Education Knowledge Standards. means that we should hold on to sion.
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