The middle school years can be challenging for many young people, and it’s also a time when their participation in afterschool activities dramatically falls. To address that problem, Providence, R.I., developed a citywide afterschool initiative for middle schoolers called the AfterZone initiative.
Services were offered at multiple sites, integrating as many as 100 of the city’s afterschool providers into a network with a coordinated schedule and centralized registration process. The effort emphasized continuous quality improvement and worked closely with the mayor and leaders of the city’s public and private youth-serving agencies.
According to the report, the program has made “enormous progress,” enrolling nearly half the students targeted. However, long-term financing remains a challenge.
The report is the first of two studies looking at the AfterZone effort.