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City Profile and Statistics

» Students receiving English Language Learning Services: 23%

» Students receiving Special Education Services: 20%

» Students receiving free / reduced price lunch: 80%

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In 2004, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) was formed by a team of public and private sector after-school leaders who were concerned about the lack of quality after school-programs and the lack of a sustainable strategy to increase access to quality programming. Led by Mayor David N. Cicilline, this group recognized there were few after-school opportunities geared toward older youth. PASA chose to target its programming to Providence's 6,000 middle-school students.

Working With Multiple Program Providers / Connecting Providers to Schools and Communities

To ensure that programs' offerings are diverse, interesting and accessible to students across the city, PASA built networks of program providers located in schools, libraries and community centers in five neighborhoods. PASA calls these program clusters AfterZones. All program providers are committed to offering a range of activities geared specifically to middle school students. Youth involved in PASA's programs take classes in the arts, sports, and "skills building" (i.e. cooking, homework help, environmental education), offered four days a week.

Differentiating Services

The AfterZone model empowers youth to select courses that align with their needs and interests. For example, a girl who wants to play sports but requires help in English class can sign up for soccer two days per week and homework help on the other days. A boy with a busy schedule and a strong interest in hiking can sign up for a class meeting only once a week. Youth appreciate this flexibility and many register for multiple programs: 38% of AfterZone participants are enrolled in classes three or more days per week.

PASA is working closely with Mayor Cicilline to support the smooth operation and expansion of AfterZone programming. Some 2,216 of Providence's 6,000 middle school students were served by AfterZones in 2007. PASA would ultimately like to serve 50% of middle school students at least three days a week, 27 weeks per year. PASA is also looking at ways to expand program offerings to high-school aged youth.