Cicilline Unveils Bill to Strengthen Afterschool Programs

Oct 6, 2014

PAWTUCKET, RI – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) today unveiled new legislation to strengthen afterschool programs alongside advocates, teachers and students at Nathan Bishop Middle School in Providence. The legislation will help children and families by investing in high-quality afterschool programs and systems nationwide.

Cicilline’s bill, the Community Partnerships in Education Act, would support quality afterschool programs by incentivizing and requiring partnerships between schools and communities to increase student engagement in community services that support education, athletics, and job readiness.

“Afterschool programs are one of the single most effective ways to keep children safe outside of school and on track for success,” said Cicilline. “When young people succeed it leads to stronger communities and a stronger economy. The Community Partnerships in Education Act will help keep children safe and ensure children have access to enriching activities out of school.”

"Across the country, intermediaries are and have been changing the education landscape by building innovative public/private afterschool systems for all ages. PASA is just one of many examples. Because our Congressman was a visionary mayor who saw the value of public/private collaboration to expand learning beyond the traditional school hours, we're excited that he is building Washington's understanding of the important role intermediaries are playing to ensure educational and life success for all young people," said Providence After School Alliance Executive Director Hillary Salmons.

“Every Hour Counts is delighted that Congressman Cicilline is introducing this pivotal legislation that will bolster after-school programs and systems around the country and improve the quality, reach and effectiveness of federal programs,” said Every Hour Counts Executive Director Jessica Donner.

Studies show that children who regularly attend quality afterschool programs perform better in school; have lower incidences of drug use, violence and pregnancy; and are less likely to enter the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

According to the most recent Afterschool Alliance America After 3pm report, 15 million children are left unsupervised after school from the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.  According to the Afterschool Alliance, Rhode Island outpaces the national average in terms of afterschool participation with 17 percent of K-12 youth in afterschool programs. However, 27 percent of Rhode Island’s youth are alone at some point each week and 38 percent of kids would participate in an Afterschool program if they had the opportunity.

Both Every Hour Counts and PASA have endorsed the Community Partnerships in Education Act. PASA is a public-private partnership working to increase high-quality, affordable out-of-school learning opportunities for Providence’s youth. Every Hour Counts is a national coalition of citywide organizations that increases access to quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students.

In addition, a broad coalition of afterschool advocates and intermediary organizations support the Community Partnerships in Education Act including: School Matters (Chicago), Boston After School and Beyond, Family League of Baltimore, Nashville After Zone Alliance, Partnership for Children and Youth (Bay Area, CA), Prime Time Palm Beach County, the After-School Corporation (New York), and Youthprise (Twin Cities, MN).