June 21, 2018—The New York Life Foundation in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance announced today that $1.35 million in grants were awarded to 34 youth development organizations across the country to support middle school youth during the out-of-school time (OST) hours. New this year, 26 OST programs won grants and eight organizations received continuing grants announced in 2017. These programs serve disadvantaged youth in 17 states and the District of Columbia. The grants mark the second year of awards made under the Foundation's Aim High education initiative. Responding to strong demand in the first year of the program, the New York Life Foundation increased funding for the second year of the program from $750,000 to $1.35 million, and awarded an additional eight grants.
Aim High is part of the New York Life Foundation's ongoing investment in OST programs to help underserved 8th-graders reach the 9th grade on time and prepared for high school level work. In consultation with the Afterschool Alliance, grants were awarded to afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs through a competitive application process.
Ten of this year's grants go to help programs better serve youth with disabilities or other special needs, in addition to the overall focus on the transition to 9th grade. The Foundation added this element to the grant program in response to the demonstrated needs of grant applicants last year. The grants support programs inclusive of youth with and without disabilities, and programs primarily serving youth with disabilities or special needs.
Research has shown that for disadvantaged students, more learning time in the form of high-quality afterschool, expanded-day and summer programs leads to greater academic achievement, better school attendance and more engaged students.
The following 10 organizations were awarded $15,000 grants over a one-year period to serve students with disabilities or special needs:
The following eight organizations were awarded two-year grants totaling $50,000 for program enhancement and/or expansion:
The following eight organizations were awarded two-year grants totaling $100,000 for program enhancement and/or expansion:
"Aim High grantees provide important youth development programs in their communities," said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. "OST programs help middle school youth develop critical social and emotional skills and keeps them engaged in school, which in turn leads to better academic outcomes. The programs receiving grants will help children make the all-important transition from middle school to high school, and to succeed once they get there. We value the Afterschool Alliance's considerable expertise and their broad-based network of afterschool providers, educators and youth development experts."
"We're proud to have partnered with the New York Life Foundation in this effort, and we commend the Foundation for its deep and long-ranging commitment to supporting youth and families in out-of-school time programs," said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. "These grants will change young lives, allowing afterschool and summer learning programs to do what they do best: keeping kids safe, inspiring learning, and giving families peace of mind."
Grant recipients will use funds for technical assistance, enhancing direct service activities, and/or program expansion. The recipients of two-year grants were chosen on the strength of their support for youth in the transition to the ninth grade, specifically around such indicators of success as on-time promotion; school attendance rates; improved behavior, grades and test scores; and/or the development of social and emotional skills.
In 2017, the first year of the Aim High program, the New York Life Foundation awarded $750,000 to 18 recipients, with grant periods of one or two years. This year's Aim High grants bring the total amount awarded to $2.1 million.
Since 2013, the New York Life Foundation has invested more than $25 million in national middle school OST efforts, supporting organizations that provide nearly 500,000 middle school youth with after school and summer programming. Foundation grants have supported an additional 6 million hours of OST programming.
The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. More information is available at www.AfterschoolAlliance.org.
Inspired by New York Life's tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided more than $250 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program. To learn more, please visit www.newyorklifefoundation.org.
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