The New York Life Foundation in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance today announced $1.35 million in new grants, to be awarded to 26 youth development organizations across the country to support middle school youth during the out-of-school time (OST) hours. Twenty-six OST programs won new grants, and 16 organizations received continuing grants first announced in 2018. These programs serve underserved youth in 18 states. The grants mark the third year of awards made under the Foundation’s Aim High education initiative, and this year’s grants bring the total awarded under the program to $3.45 million. Aim High is a highly competitive program. This year, 470 applications were received for 26 awards.
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. Afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs nationwide are selected for grants through a review process run in collaboration with the Afterschool Alliance. Winners were selected based on the strength of their support for youth in transition to ninth grade – specifically around such indicators of success as on-time graduation, school attendance rates, improved behavior, grades and test scores – by a committee comprised of individuals from the New York Life Foundation and youth development specialists whose organizations are members of the Afterschool Alliance. Grant recipients will use funds for technical assistance, enhancing direct service activities, program expansion, and professional development.
Ten of the new grants will help programs provide professional development for OST staff. Professional development is a critical component of high-quality afterschool and summer learning programs, enhancing program quality both by improving staff practice and knowledge and improving student learning outcomes.
The following ten organizations received one-year awards of $15,000 to support their programs, with a focus on providing professional development opportunities for OST staff.
· Heartland Human Care Services, Chicago, IL
· Developing K.I.D.S., Detroit, MI
· Boys & Girls Club of the Mississippi Delta, Yazoo City, MS
· Boys & Girls Club of the Midlands, Omaha, NE
· Hands in For Youth, West Milford, NJ
· South Bronx Overall Economic Dev. Corp. (SOBRO), Bronx, NY
· Boys & Girls Club of the Northtowns, Buffalo, NY
· Sunnyside Community Services, Sunnyside, NY
· Girls, Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern NJ, Philadelphia, PA
· Boys & Girls Club of Brattleboro, Brattleboro, VT
The following eight organizations received grants of $50,000 payable over two years:
· LEAP (Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership), New Haven, CT
· Adult Friends for Youth, Honolulu, HI
· High Jump, Chicago, IL
· Brookside Community Development Corp., Indianapolis, IN
· ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students), Minneapolis, MN
· Montana Conservation Corps, Bozeman, MT
· Apex for Youth, New York, NY
· PAIR Houston (Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees), Houston, TX
The following eight organizations received grants of $100,000 payable over two years:
· Sitka Sound Science Center, Sitka, AK
· Girls Inc. of Greater Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
· Presidio YMCA, San Francisco, CA
· New American Pathways, Atlanta, GA
· My Place Teen Center, Westbrook, ME
· Cypress Hills Development Corporation, Brooklyn, NY
· Community College of Philadelphia Foundation, Philadelphia, PA
· Breakthrough Central Texas, Austin, TX
Research has shown that for under-resourced students, additional learning time in the form of high-quality afterschool, expanded day and summer programs leads to greater academic achievement, better school attendance and higher engagement. Further, a successful transition from 8th to 9th grade – middle school to high school in most cases – is particularly critical to student success.
“Middle school is a vulnerable time period for students, yet in the field of extended learning time, only a small percentage of programs target middle school students, leaving many without a safe, productive and enriching place to go after school,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “The New York Life Foundation is working to fill this gap by funding OST programs that help children develop social, emotional and academic skills, which are essential for the transition to high school.”
“We’re delighted to partner with the New York Life Foundation in this effort,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “The Foundation continues to do terrific work in this area, supporting children at a vital time in their development. These grants change lives by supporting OST programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning, and give working parents peace of mind in the afternoon and during the summer.”
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. In 2018, the Foundation expanded the program, awarding $1.35 million to 26 additional organizations. This year’s $1.35 million in Aim High grants brings the total amount awarded to $3.45 million, given to 70 organizations. Since 2013, the New York Life Foundation has invested more than $41 million in national middle school OST efforts.
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Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided nearly $280 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 and Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative. To learn more, please visit www.newyorklifefoundation.org.
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.