Providence After School Alliance

At a Glance

National Office: 
140 Broadway
Providence , RI 02903
Phone: 401-490-9599

Hillary Salmons
People Served: 
70,000
Year Founded: 
2004
Tax ID: 
26-0319193

Focus area(s):

After-School & Out-of-School

Description

Since its creation in 2004, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA) has built two citywide expanded learning models in collaboration with the City of Providence, the Providence Public Schools and the local non-profit community.  The AfterZone system is for middle schoolers and the Hub serves high school youth. They both offer young people a coordinated schedule of in-school, after-school and summer learning programs provided by over 80 community-based organizations and Providence educators.

Prior to PASA’s inception, Providence had a wide range of after-school programs that varied significantly in program quality, with many that were not meeting the developmental or academic needs of the City’s middle and high school-age youth. PASA created the AfterZone and Hub as ways to knit these programs into a coherent system of consistently high quality programs that are developmentally aligned to middle and high school minds, increase youth access to opportunities, and ensure that all Providence young people can experience a broad range of learning choices while being supported by a diverse team of well-trained and caring adults. Today, the AfterZone provides Providence public middle school students with three sessions of after-school programs (a mix of science, arts, sports, and career exploration) during the school year, and an intensive, full-day, four-week summer STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) camp.  The Hub’s programs provide youth with credit bearing mini-courses we call Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELOs), as well as a range of after-school programs that are developmentally appropriate for high school youth. All programs complement the school day and connect students to real-world experiences.

Because PASA believes that the ingredients for building successful after- school systems that are able to expand the learning day and transform learning exist in every City and Providence still has a great deal to learn from its colleagues around the country, PASA has made every effort to share what it has learned with interested cities and communities around the country.  PASA also works closely with a network of city systems building intermediaries across the country through a partnership with Every Hour Counts. Through this network of 9 cities and counties, PASA has been able to learn about what is working across the country and share its own best practices with city partners.  Each year PASA hosts a City Institute to which it invites up to 10 cities that have asked to visit and replicate components of PASA's middle school and high school work. 

Over the last twelve years, PASA has served over  14,000 youth.  Each year we serve an average of 1,700 middle school students through the AfterZone, and 300 high school students through the Hub.  Between 30% to 45% of the students in each of the 5 middle schools are participating in the AfterZone expanded learning opportunities.  With additional support PASA could easily serve 100 more students - those that are currently on waiting lists.   PASA would like to expand into the 6th and final middle school which has requested an AfterZone for the past two years.   Both of these expansion efforts would require an additional investment of $500,000.

Impact and Outcomes

Increase student participation and retention in PASA programs
Increased school attendance and engagement- 25% fewer absences
High school credit toward graduation
Improved grades- higher math scores
Improved social emotional outcomes

Mission & Goals

PASA's mission is to expand and improve quality after-school, summer, and other expanded learning opportunities for the youth of Providence by organizing a sustainable, public private system that contributes to student success and serves as a national model.

To accomplish this while keeping costs low, we leverage a diversity of City and State resources to knit together a network of partners from the public and private sectors. Key partners include the City of Providence, the Providence Public School District, a network of 80 community-based program providers, as well as colleges, and local businesses. Together, we make sure that all Providence students can access a full-day, year-round expanded learning system. To ensure our programs achieve impact in- and out-of-the-classroom, we employ a multi-pronged assessment strategy designed to measure success at both the youth and provider level. As part of this strategy, we also provide year-round professional development and training for program providers, frontline staff, and District teachers.

As a citywide system building intermediary organization that is knitting together the youth-focused resources and talents of its public and private sector partners, PASA has identified three strategic areas of focus for its work.  They are 1.) to develop, implement and test a variety of approaches to expand learning opportunities for middle and high school youth - primarily through the AfterZone and Hub, 2.) to ensure that all after-school, summer and expanded learning programs are delivered with quality and assessed, 3.) to build the capacity to innovate with quality by maintaining a sustainable public-private citywide system and highly effective coordinating organization or intermediary.

PASA's short-term goals are to increase student participation in multi-session, multi-year quality expanded learning opportunities.  We know that when students are rushing into the programs faster than they are leaving them, then the learning experience is meaningful and engaging for our customers - the young learner.  Through consistent participation young people are likely to  improve school attendance, social emotional competencies, grades, high school completion and success in life.

PASA is also focused on developing young people’s social emotional and 21st Century learning skills.  Our professional development and assessments train our educators to support young people as they develop these essential skills, which include critical thinking, perseverance, and academic motivation—all crucial for long-term success in college, career, and life. PASA’s new AfterZone badge system then recognizes this by providing students with badges that celebrate which of these skills they excel at.

Program

The AfterZone: A Hands-On Approach to Expanded Learning

After School: Middle school youth are developmentally primed for an intensive period of growth and learning. They need freedom to explore and experiment with their new and changing interests. A citywide after-school system, the AfterZone, provides middle school students with access to a wide variety of programs provided by over 70 community-based organizations. Students have access to valuable opportunities to develop new skills, experience learning that feels relevant to youth, and explore possible careers. Free programs include animal care, music, dance, experimental science, robotics, soccer, and much more.

Summer: In partnership with Providence Public Schools, the AfterZone Summer STEM Camp gets students into the community, providing them with fun, applied, field learning experiences that focus on building science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. The summer program helps combat the summer learning loss and keeps youth occupied and engaged.

The summer camp taps the expertise of Providence school teachers and community educators alike, pairing them together in collaborative teaching teams. The teams lead students in activities like building solar-powered go-carts, analyzing plankton samples aboard a boat on Narragansett Bay, learning physics and geometry by learning to sail, and building site-specific sculptures for Providence parks.

Together, PASA’s after-school, summer, and integrated school AfterZone strategies create a full-day, full-year hands-on expanded learning approach for Providence middle school youth.

The Hub: A Student-Centered, Student-Driven Approach to Expanded Learning

For high school youth, learning happens in a 24/7 environment. The Hub builds upon the AfterZone by ensuring that the benefits of a coordinated system of enriching after-school learning opportunities don't end when middle school students leave 8th grade. The Hub works with Providence public high schools to provide high-quality expanded learning opportunities (ELOs). Students earn credit towards graduation with flexible learning activities grounded in relevant, real world skills and professional experience.

The Hub’s ELO programs—offered by community-based educators—draw upon local resources and trusting partnerships with teachers and schools. ELO offerings include a mix of STEM, leadership development, visual and performing arts, and sports programs in 3-5 high schools. Beginning in the fall of 2016, a number of ELOs will be offered to students throughout the State as part of a new initiative launched by RIDE called the Advanced Coursework Network, which provides students with rigorous, credit-bearing learning experiences outside of the school day and beyond school walls.

By working in tandem with one another, the Hub and the AfterZone help Providence youth stay on track to graduate and engage in their own learning through multiple and diverse learning pathways from 6th grade to graduation.

Impact

Since PASA's creation in 2004 it has served over 14,000 middle  and 1,200 high school age youth.  Annually PASA serves approximately 1,700 middle school youth and 300 high school age youth. The cost per student is about $1,200 for their participation in the school year and an additional $1,000 per student for participation in the 4 week summer program.

In 2011, Public Private Ventures completed a three-year evaluation comparing the 6th grade AfterZone participants to non-participants in 5 Providence middle schools.  The PPV findings on school-related indicators showed that participants compared to non-participants had 25% fewer absences from school and their math grades were one third of a point higher.  Students who attended 32 plus days of AfterZone programming were more connected to school, had better math, science and ELA grades and performed better on the State standardized math test.

Students participating 32 plus days also reported improvements in social  emotional indicators such as a strong sense of belonging, adult support and fun, thought more about the future, exhibited more positive behavior, and were better able to control emotions.

Each year PASA conducts the Rhode Island Program Quality Assessment with trained Quality Advisors of one quarter of its program providers.  This tool was developed by the Weikart Center at the Forum for Youth Investment.  For three consecutive years, PASA's AfterZone providers ranked higher than the national rankings of after school providers who use this tool in three of the four domains: Supportive Environment, Interaction and Engagement.  Providence ranks equally with its peers in provision of a Safe Environment - a ranking that is influenced by the state of the school buildings over which PASA has little control.

Reports by Rand, Harvard Family Research, PPV and the National League of Cities on PASA's after school and expanded learning system have attracted interest by cities around the country.  In the last six years, PASA has hosted four City Institutes, where collectively forty cities have attended to learn about PASA's core strategies.  Cities that are growing similar AfterZone models include Detroit, Nashville, Hartford, Omaha and New Orleans.

Growth Plan

Annually PASA has served between 1,700 middle school youth and 300 high school youth with an annual budget of approximately $2.5 million. Close to 50% of this funding has come from public investments, 20% from local and 30% from national foundations.

To ensure long-term sustainability and focus on its mission, a three-year strategic plan recommended that PASA do the following to ensure that the systemic work be sustained beyond the 10 year start up investment of the  the Wallace Foundation and the national research and development grants that support new innivations. . To sustain its work the Board needs to raise close to $1 million in private funding each year.  To serve more youth and.or expand into another middle school would require an additional $500,000. 

As a first step the Board commissioned a strategic plan and complimentary development and communications plan to increase PASA's capacity to grow it local investments.  These plans recommended the following steps be put in place 1.)  Expand the development team to support local corporate and major  donor development, 2.)  grow the Board of Director’s capacity to support PASA’s development efforts, 3.)   grow public investments in the city-wide system.   These steps have all been put into place building upon PASA grant writing plans to continue the organization's efforts to raise between $1,500,000 and $1,750,000 each year with grants obtained from both the public and private sector.

Local Expansion Plans:

Currently PASA has established the AfterZone in 5 of the 6 Providence middle schools.  At each of these schools PASA has expanded the learning day for between 30-45% (between 200 - 250) of the students.  Ideally PASA would like to serve an additional 100 students in each of the five schools  and expand to serve 250  youth in the sixth  middle school which is begging for an AfterZone.

The cost of expanding to an additional school would cost a total of $300,000.  The direct cost for staffing one school is $250,000 - a cost that covers staff, program instructors and transportation.  The indirect cost is and additional $50,000 of PASA coordination, scheduling, managing the 20 or 30 community providers, and overseeing the tracking system, quality assessment and overall evaluation.   The unit cost per student averages $1,200.

As waiting lists for AfterZone programs are reaching 100 students per school, PASA would like to expand the number of students it is able to serve in each of the original 5 schools.  By expanding from 200 to 300 students served the unit costs shrink to $900 per student.  An additional $200,000 would enable PASA to serve an additional 220 students - or 50 per school.

Location of Sites

National Office: 
140 Broadway
Providence , RI 02903
Phone: 401-490-9599
List of locations

To make a contribution to a program site:

  1. Click on the "Make a Contribution Now" button and include the name, city and state of the program you would like to support, in the "notes" text box on the organization's donation form, if available.
  2. If a "notes" or "designation" box is not available, write the city and state on your check in the "notes" section or call the national office to designate your contribution to a local program site.

Locations in the following states:

Rhode Island

Financials

Most Recent Budget

Year Ended:

2017

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$3,706,530
Foundation Grants: 
$3,055,032
Government Funding: 
$2,356,000
Contributions from Individuals: 
$976,825
Special Events: 
$1,070,850
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$170,000
Other Revenue (Description): 
Cause Marketing: $482,725.00
Total Revenue: 
$11,335,237

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$6,221,375
Occupancy: 
$371,487
Travel & Entertainment: 
$197,483
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communications: 
$74,780
Payments to Affiliates: 
$761,897
Other Expenses: 
$1,325,334
Other Expenses (Description): 

Other Expenses (Marketing & Communication): $224,600.00
Other Expenses (Capital Outlay) $111,885.00
Other Expenses (Benefits): $1,182,061.00

Services & Operating: $495,632.00
Total Expenses: 
$8,952,356

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain/Loss: 
$2,382,881

Prior Year Actuals

Year Ended:

2016

REVENUE

Corporate Grants: 
$1,068,973
Foundation Grants: 
$3,566,514
Government Funding: 
$1,661,152
Contributions from Individuals: 
$1,976,634
Program Services Fees: 
$0
Membership Dues: 
$0
Other Earned Income: 
$0
Other Revenue: 
$291,276
Other Revenue (Description): 
Cause Marketing: $110,536.00
Special Events: 
$1,160,740
Total Revenue: 
$9,725,289

EXPENSES

Salaries, Related Salaries & Professional Fees: 
$4,338,803
Occupancy: 
$259,657
Travel & Entertainment: 
$168,577
Office Supplies, Printing, Postage: 
$0
Telephone & Communication: 
$60,480
Payments to Affiliates: 
$1,361,545
Other Expenses: 
$966,763
Other Expenses (Description): 

Other Expenses (Marketing & Communication): $170,305.00
Other Expenses (Capital Outlay) $68,469.00
Other Expenses (Benefits): $690,214.00

Services & Operating: $759,026.00
Total Expenses: 
$7,155,825

NET GAIN/LOSS

Net Gain / Loss: 
$2,569,464

Major Funders

21st Century Community Learning Center - RI Department of Education/US Department of Education

Bank of America

City of Providence

Every Hour Counts

G-Tech/IGT

Jessie B. Cox CLT Family Fund at the Boston Foundation

June Rockwell Levy Foundation

Nellie Mae Education Foundation

Noyce Foundation

The Partnership Foundation

Providence Public School Department

Rhode Island Foundation

Rhode Island Housing

Southwest Airlines

Trimix Foundation