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Keys to Success for Expanded Learning in Cities

There are three keys to success when it comes to developing programs for expanded learning in cities, a recent study says.

According to the report from the National League of Cities, urban leaders should:

  1. Work with a broad group of partners;

  2. Use the bully pulpit to keep the concept and its value in the public eye; and

  3. Spearhead efforts to develop a shared vision for expanded learning programs.

Are all cities hitting these marks? It's hard to say, but the study makes it clear that many urban areas are getting creative. For instance, in Nashville, Tenn., city leaders last year approved spending $400,000 on an after-school "zone" for middle school students in one part of the city. In San Francisco, the city assembled a diverse after-school advisory council that is, among other things, identifying core competencies for after-school employees. And, in Tampa, Fla., a credit union and a local public television station worked jointly on an after-school financial-literacy program.

"Strengthening Partnerships and Building Public Will for Out-of-School Time Programs" is loaded with examples of urban programs nationwide focusing on everything from student safety and learning to summer jobs programs.

Is your community—urban or otherwise—thinking creatively when it comes to out-of-school time? What could the National League of Cities learn from your experience? Write in, and let me know.

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