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New York Hashes Out Plan for Future Out-of-School Programs

New York City's Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) recently released a concept paper summarizing its future visions and goals for new and existing out-of-school-time programs for elementary and middle school youths in the city.

DYCD, which I profiled back in April, administers the various streams of funding that support New York City's youth and community programs, 485 programs to date, that serve 55,000 elementary and middle school youths. Recently, city budget cuts threatened some of these programs, but after many proponents spoke out on their importance, private donors pooled enough resources to maintain the threatened middle school and teen-job programs into the next year and the council restored some funding.

The concept paper, which will accept public comments until July 29, calls for more STEM curricula in the city's out-of-school-time programs, increased efforts at building relationships with parents, and improved alignment between the school day curriculum/school sites and after-school programs. The importance of hiring high-quality staff and using data tracking and other forms of assessment to hold programs accountable are also discussed. DYCD will be using a request for proposals to operate new programs soon.

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