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THINK Together Acquires New After-School Clients

THINK Together, one of the largest extended learning providers in the country, is acquiring the Bay Area chapter of After-School All-Stars as a new client.

The Bay Area After-School All-Stars was formerly connected to the After-School All-Stars or ASAS, an organization started by former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to provide sports opportunities for low-income students. Today, operating as a more general after-school program, it serves 92,152 students at 346 schools in nine states.

But according to Mario Vargas, now the executive director of THINK Together's new Bay Area cohort (and the former CEO of the Bay Area ASAS), both the board and local ASAS chapter management wanted to partner with an organization that provided more administrative, financial, and academic support, particularly as the 20 local schools were implementing the common-core standards.

"The number one thing [driving the decision] for myself and the board was being able to connect our program with what's happening in the school day: We want to be an extension of the school day, not just an after-school program," Mr. Vargas said on a call with Education Week. "Now [partnering with THINK Together] we have a framework of proven practices that allows us to focus on providing daily, comprehensive support to more kids in our community and makes the program more sustainable long term."

THINK Together, which started as an after-school program provider in Southern California, has continued to build on its after-school work by branching into early literacy and summer learning support programs in recent years. And now it is also provides common-core implementation assistance to school districts. The organization estimates it has added 20,000 new students this year.

With the new Bay Area acquisition, the organization will serve 140,000 students in 440 locations in California, from 41 school districts. In December, I featured a Q&A on Beyond School with THINK Together's Chief Executive Officer Randy Barth.

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