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Metro Newsroom


Louisville Earns Grant to Fuel After-School Programs for Kids

Wednesday February 1, 2012

Award of $765,000 comes from The Wallace Foundation

Louisville will use new grant funding announced today to strengthen its efforts to provide quality after-school programs and resources to at-risk children and teens, Mayor Greg Fischer said.

In awarding Louisville $765,000, Fischer said The Wallace Foundation recognized the progress already made locally to support youth and the strong partnership that includes city government, Jefferson County Public Schools and Metro United Way.

“Out-of-school time is critical time for our young people, for their safety and their academic and employment success,” Fischer said. “This opportunity will strengthen an already effective partnership and make sure more children have better after-school resources and support.”

“Metro United Way is honored to partner in moving us toward our community goal of increasing education attainment and to provide the project director for this initiative,” said Joe Tolan, president and CEO of Metro United Way. “We are confident that building a coordinated OST system will move Louisville closer to making sure all our young people are fully prepared for school, work and life.”

The Wallace grant will help Louisville implement YouthPrint, a comprehensive initiative for improving the quality and effectiveness of out-of-school resources and boosting participation by children and teenagers. One goal of YouthPrint is increasing the number of students who are prepared for and enroll in college or other post-secondary after graduating high school.

“Our own research shows a clear connection between quality and consistent out-of-school-time programs and student performance – in improved reading, better attendance and fewer behavioral problems,” said Jefferson County Public Schools superintendent Dr. Donna Hargens.

Louisville is one of nine cities selected by Wallace for a four-year initiative. The other cities are: Baltimore, Denver, Fort Worth, Grand Rapids, Jacksonville, Nashville, Philadelphia and St. Paul – cities where at least half of public school students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. The cities were chosen because they are “well-positioned to build on work they already have begun and have committed mayoral leadership and a sound ongoing planning process.”

The nine new grants are the second phase of an initiative Wallace began in 2003 in five cities – Boston, Chicago, New York, Providence and Washington DC – to help cities better coordinate after-school programs to improve opportunities for poor children and teens. That first phase revealed six building blocks essential to strong after-school systems: mayoral leadership and commitment to after school; multi-year planning; a coordinating entity to lead the work; access to reliable data; efforts to improve the quality of programs; and efforts to increase participation of youngsters in them.

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The Wallace Foundation is an independent, national foundation dedicated to supporting and sharing effective ideas and practices that expand learning and enrichment opportunities for children. The Foundation maintains an online library of lessons at www.wallacefoundation.org about what it has learned, including knowledge from its current efforts aimed at: strengthening educational leadership to improve student achievement; helping disadvantaged students gain more time for learning through summer learning and an extended school day and year; enhancing out-of-school time opportunities; and building appreciation and demand for the arts.