RI Afterschool Network

RI Afterschool Network

Kids thriving. Families working. Providers connecting. Schools excelling.

We are a partnership of individuals and organizations promoting young people’s safety, healthy development and learning outside the traditional classroom.

We do this by providing training and technical assistance to improve program quality; influencing policy on behalf of youth and families; and expanding funding opportunities.

We're a movement to make every hour count for every child in Rhode Island

Afterschool programs are a critical element of learning, particularly for Black, Latinx, and other children of color. That’s why we are actively working to create pathways for more youth of color to participate in high quality, out-of-school time programs.

The Rhode Island Afterschool Network encourages parents, policymakers, and school officials to rethink their definition of learning and consider the expanded learning that takes place outside of the traditional school day. We believe that every family should have the opportunity to choose from a range of high-quality, age-appropriate, affordable after school and summer programs.

Out-of-school time learning is a strategic focus for United Way of Rhode Island.

Together we can support student success

Rhode Island Afterschool Network members stay apprised of our work and help:

  • Advocate for more state and federal investments,
  • Build a statewide system to enhance program quality,
  • Connect leaders and innovators in Rhode Island and across the nation, and
  • Demonstrate the results of programs.

For more information, contact Roshni Darnal at roshni.darnal@unitedwayri.org.

The challenge: Latest Rhode Island research

Nearly 60,000 of our state’s school-aged children (out of 153,000) want to be in afterschool programs and don't have access, according to the "After 3PM 2020" report published on December 8, 2020, by the Afterschool Alliance. As troubling as this is, it only scratches the surface of the direction our state has gone in a very short time – 59 percent more kids unable to participate today than just one year ago. Parents across the state, two out of three, also report that afterschool programs are too expensive. Go to the "After 3PM 2020" report.

The State of Out-of-School Time Learning Programs in Rhode Island

Afterschool programs lead to higher test scores and less absenteeism

Our fall 2019 report, The State of Out-of-School Time Learning Programs in Rhode Island, delves further into the issues preventing young Rhode Islanders from participating in these programs. Download the PDF.

LEADERSHIP, PARTNERS AND RESOURCES

LEADERSHIP

Rhode Island Afterschool Network committee includes afterschool programs, community organizations, and government partners.

Jael Lopez
Director of Strategic Community Partnership
Providence School Department

Hillary Salmons
Executive Director
Providence Afterschool Alliance

Maryclaire Knight
Knight Consulting and Department of Education and RI Technical Assistant 
MGM STEM Advantage 

Jan Mermin
21st CCLC Statewide Coordinator
Rhode Island Department of Education

Paige Clausius-Parks
Senior Policy Analyst
Rhode Island Kids Count 

Marlene Guay
Program Officer, Early Learning and Two Generational Approach
United Way of Rhode Island

Jim Hoyt
Executive Director of Patwucket Boys and Girls Clubs
Statewide Representative of Boys and Girls Clubs

Lisa Dimartino
Strategic Initiatives Officer
Rhode Island Foundation

Melissa Hamlin
FM Global

Reggie Jean
Executive Director of Pawtucket YMCA
National Representation for Black CEO and Leadership of YMCA

Elliot Rivera
Executive Director 
Youth in Action, Inc.

Teresa Curtin
Executive Director 
Connecting for Children and Families 

Adrienne Gagnon
Executive Director
DownCity Design

Summer Gonsalves
Brown University Community & Education Outreach and Narrangansett Tribal Member 

Erick Pagan
Elementary School Assistant Principal
Providence Public School District

Julissa Disu
Grants Manager 
Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training 

NATIONAL STATEWIDE AFTERSCHOOL NETWORK

Funded in part by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, we’re part of a 50-state network; the National Statewide Afterschool Network actively collaborates with our colleagues across the nation to continue building a movement for learning beyond the traditional classroom.

AFTERSCHOOL ALLIANCE

The nation’s leading voice for afterschool, the Afterschool Alliance is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of afterschool programs and advocating for more afterschool investments.

NATIONAL AFTERSCHOOL ASSOCIATION

We’re also a state affiliate of the National AfterSchool Association, a membership association for professionals who work with youth in diverse school and community-based settings to provide extended learning opportunities during out-of-school hours.

Attend a professional development training provided by Rhode Island Afterschool Network and become an Ambassador Member of NAA. Learn more at naaweb.org.

NATIONAL AND REGIONAL RESEARCH

Child Trends
Provides excellent research and briefs for the out-of-school time field, including staff development, school and community involvement, and outcome measurements.

Every Hour Counts
A coalition of citywide organizations that increase access to quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students.

The Finance Project
Offers wide-ranging research related to their core mission to help leaders finance and sustain initiatives to build better futures for children, families, and communities.

The Forum for Youth Investment
A trusted resource for policymakers, advocates, researchers, and program professionals. Provides youth and adult leaders with the information, connections, and tools they need to create greater opportunities and outcomes for young people.

Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP)
Publishes an evaluation periodical (The Evaluation Exchange) that addresses current issues facing program evaluators of all levels, with articles written by the most prominent evaluators in the field. HFRP also provides a compilation of evaluation profiles of out-of-school-time programs and initiatives.

Nellie Mae Education Foundation
Dedicated solely to preparing New England’s learners for success. The Foundation’s strategic focus is promoting student-centered learning at the middle and high school levels across the region.

The Wallace Foundation
Seeks to support and share effective ideas and practices that will strengthen education leadership, arts participation, and out-of-school learning.

Lisa Guillette is the executive director of Foster Forward.JOHN TLUMACKI/GLOBE STAFF

Zoning laws hindering housing construction

The Boston Globe

"Cortney Nicolato, the CEO of United Way of Rhode Island and another member of the special legislative commission, said most of the state’s land use enabling legislation was written in 1991... 'When you have 100 amendments in a 30-year legislation, it's clearly not working... The housing crisis cannot be truly transformed until we tackle systemic barriers, like zoning laws and land use.'"

READ ON SITE

McKee is proposing $250M for housing

McKee Proposes $250 Million for Housing

GoLocalProv

"Our state's housing crisis is significant and must be a priority in the budget. But just as important, the investment needs to combine with transformational change in the systems surrounding housing as a whole," said Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island.

READ ON SITE

Thumbnail with side-by-side images of WPRI's Kim Kalunian (left) and United Way of Rhode Island's Kyle Bennett (right) with the headline, "COMMUNITY FOCUS: INTERVIEW WITH THE UNITED WAY."

Community Focus: United Way/Kyle Bennett

WPRI 12

"Director of Policy and Equity for United Way of Rhode Island Kyle Bennett joined 12 News at 4 to discuss the Good Neighbor Energy Fund, how many families benefited from it, and what residents can do to help."

VIEW ON SITE

Voting Begins for Nonprofit Innovation Lab

“Following months of honing their innovative ideas to create positive social impact in our state, leaders of six nonprofits will make their pitch to Rhode Islanders via brief videos in hopes of winning the Public Choice Award of the Nonprofit Innovation Lab. The voting opens Jan. 19 and ends on Jan. 24, with the winning organization receiving $5,000 in funding.”

Leaders Selected for ED Learning Circle

“Leaders of 11 local nonprofits have been selected by United Way of Rhode Island as fellows for its next Executive Director Learning Circle series. The year-long program takes an innovative approach to building the capacity of, and strengthening, the state’s nonprofit sector.”

211: On the Line

“It’s been very, very difficult at times,” shares Evelyn Cabrera, a senior community resource specialist and team leader for United Way 211 in Rhode Island. “But I couldn’t be more proud of our work and the ways we’ve been there to help our fellow Rhode Islanders throughout this crisis.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

National 211 Day Celebration

Join United Way of Rhode Island for our National 211 Day Celebration on Friday, Feb. 11 from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. Together, we're celebrating our 211 team who is always there, our donors who make it possible to answer each call, and our community partners who help callers get the services they need. This is a free, virtual event.

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Equity Challenge 2022

Ready to learn more about racial equity? Join our Equity Challenge 2022. You can start when we launch on Feb. 28, 2022 or anytime after that. After registering, you'll receive an email each weekday for three weeks with resources, reflection questions, and actions you can take to help create a more equitable Rhode Island.

REGISTER