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 Ayana Melvan at ayana.melvan@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 

Ayana Melvan
Senior Program Officer, Youth Development and Lead for RIAN
United Way of Rhode Island

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.

IN THE NEWS

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15 Features Nonprofit Websites Should Have

Forbes Nonprofit Council

"With so many interactions taking place online, a solid website is a must-have for nonprofit organizations... To help you create a stand-out web presence, a panel of Forbes Nonprofit Council members, including United Way of Rhode Island's president and CEO Cortney Nicolato, share some features nonprofit websites must include to appeal to current and prospective members or supporters.”

Read on site

United Way's 401Gives Day helped local nonprofit stay open through the pandemic

401Gives helped local nonprofit stay open

WPRI 12

"401Gives... is held on April 1… This year, 401Gives is especially important since 2020 was a double hit for local nonprofits… with the pandemic collapsing their traditional fundraising opportunities, and… the need for their services increased. 'If we hadn't had 401Gives, we probably would not have made it through the year,' [Karen Dalton, founder of Dare to Dream Ranch] recalled."

View on site

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401Gives hopes to raise $1.5M on April 1

Providence Business News

"The community will have another opportunity April 1 to offer their favorite nonprofits support. The second annual 401Gives... online campaign will go live that day... [Donors] can visit 401gives.org and send their donations to various charities and causes... Along with fundraising, United Way is also offering nonprofits digital training and networking opportunities to help the organizations benefit highly from... 401Gives."

Read on site

UPCOMING EVENTS

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Community Learning Partners, featuring New Urban Arts and Movement Education Outdoors

Join Women United on Thursday, April 22 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. to hear about after-school programs that foster creativity, problem-solving, and a growth in mindset in amazing spaces.

Register here.

2021 Children Book Drive

2021 Children Book Drive

From May 1 to May 31, United Way of Rhode Island, Women United, and Books Are Wings will collect books gently used and new books. You can run a book drive at your workplace, school, or with your friends and family. Books may be dropped off at Cardi's Furniture & Mattresses locations in West Warwick, RI,  South Attleboro, MA, and Swansea, MA.  For more information on running a book drive or drop-off locations, contact bookdrive@unitedwayri.org.

The Night is Young

YLC The Night is Young

The Night is Young will look a little different this year but we are still raising funds for the community! Save the date for Young Leaders Circle's signature event on Saturday, May 22. at 7 p.m. to make a difference in the lives of Rhode Islanders.

Power of the purse

Power of the Purse

Save the date for Women United's signature fundraising event to support their mission in actively furthering children’s literacy. Power of the Purse will be held on Saturday, June 12 at the Newport Beach House. More details to come. Stay tuned!