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 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.

IN THE NEWS

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United Way kicks off Children’s Book Drive

Cranston Herald

"In what's become one of the state's largest efforts in support of childhood literacy, United Way of Rhode Island and its Women United group have kicked off their annual Children's Book Drive. Throughout the month of May, local businesses, community organizations, families and individuals are invited to participate in any one of a number of ways."

Read on site

Lawmakers speak about changes to child tax credit

Lawmakers share changes to child tax credit

NBC 10 News

"United Way and members of Rhode Island's congressional delegation spoke Monday about the expanded federal child tax credit. The lawmakers explained how... families can take advantage of the benefits before filing their taxes by the May 17 deadline… [Representative David] Cicilline said an estimated 173,000 Rhode Island children will benefit directly."

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Rep. David Cicilline — Eligible Rhode Islanders need to take advantage of expanded Child Tax Credit

Take advantage: Expanded Child Tax Credit

Uprise RI

"'The expanded Child Tax Credit will lift millions of kids out of poverty, including 6,600… in [R.I.]', said… Representative David Cicilline… 'It's critical that… eligible Rhode Islander[s] [take] advantage'... 'If you need help with your taxes… call 211 and we['ll] connect you with assistance in your community'", shared Larry Warner, United Way of Rhode Island's chief impact and equity officer.

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UPCOMING EVENTS

2021 Children Book Drive

2021 Children’s Book Drive

From May 1 – 31, United Way of Rhode Island, Women United, and Books Are Wings are collecting gently-used and new books for our 2021 Children's Book Drive. You can run a book drive at your school or workplace, 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 drop-off locations or running a book drive, contact bookdrive@unitedwayri.org.

virtual office hours

2021 Olneyville Community Fund Office Hours

Join us at 2 p.m. for the Olneyville Community Fund virtual office hours. We will answer your questions about the application content and grant platform for the Olneyville Community Fund. The application deadline is May 20.

Register here

Featured image CLP FabNewport DownCity Design

Community Learning Partners, featuring DownCity Design and FabNewport

Join Women United at noon for a Community Learning Partners event featuring guest speaker Adrienne Gagnon, co-founder and executive director of DownCity Design, and Steve Heath, co-founder and executive director of FabNewport. Each organization inspires youth to use the power of design to make a positive social impact in their communities.

Register here

Featured image for The Night Is Young

The Night Is Young

You’re the one that I want, ooh, ooh, honey, to join the Young Leaders Circle from 7 –11 p.m. for a drive-in movie night. We'll be showing 50’s favorite "Grease" at Misquamicut Drive-In Theater. Tickets are $50 per car (two people) and $25 for each additional passenger. All funds raised will go towards providing scholarships for Rhode Island youth enrolled in summer learning programs.

Register here