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.

Featured image for Providence Journal Opinion Logo

Invest in after-school and summer learning

The Providence Journal

"As Rhode Island’s policymakers allocate [American Rescue Plan Act] funding for education recovery and school districts determine how to spend those funds, it’s crucial that they partner with and fund after-school and summer learning programs," share Roshni Darnal, director of community investments at United Way of Rhode Island, and Maryclaire Knight.

Read on site

Justin Thomas has made large strides toward building a new life in Rhode Island during and after his time in prison, but he remains saddled with court-related debt that will weigh on him for many years. He is among many people who may benefit from a new program that can reduce fines and fees, but not restitution. David DelPoio/The Providence Journal

RI opens path to break cycle of court fees

The Providence Journal

"Long after Rhode Islanders serve their time in prison, many are saddled with thousands of dollars in court fees and fines, even as they struggle to rebuild fractured lives... On Thursday, Nov. 18, a first-of-its kind event will take place to help people navigate their way back into society."

READ ON SITE

Two Youthbuild Preparatory Academy students sealing a wooden floor. Youthbuild is one of many organizations that make up Rhode Island's nonprofit sector. YOUTHBUILD PREPARATORY ACADEMY

R.I. can no longer overlook nonprofit sector

The Boston Globe

"The pandemic has highlighted the essential, irreplaceable roles played by Rhode Island's nonprofit sector. And our state investments and attention to the sector needs to reflect that."

READ ON SITE

United Way Welcomes New Board Members

“United Way of Rhode Island has appointed a total of 10 community leaders across its board of directors and its Community Advisory Board, while also naming a new board chair. Assuming leadership of the board of directors is Dolph Johnson, EVP, Chief Global Human Resources Officer for Hasbro, Inc.”

Starkweather & Shepley: Annual Celebration Honoree

“Here at United Way of Rhode Island… we take great pride in our role as a convener, bringing community stakeholders together to address our state’s most important issues. And we are tremendously fortunate to have partners that support not only our work, but also our vision for a Rhode Island that is the best it can be.”

Homes RI: Annual Celebration Honoree

“It’s no secret that Rhode Island is in the midst of a housing crisis — one that began prior to COVID-19 and that’s since reached epic proportions over the past 18 months. As it’s estimated the Ocean State is short some 20,000+ units of affordable housing… one group in particular is leading the charge toward flipping the script.”

UPCOMING EVENTS

Embracing Equitable Practices in OSTL

Join the Rhode Island Afterschool Network for our fall 2021 professional development conference, Embracing Equitable Practices in OSTL, on Friday, Dec. 3, and Saturday, Dec. 4. You'll learn strategies from experts in our field and receive tools to help mitigate the impact of racism and inequities on our youth. This is a virtual event.

REGISTER

Learn with Leaders ft. Steven O’Donnell

Join United Way of Rhode Island's Young Leaders Circle for Learn with Leaders featuring Steven O'Donnell on Wednesday, Dec. 8, from 6 – 7 p.m. You'll hear how Steve has risen through the ranks in public safety and now paves the way so underserved youth in Rhode Island can reach their full potential. This is a free, virtual event.

REGISTER

Community Learning Partners

Join United Way of Rhode Island's Women United for our next Community Learning Partners event on Thursday, Dec. 9, from noon – 1 p.m. You'll hear from Camp RYSE, Meeting Street, and Mt. Hope Learning Center — three Women United grantee partners doing exceptional work to support childhood learning. This is a free, virtual event.

REGISTER

YLC Holiday Event and Stocking Drive

Join United Way of Rhode Island's Young Leaders Circle (YLC) in spreading holiday cheer as we collect stuffed stockings for underserved youth in Rhode Island. Bring a stocking filled with gloves, gift cards, and other goodies to the Narragansett Beer Taproom in Providence on Thursday, Dec. 16, from 6 – 7 p.m. and receive a complimentary beer ticket for up to three beers.

REGISTER