(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles launched the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (OST Office). The OST Office will ensure the more than 33,400 young people who attend subsidized out-of-school time programs across the District of Columbia have access to high-quality learning opportunities outside of the normal school day. Deputy Mayor Niles will be joined by Merita Irby, Co-Founder and Executive Vice President of The Forum for Youth Investment, and other nonprofit and community organization leaders providing out-of-school time programming.
“We know that in order to continue building on the progress our public schools have made over the past decade, our young people must be engaged and have opportunities to grow and thrive in and out of the classroom,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “Through the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes we will bolster our investments in the nonprofit and community organizations that are improving the lives of young people in all eight wards.”
Since the summer of 2017, the Bowser Administration has already invested $4 million in out-of-school time programs. After launching this new addition to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME), Deputy Mayor Niles also announced a new partnership between the University of the District of Columbia Community College (UDC-CC) and the OST Office. UDC-CC will host the Institute for Youth Development, which will provide more than 300 youth development practitioners with high-quality training opportunities to better serve the District’s students.
Out-of-school time programs serve young people across the District of Columbia whenever school is not in session, including after the school day ends, weekends, seasonal school breaks, professional development days, and summer vacation. In accordance with the Office on Youth Outcomes and Grants Establishment Act of 2016, the OST Office will support the equitable distribution of high quality out-of-school time programs through coordination among government agencies, grant making, technical assistance and data evaluation.
“With the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes joining my team, we are focused not only on the quantity of out-of-school time programming, but also the quality of that programming,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles. “Our students deserve our very best, and to ensure that we set them up for success, I look forward to working with UDC-CC and our community partners to provide them with the learning opportunities and support they need.”
During the event, the DC Policy Center released the report, “Needs Assessment of Out-of-School Time Programs in the District of Columbia,” commissioned by the DME to identify the current state of out-of-school time programming and analyze whether those programs meet the needs of youth in the District. While there are not enough out-of-school time seats for the 83,000 youth in Washington, DC identified by the report, there are more than enough out-of-school time seats for young people in households with incomes at 100 percent of the poverty line. The report also highlights the success of the District’s efforts to engage high school students during the summer through programs such as the Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program. DC has enough summer out-of-school time program capacity for all high school students in households with incomes at 130 percent of the poverty line, and those identified as “at-risk.”
Later this fall, the DME and OST Office will launch the official network of out-of-school time providers and the Commission on Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes. Since the Office on Youth Outcomes and Grants Establishment Act of 2016 transferred responsibility for out-of-school time grants from the now dissolved DC Trust to the DME, the Bowser Administration has awarded $2 million in grants to 39 organizations for Summer 2017 programming, and $2 million in grants to 41 organizations for school year 2017-2018.