Richmond to Host Mayoral Summit on Afterschool Learning Opportunities

~Virginia is one of nine states selected nationwide to host educational expansion meetings~

Richmond, VA – Mayor Dwight C. Jones and the Virginia Partnership For Out-Of-School Time (VPOST) are proud to announce that the city of Richmond will host a Mayoral Summit to discuss the need for before and after school programs, summer activities and other out-of-school time (OST) learning opportunities for youth. To strengthen ways that city and state leaders collaborate to provide these opportunities, the National League of Cities’ (NLC) Institute for Youth, Education and Families (YEF Institute) has selected nine statewide afterschool networks from across the country to host mayoral summits on expanding access to afterschool programs and building citywide OST systems. The project is generously supported through a partnership between the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation. Planning for a 2012 Richmond Mayoral Summit will begin in the upcoming weeks.

“I commend VPOST for helping the city and the Commonwealth obtain this very valuable opportunity to provide for the betterment of our young people,” said Mayor Dwight Jones. “I would like to thank the National League of Cities for the grant award, and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and The Wallace Foundation for funding such an important and vital resource to help city and state governments expand the learning and enrichment opportunities for America’s youth.”

“In addition to the increased supports and services that an expanded set of afterschool programs can provide to children and youth in the Commonwealth, the afterschool field is the best kept secret in the world of workforce development,” said VPOST Director, Blaire Denson. “This is an exciting time in Virginia as there is an increase of interest in programs that are an integral part of our educational system, providing academic assistance and enrichment opportunities to youth and families in need.”

VPOST is a state-wide public-private partnership dedicated to developing and expanding academic, social, emotional, and physical supports and services to school-age children and youth across the Commonwealth of Virginia during the out-of-school time hours – before-school, after-school, vacation periods, and summer.

The nationwide summits will convene mayors, city council members, state agency officials, school and business leaders, and community partners to discuss the importance of afterschool programming and how to expand opportunities for youth by improving policies and partnerships at the state and city levels. Each statewide network will receive $6,600 to host a summit and will also receive assistance from the YEF Institute on outreach, messaging to city leaders and strategic planning.

This is the second round of states to be chosen for this project; the five states chosen in the first round held summits in 2009 and 2010. The nine statewide networks selected in the second round that will hold summits throughout 2012 include:

• Louisiana Center for Afterschool Learning

• Maryland Out of School Time Network

• Youth Community Connections (Minnesota)

• Nebraska Community Learning Center Network

• North Carolina Center for Afterschool Programs

• Oregon Afterschool for Kids

• Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network

• Virginia Partnership for Out-of-School Time

• Washington Afterschool Network

The Institute for Youth, Education and Families, an entity within the National League of Cities, helps city leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth and families in their communities. NLC launched the YEF Institute in January 2000 in recognition of the unique and influential roles that mayors, city council members and other local leaders can play in strengthening families and improving outcomes for children and youth.

The National League of Cities is the nation’s oldest and largest organization devoted to strengthening and promoting cities as centers of opportunity, leadership and governance. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.