On July 3, D.C. (D) along with Deputy Mayor for Education Jennifer Niles announced the winners of the 2017-2018 out-of-school-time grant competition. The 40 winning organizations serve more than 21,000 students in the District before and after school and on weekends.

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration recently issued grant money to 40 non-profit organizations that serve children. (AP Photo)

“As we accelerate school reform in Washington, D.C., we are looking beyond what’s happening in the classroom,” Bowser said in a statement. “We will continue to ensure that every child in the District has the opportunity to reach their full potential, and I am proud to partner with community organizations that support our students every day.”

There were 104 applications from non-profit organizations serving youth, according to the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education. The applicants were ranked by three reviewers on the quality of the programs offered.

The sum of the grants was $2 million and will serve young people in each of the city’s quadrants, focusing on Wards 1, 7, and 8. Forty-five percent of the funding will go to organizations in Wards 7 and 8 that serve young people.

The program is an outgrowth of the shuttered DC Trust, which built sustainable and equitable support throughout the city so that youth and families could thrive in vibrant, empowered communities. Niles said she is excited about what the program means for the District’s young people. “Ensuring kids in every pocket of the city are able to continue learning outside of the typical school day is a citywide priority,” she said in a statement. “These community organizations, along with an array of offerings from the Department of Parks and Recreation, D.C. Public Schools, our public charter schools, and our libraries, will give more students the opportunity to explore their passions and interests and grow academically.”

One of the grantees is Horton’s Kids, an organization that works with young people from kindergarten to their senior year in high school with educational programs and opportunities to fit their needs. Jhae Thompson, deputy director of Horton’s Kids, plans to use the $75,000 grant on its programs.

“The actual money will be used to help support academic, enrichment and youth development programs from K-12th grade,” Thompson told the AFRO. “This out-of-school-time funding from the D.C. government has and will play a critical role in allowing Horton’s kids to provide comprehensive services for children who live in one of the most under-resourced neighborhoods in the District – Wellington Park, S.E. – which is a mile from the Anacostia Metro Station.”

Another recipient is the United Planning Organization, which didn’t specify how much it received. In a release, the organization plans to use “the money to enhance and expand UPO’s current youth services programming initiatives that includes its POWER (Providing Opportunities with Educational Readiness) program at Hart and Johnson Middle Schools and the continuation of youth programs at Hendley Elementary School.

POWER is a STEM-based program that offers college and career readiness for students in grades 6-12. Dana M. Johnson is the president and CEO of UPO.

“UPO’s youth services division is very excited to have received funding from the United Way of the National Capital Area,” the statement said. “As we understand, there were more than 100 applicants and the process of selecting the winner was one that I’m sure was difficult. To be selected as one of the 40 winners is recognition of the importance of the work being performed on behalf of the District’s youth by our agency.

“With this additional support, we look forward to continuing our provision of high-quality academic and enrichment activities that give youth the foundation essential to a life of sustained self-sufficiency.”

AFRO Washington D.C. Editor LaTrina Antoine contributed to this article.