On Nov. 28, D.C. Mayor Bowser released $16.4 million to over 100 nonprofit organizations aimed at keeping kids engaged in productive activities outside of school. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

By Tashi McQueen,
AFRO Political Writer,
Report For America Corps Member,
tmcqueen@afro.com

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that $16.4 million will be spread amongst 113 nonprofit organizations to expand opportunities beyond what schools offer. 

Approximately 15,000 school children will benefit from this increase. The investment comes from a fund that aims to connect students with free or low-cost opportunities focused on things like academics, athletics, dance and financial literacy. 

“Our students need and deserve access to high-quality programming before and after school and on the weekends,” said Bowser. “These organizations are working with our schools to ensure all students have pathways to success and opportunities to explore their talents. We encourage families to reach out if they need help finding a program.”

Parents can navigate available programs at learn24locater.cityspan.com

According to Learn24, which operates a network of out of school time programs, youth participation in these programs can cause students to improve their school attendance and be more likely to graduate, increase academic performance and enhance positive behaviors and work habits.

“These organizations have demonstrated a strong ability to connect with our youth and create better futures for youth enrolled,” said Shontia Lowe, executive director of the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (OST Office). “Positive youth development is cultivated through continued partnerships with organizations that deliver high-quality programming. Programming that is responsive to youth needs and allows the young to have fun while engaging in activities aligned with their passions, desires, and interests.”

The nonprofit organizations that will benefit from the initiative include the Asian American LEAD, Beacon House Community Ministry, Girls and Women’s Empowerment and Development Organization and Youth Organization United to Rise.

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