ARCHS Funding Spotlight: On-going series of feature stories about the funders who entrust ARCHS with resources to provide vital community services to the St. Louis region.
The importance of after school programming to St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) is highly evident.
"ARCHS commitment to SLPS students and their families remains unsurpassed," said SLPS Superintendent Dr. Kelvin Adams. "Now in its fourth year, the After School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP) after school programs have proven to be a vital component in the district's efforts to provide high-quality after school programs designed to improve academic achievement."
SLPS’ commitment to after school programming is also evident through its commitment to ASAP. SLPS provides ASAP with $100,000 in annual funding, bus transportation services, staff support and free use of classroom and recreational space in its schools.
“St. Louis Public Schools values after school programs because the district values the education of our students,” said Judith King, Coordinator of After School Programs for SLPS. “After school programs give students the opportunity to enrich and extend the academic program of their regular school day.”
SLPS Executive Director of Community Education John Windom said the district understands the community involvement that ASAP brings, and by having such high standards it brings a coordinated system of quality programming when coupled with ongoing monitoring.
“St. Louis Public Schools recognizes that it does not possess all the knowledge that exists related to after school programs,” Windom said. “The district views its relationships with ASAP as an opportunity to formally work with other youth-serving organizations in an effort to provide the best, high quality, well supervised and closely monitored after school programs the community has to offer.”
ASAP is a community effort to increase access to quality after school services in the Greater St. Louis area. ASAP services not only support students with homework help and transfer learning through hands-on activities. They also support parents needing more family stability, after school professionals learning from each other and from outside experts, public and private funders pooling their resources and the region investing in its future and future leaders.
Since 2007, ASAP and its partners have added 2,560 new additional “after school slots” to the City of St. Louis. ARCHS serves as ASAP’s strategic contract management and fiscal agent and St. Louis for Kids provides additional professional development expertise.
King said after school programs provide a safe environment for students during the three hour period following the school day. This allows parents to continue to work and engage in other productive activities knowing their child is participating in high-quality after school programs at a safe place where snacks and dinner are often served.
“The ASAP after school programs provide students with an opportunity to receive further academic assistance in the form of tutoring, homework help and additional skill practice. Enrichment activities afford students the opportunity to participate in dance, music, horticulture, robotics, art, photography and scouting to name a few,” King said. “Recreational programming provides students a chance to participate in organized sports exposing students to tennis, golf, soccer and gymnastics with experts in the fields. Daily academic assistance, enrichment activities and recreational programming offer students opportunities they may not have access to without after school programs.”