The Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence (AzCASE) and the Valley of the Sun United Way have launched the state’s first comprehensive, web-based, bilingual directory of afterschool and out-of-school programs.
Parents can search for programs by interest and need (tutoring/academic enrichment, arts and culture, sports and recreation, character education, leadership, mentoring, etc.), location, availability (before school, afterschool, weekend, summer break or school vacation), cost (free, fixed fees, sliding scale, available financing options, accepts DES subsidy, multiple-child discount, etc.) and language (English, Spanish, multi-lingual), among other prompts.
“The Afterschool Directory was initially populated with data collected from Young Minds Keep Learning Even After the School Day Ends, the first survey of out-of-school-time programs in Maricopa and Pima counties,” according to AzCASE Executive Director Melanie McClintock. Managers from 681 programs responded to a 55-question online survey posted in the fall of 2011. The survey was developed in partnership among the Arizona Center for Afterschool Excellence, Valley of the Sun United Way, United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy.
Afterschool and out-of-school time programs throughout the state will be encouraged to update their information regularly to ensure that program listings remain accurate.
The directory will give AzCASE the ability to analyze afterschool program data statewide, giving school, city and state policymakers valuable insights on program delivery and gaps in services, McClintock says.
“Afterschool and out-of-school time programs are essential in the overall development of our children and youth,” Valley of the Sun United Way’s Vice President of Community Impact Michelle Gayles said in a press release. “Having a comprehensive single resource online will arm parents, elected officials and the community with a valuable resource to positively impact thousands of young people statewide.”