Welcome Parents!

More and more parents throughout the community are learning that quality out-of-school time (OST) programs can help their kids in a number of important ways. Yet, parents don’t always know how to get the information they need on quality OST programs in their area. This portion of the web site is designed to help you:

• Better understand how to identify a quality OST program

• Find an OST program that is convenient for you

• Gain a bit more information about OST programs in general

 

Summer Programs Available for Beecher Terrace or Russell Neighborhood Residents

Beginning in Summer 2018, numerous BLOCS OST programs have reserved summer youth programs slots for Beecher Terrace youth residents. In partnership with the HUD Choice Neighborhood Revitalization grant, BLOCS is working with local OST providers to ensure Beecher Terrace youth are connected to high quality OST programs throughout the summer while residents relocate and housing in the neighborhood is revitalized. Case managers hired by Urban Strategies are working with current and former resident families to help enroll their children in these participating BLOCS summer programs. If you are a current or former Beecher Terrace or Russell neighborhood resident searching for a high quality summer program option for your child, contact one of the programs from the list below to begin your enrollment process. Be sure to mention that your family currently or previously resided in the Russell neighborhood!

For more information, contact Angie Ditsler at angie.ditsler@metrounitedway.org.

Click here for a full listing of participating programs.

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BLOCS has identified a series of Best Practice Guidelines, known as BLOCStar, for OST programs. By adhering to these best practices, programs that participate in BLOCStar have demonstrated commitment to continuous quality improvement and the adoption of Youth Development principles within program activities.

Participation in BLOCStars has steadily grown since 2014, as more sites are complying with the three best practices each year – assessing quality using the YPQI methodology, measuring SEL using either the SAYO-Y or SRYB instrument, and tracking youth participation using JCPS’ CASCADE data system – thus contributing to the results we’re witnessing related to program quality and student outcomes.

To identify local BLOCStar programs and locations, look for the BLOCStar logo next to program names in 2-1-1 information referral service as well as identifying signage at BLOCStar site locations.

 

Find a Program

At times parents need help locating after school and summer out-of-school time programs. This map gives you a general snapshot of locations for BLOCStar Programs in our area.

Metro United Way’s 2-1-1 help referral service directs people looking for resources to the appropriate service provider. You can find the most up-to-date information on programs available to you by calling 2-1-1, texting your zip code to 898211, or clicking here

Search Hints: If searching the online database, you can use keywords such as “youth enrichment programs”, “day camps”, or “ost” to return the most relevant results.

Why OST Matters

Out-of-School Time (OST) programs provide regularly scheduled, structured, and supervised activities for students outside of the regular school day. OST programs promote positive youth development and offer a variety of learning opportunities, including tutoring and homework help, mentoring, cultural and arts exposure, social development, and recreation.

 

OST programs are essential to any strategy to improve outcomes for youth, particularly those from vulnerable groups that typically experience the largest academic achievement gaps.* By focusing on social-emotional learning (SEL) skills, they can play an important role in shrinking the college/career readiness gap by equipping young people with skills such as critical thinking, communication, and perseverance.

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Training

Training for professionals in youth development is critical to providing quality out-of-school time programs. BLOCS is committed to providing a structure for out-of-school time professionals to receive quality training based on youth development professional core competencies. BLOCS has also partnered with Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) to offer a Youth Development Certificate, which is a 60-hour professional CEU (continuing education units) certificate that is open to anyone who works with youth.