11/21/2014 -


Photo Courtesy of Beling's iPhone: Showstoppers in Action! 

This Wednesday my Showstoppers class participated in a focus group designed to figure out what PASA can do better with the AfterZone. It was cool! The girls thought that PASA should have more real world programs. For example, if you're going to have a cooking program, it should be in a chef's kitchen or some other professional kitchen environment instead of a classroom. Or if it's a dance class, it could be in a dance studio instead of the music room at a school. 

They really wanted more hands-on experiences that feel real. I think that's a good idea. Kids need a feel for what they're going to do and it's very important to get outside of your school in order to get a better understanding. 

In other news, Showstoppers will be performing at my high school (the Met)! Every time I have an internship, I have to have a final project that showcases what I've been doing. I only needed to have one final project, but instead I'm doing three with my Showstoppers group. They'll be performing at the Met, but I'll also be showing a video I've been making of the class at my exhibition. Also, because some of my 8th graders wanted more real world experiences, I'm arranging with my principal and the principal at Roger Williams to allow the 8th graders to shadow freshman at the Met. That way the 8th graders will have a better understanding of high school and they can see what the Met is all about. 

This has been a great session with Showstoppers! Next Tuesday is my exhibition and I'm really excited to show what they've done. Interning at PASA has been fun! Meeting other people that do different things, but still have the same goals that I do has been great because you get to see what other people do that helps everyone accomplish the same goal. 

If you want to keep seeing what I'm up to, feel free to follow me on Twitter at @belingt!

11/03/2014 -

Beling Todd is a former AfterZone student and a sophomore at the Met High School. Since 8th grade, Beling has been leading her own dance program, called Showstoppers, at Roger Williams Middle School. This year she also began interning with PASA to get a deeper view of youth development practices and general nonprofit management. Her blogs document her experience leading Showstoppers and participating in PASA life. 


By Beling Todd, AfterZone Program Provider and PASA High School Intern

posted 11.3.2014

For the past two weeks, PASA and AfterZone has completely taken over my life and I couldn't be happier. Starting my third year of Showstoppers has been wonderful! I'm getting to know a lot of new students at Roger Williams Middle School and building a better connection with each and every one of my students. The talent at Rogers is unbelievable, and my students are hyper and energetic all the time—I've never seen a happier group of girls ready and eager to enjoy one of their many passions. 

Teaching my students choreography has become easier as the sessions go by, and I truly feel that since my first year of running Showstoppers I've found the perfect balance between "friend" and "teacher." Nothing is better than seeing the kids you love share your passion and execute it to the T. I can't wait to see this performance come together again!

10/30/2014 -

Due to the First Lady Michelle Obama's visit at JSEC and the security measure in place as a result, the Roger Williams AfterZone is cancelled this afternoon. All other AfterZone school sites are continuing as planned. 

10/28/2014 -


The Providence After School Alliance (PASA), is excited to announce two opportunities to lead programming in both of our expanded learning after school models.
The AfterZone provides free after-school and expanded learning programming for over 1,900 middle school youth at five of the six middle schools throughout the City of Providence.
The Hub, in partnership with the Providence Public Schools, provides expanded learning opportunities (ELOs) for youth in Providence public high schools -- for which participating youth can earn credit toward high school graduation. ELOs in Providence allow youth to be engaged in meaningful, rigorous learning anytime, anywhere.  For example, musicians learn focus and perseverance from long hours of practice sessions and auditions; gamers and computer tinkerers learn to think critically and push through challenges every time they encounter a new bug or programming problem; artists expand their minds with big picture, out-of-the-box creative thinking.
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to contact:
AfterZone Director Rob Randall - / 401 490-9599 x105 
PASA Deputy Director Alex Molina - / 401 490-9599 x108
We look forward to seeing your proposals and applications!


10/17/2014 -

By Michael Braithwaite, Director of Communications

posted 10.17.2014

This is Beling Todd!

Around PASA, Beling is known for her radiant smile, quick wit, and outgoing personality. And for being the first 8th grader to start her own AfterZone program. Beling has been dancing since 5th grade—it's one of her many passions (as is acting, writing, and strategizing about getting into NYU). Having pursued her passion for hip hop dance on her own, she'd never signed up for the AfterZone, but she decided in 8th grade that she wanted to bring her knowledge and passion to her fellow middle school students at Roger Williams as an after-school program. She gathered her pitch, wrote a curriculum and presented it to AfterZone Site Coordinator Lauren Proctor, who was so impressed she gave her the go ahead with the caveat that she had to have an adult supervisor.

Long story short, her program "Showstoppers" was a huge hit with her peers. 

Beling is now a 10th grader at the Met and while she's older and wiser and busier, she's still leading her Showstoppers program at Roger Williams. Because she's also just generally an all-star, she decided that she also wanted to intern with PASA in order to deepen her knowledge of youth development and nonprofit administration.

While interning with us through November, she'll be participating in PASA's professional development and training series, doing a variety of different professional projects, and serving as PASA's on-the-ground social media youth voice. She'll be live Tweeting her experiences through our Twitter account (watch for the "Beling" signature on her Tweets) and blogging every two weeks about what she's been doing.  

We're really excited to have her as part of the team!

10/15/2014 -

Ever wonder how your teenager's brain might be impacting his/her educational experience? Are you a teacher that wants to better understand your high school students? Or maybe you've just noticed that adolescents have a lot of feelings. Either way, we've got the event for you!

Join us next Thursday, October 23rd at 3:30 pm at the Providence Public Library as we host Abigail Baird—Developmental Neuroscientist, Vassar professor, and "avid fan of popular culture and anything adolescent." Baird will be joined in conversation by the Wallace Foundation’s Nancy Devine and PASA’s Executive Director, Hillary Salmons. They will participate in a panel discussion with some of PASA’s youth alumni on how adolescent brain development impacts educational success.

Abigail Baird earned her B.A. in biopsychology from Vassar College and her M.A. and PhD. in developmental psychology from Harvard University. Her research interests include the integration of emotion and cognition across development, with a particular focus on neural development during adolescence. She is currently working on a series of studies that examine how teenagers use emotional and cognitive information to inform their decision-making. Her other interests include neuroimaging, as well as the influence of psychological science on law and public policy.

It's not every day that you get a leading researcher of teen minds in dialog with young people, so be sure to register!

This event is generously sponsored by The Wallace Foundation as part of PASA's 10th Birthday Bash celebration


10/06/2014 -

This post was written by Chris Mai, Policy and Communications Manager for Every Hour Counts and originally appeared on their blogEvery Hour Counts, formerly the Collaborative for Building After-School Systems, is a coalition of citywide organizations that increase access to quality learning opportunities, particularly for underserved students.

Data can be a powerful tool, but only if you know how to use it.

For too long, the expanded learning field has struggled with the complex and elusive process of developing and adopting a common framework for measuring youth outcomes and the program and system practices that may influence them. In a webinar last week, we unveiled a new Measurement Framework, a tool to help communities set goals for their expanded learning systems and to help them assess their progress and make data-driven improvements.

How can the Measurement Framework help you? The Measurement Framework offers practitioners:

•    A clear, simple set of outcomes that reflect priority measures of success for expanded learning systems. The Framework presents eight elements across the youth, program, and system levels that reflect high-priority focus areas for a thriving expanded learning system. Each element has corresponding outcomes designed to show whether systems and programs are functioning well. The Framework provides a description of measurement activities that can accompany each outcome, suggestions for how the data can be used, direction regarding how data on a given outcome may be linked to other levels within the Framework, and evidence on the value of each outcome.

•    Tips for...