Middle school youth need freedom to experiment and explore their new and changing interests. The AfterZone gives Providence young people a way to do this safely and constructively, while improving attendance, academic, and social-emotional outcomes. The AfterZone is a citywide expanded learning system for middle school youth arranged as “campuses” of after-school, in-school, and summer activities at schools and community locations throughout Providence. Responsibility for programming and operations of the AfterZone system is shared by PASA, PPSD, and the AfterZone Site-Based Management Agencies (SMAs).
The AfterZone provides middle school students with year-round access to a wide variety of hands-on learning and enrichment opportunities—provided by over 70 community-based organizations—that motivate and inspire them to succeed, while giving them freedom to experiment with newly discovered interests, develop new skills, create relevant connections between in- and out-of-school experiences, and explore possible career interests.
When students sign up for the AfterZone, they can choose between free programs ranging from horseback riding, to sailing, knitting, guitar, building solar-powered go-carts, or analyzing Narragansett Bay plankton aboard a Save the Bay boat.
Key to the success of the AfterZone, is its coordinated schedule, transportation, and meal program. Instead of having to keep track of different programs operating at different locations at different times, parents and families can help their young person choose from a menu of programs that all operate on a coordinated schedule with coordinated trasportation and snacks.
With such an easy way to have fun and learn at the same time, no wonder young people in the AfterZone want to go to school. Don’t take our word for it, see it in action! We work with over 100 high quality program providers annually. If you’re interested in running an AfterZone program, please see the “Run a Program” section of this site!