Representative David Cicilline with Nathan Bishop eighth graders, from left, Arianna Salazar, Jaida Melendez, and Lauren Thornton.
Supported by representatives of afterschool programs for youth as well as students and teachers at Nathan Bishop Middle School in Providence, U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline unveiled new legislation designed to strengthen afterschool activities. The legislation, introduced at a press conference on Monday, October 6 at Nathan Bishop, will help children and families by investing in high-quality afterschool programs nationwide.
Studies show that children who regularly attend quality afterschool programs perform better in school; have lower incidences of drug use, violence and pregnancy; and are less likely to enter the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
Cicilline’s bill, the Community Partnerships in Education Act, would support quality afterschool programs by incentivizing and requiring partnerships between schools and communities to increase student engagement in community services that support education, athletics, and job readiness.
According to the most recent Afterschool Alliance America After 3pm report, 15 million children are left unsupervised after school from the hours of 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. According to the report, Rhode Island ranks above the national average in afterschool participation with 17 percent of K-12 youth enrolled in afterschool programs. However, 27 percent of Rhode Island’s youth are alone at some point each week and 38 percent of kids would participate in an afterschool program if they had the opportunity, notes the report.
Congressman Cicilline was joined by Hillary Salmons, executive director of the Providence After School Alliance; Adrienne Gagnon, executive director of DownCity Design; Frank Luca, executive director of One on One Basketball; Shannon Boucher, director of the Youth Program at the Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island; and Julie Lamin, executive director of KidzArt.