Representatives from Louisville's Out-of-School Time Charter Share Ideas in Baltimore
Members of Louisville's Out-of-School Time Coordinating Council Charter will share ideas in Baltimore Thursday with other cities that are seeking to improve after school programming.
Louisville was one of nine cities nationwide that received a Wallace Foundation grant to improve systems supporting after-school programs. Metro United Way partnered with Metro Government and Jefferson County Public Schools last year to form the out-of-school council following the announcement of the four-year $765,000 grant. The idea was to develop a data system that supports all organizations serving the estimated 33,000 JCPS and other students using after school programs. Wallace Foundation’s event director Priscilla Little says each grant recipient is expected to develop its own data system for tracking and using student information. “Louisville’s at a point now where they are very thoughtfully thinking about how to move forward with their data system,” she says. “Interesting reasons why we funded Louisville and some of the other cities is that they are interested in building a system that’s larger than just the programs they fund.” Metro United way is using a system call Kid Tracks which will help allow the public school system and community-based organizations serving students to link and track certain data more efficiently. Once complete, the program should be able to track the 18 programs Metro United Way helps fund and the 23 programs the city government helps fund--some of which are being supported by both--plus all organizations with an after-school program county-wide, according to TJ Delahanty, manager of Metro United Way’s after school time activities. Little says getting and using data is critical to developing a successful city-wide system to manage after-school programs and she says Louisville is on the right track. “They’re one of the pioneers in using a data system to collect participation to do tracking and they collect really great participation and demographic information to be able to know where the kids are, where the programs are,” she says. Executive director of Louisville’s 55,000 Degrees initiative Mary Gwen Wheeler will speak on a panel the following day to dozens of cities attending the Wallace Foundations national conference titled “Better Together: Building Local Systems to Improve Afterschool.” Wheeler will be one of four panelists speaking on “The Challenges and Opportunities of Linking to Cradle to Career Initiatives.”