Why This Matters

WCA through its initiative, Campaign for Kids, advocates for high quality and adequately funded out-of-school-time youth programs and a fair, transparent funding process because:

  • How young people spend their time after school and during the summer has a big impact on their academic, social, and emotional wellness. [1]
  • Well-designed and high-quality youth development programs provide young people with opportunities to deepen academic skills, explore interests, and grow positive relationships with peers and adults, all while giving working parents peace of mind. [2]
  • Many Westchester children, from kindergarten through high school, lack access to such programs and may spend their after-school and summer hours with little supervision or without engaging activities.

The Issue (Explanation & Background):

Campaign for Kids logoIn 1994, Campaign for Kids, a coalition of youth service providers led by WCA, successfully advocated for the County to directly fund community-based youth development programs.  Westchester County provides this support through its Invest in Kids Fund based on an application process. In recent years, this process has been plagued by lack of transparency, apparent bias, and massive delays. Since 2015, WCA has been leading a public/private process to reform the way Westchester County awards grants to community youth programs.

Unfortunately, after more than 2 ½ years, the latest round of funding in December 2017 was little better than the previous round: funding decisions were made behind closed doors, were not based on quality, and resulted in long-time quality programs losing funding.

Current Efforts:

  • Leading the Campaign for Kids to fight for fair, transparent and accountable funding.
  • Advocating for regular evaluation of funded programs.
  • Leading efforts to bring best practices to youth development programs.
  • Seeking funding to analyze the landscape of youth programs in Westchester.

How to Get Involved:

  • Join the Campaign for Kids Coalition to advocate for youth resources at the County and State.
  • Sign up for alerts from WCA
  • Follow us on social media
  • Support our work

For More Information


Footnotes

[1] Vandell, et. al. (2007). Outcomes Linked to High-Quality Afterschool Programs: Longitudinal Findings from the Study of Promising Afterschool Programs. Policy Studies Associates, Inc.

[2] Goldschmidt, P. and Huang, D. (2007). The Long-Term Effects of After-School Programming on Educational Adjustment and Juvenile Crime: A Study of the LA’s BEST After-School Program. National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles, CA.

See Also