Friends and Colleagues:
The After School Project, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, concluded as of June 30, 2006.
When the Foundation created the Project in 1998, it had an ambitious goal—to connect significant numbers of young people in urban, low-income neighborhoods with responsible adults outside of the classroom. The out-of-school-time landscape in each of the cities where we have funded intermediary organizations—Boston After School & Beyond, After School Matters, in Chicago, and Team-Up for Youth, in the San Francisco Bay Area—varied greatly, yet the challenges were the same: to organize the many disparate players and programs working with vulnerable children during their non-school hours, into a more coherent and durable delivery system. Today these organizations are among the most effective intermediaries in the country in the country, providing technical assistance, training, grants, and innovative programming to local youth serving organizations in their respective cities.
As we reflect back upon the eight year voyage of discovery that the Foundation initiated in 1998, we are struck by the meteoric growth of the field. Over the past decade, it has evolved from a series of important but small scale projects to a field of considerable maturity. The evidence of that maturity is not just the exponential expansion of the number of programs, but the growing roster of organizations dedicated to research, advocacy, communications, and funding that are essential components of a robust community.
The Project's goal for this web site has been to help expand and strengthen that community by sharing information on the work of our sites and disseminating Project-funded publications on topics of importance to the field. To that end, the web site will continue to be accessible, with links to the three sites and all Project-sponsored reports and publications available for downloading at no charge. And, please note the new Fieldbuilding section under Reports & Publications.
We feel privileged to have had the opportunity to take up a collegial role among some of the social policy world's greatest talents, working with them to draw the field's many components more tightly together. For that privilege we extend our deepest thanks and appreciation to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for their vision and support of this work on behalf of children and their futures.