The Jacksonville Children’s Commission will host officials from the National League of Cities and the Wallace Foundation at the Prime Osborn Convention Center this week as the Commission celebrates its success, with the help of a grant from The Wallace Foundation, toward improving quality and access to afterschool programs throughout Jacksonville.
Friday, May 9
8:30 - 11:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m. - Media avail with Mayor Brown, Jon Heymann, and NLC and The Wallace Foundation officials
Prime Osborn Convention Center
1000 Water Street – 32204
Mayor Alvin Brown
Dr. Annmarie Kent-Willette, City of Jacksonville Education Commissioner
Jon Heymann, executive director and CEO, Jacksonville Children’s Commission
Dr. Nikolai Vitti, superintendent, Duval County Public Schools
Joe Davis, CEO, Florida Afterschool Network
Priscilla Little, initiative manager, The Wallace Foundation
Audrey Hutchinson, program director for education and afterschool initiatives, National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Bela Shah Spooner, senior associate, National League of Cities Institute for Youth, Education, and Families
Mayor Alvin Brown, along with community leaders including City Council members, Duval County School Board members and CEOs of youth-serving provider agencies, will participate in a leadership forum with NLC and Wallace Foundation officials. Duval County Public Schools principals, afterschool provider area directors, frontline youth workers, and other community partners will also have an opportunity to meet with colleagues in breakout sessions.
In March 2012, Jacksonville was one of nine cities selected by The Wallace Foundation as part of a four-year initiative to strengthen afterschool programs for urban youth by establishing uniform quality standards, enhancing data collection and expanding participation to improve programs and outcomes. Wallace selected Jacksonville for the $765,000 grant largely because – with mayoral support and the benefit of a sound planning process – the Jacksonville Children’s Commission had already made substantial progress in setting up a citywide system of afterschool programs.
The Commission has moved ahead with the system, process and program analyses funded by the grant, with matching funds and staff support from the City of Jacksonville. Among the many successes to celebrate are holding a professional development conference for youth workers, conducting a survey of academic and youth outcomes, creating an online program locator tool for the community, and conducting an Efforts To Outcomes (ETO™) pilot with non-profit providers.
The Commission laid out several goals moving forward, including increasing participation in afterschool programs, improving the quality of existing afterschool programs throughout the community, and enhancing the data collection process with greater agreement to share data across providers, nonprofits, and other governmental entities with the goal of making better, data-driven decisions in the interest of children.
About the Jacksonville Children’s Commission
The Jacksonville Children’s Commission works with nonprofit organizations to ensure children are educated, safe and healthy by funding quality prevention, early intervention, and support programs that ensure children grow and develop during out-of-school time; children have stable, nurturing families; children enter kindergarten prepared to learn; and children get special help when they need it.