Philadelphia bolsters programs for kids outside of school time

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia’s effort to keep kids busy outside of school hours is getting a revamp and the city is looking for providers to work on new programs. 

Officials held a news conference last week to announce the request for proposals from providers, and got an unexpected tribute that made Mayor Jim Kenney cry.  

“I’m surrounded by adults who care about me,” said Armani, who takes part in the Out of School Time Program at Alain Locke Elementary.

She says when she heard the mayor and schools Superintendent Dr. William Hite were coming to talk about the program, she wrote a poem to tell them how much it’s meant to her.

“Building my character, developing my character and learning much needed life skills,” she said.

The two men beamed through the first two or so minutes, and then Armani addressed them directly.

“So to Mayor Kenney and Dr. Hite, I thank you for fighting such a good fight,” she said.

And that was it for the mayor. He put his hands over his mouth and began to tear up.

“It hits you, the impact you can have, as a mayor or superintendent on kids and when a fifth grader recognizes your efforts, it motivates you to do more,” Kenney said.

This is of course why they were there. 

The Department of Human Services, which funds most of the $19 million Out of School Time program, has worked with the school district to make sure the programs will line up with the district’s priorities, such early literacy, career awareness and college preparedness. 

Providers must attend a bidders conference to compete, which you can check out at Philadhsost.org.

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