07/30/2014 -

If you hear "summer school," and this (above) is what you imagine, it's time for a major summer learning image overhaul.

Summer learning doesn't have to mean summer school. At least not in the remedial or punitive sense most of us came to know. Rather than holding onto an old vision of what summer learning looks like, urban districts around the country are keeping the school in summer, but are overhauling what the learning looks like.   

Here in Providence, we've partnered with the Providence Public School District to completely reimagine how young people could and should learn during the summer. And a lot of that is about how they interact with their schools, teachers, community, one another, and the learning process itself. 

A picture's worth a thousand words, so take a look at the new face of summer learning!

Kyle Labbe, Vinny Texeira, and Erick Gonzalez enjoy relaxing with a game of chess during afternoon free choice time in Club AfterZone at Nathanael Greene Middle School


Nathan Bishop Middle School students in the Save the Bay program explore the RI shoreline with their teacher Glenn Zienowicz



07/14/2014 -

by Rebecca Petrarca, DelSesto AfterZone Site Coordinator
posted 7.14.14

Camblin Reyes began working with the AfterZone in 2010 at her alma mater Bridgham Middle School, which was closed in 2011 and re-purposed into an elementary school. Maintaining her dedication to youth work, Camblin wanted to continue to work in the AfterZone and transferred to DelSesto Middle School.

Now four years in, Camblin continues to make the connection between AfterZone and the community stronger, infusing the AfterZone with her passion for working with youth and their families. Camblin is currently student at the Community College of Rhode Island where she is pursuing a certification as a Phlebotomy Technician. 

She is an enthusiastic educator and a wonderful role model for the young people she works with all year. I'm lucky to have her as one of my frontline staff.

Thank you, Camblin, for all you do for the Providence community, PASA, and our city's young people.


07/11/2014 -

This post originally appeared on the Cross & Joftus blog. Cross & Joftus works with states, foundations, school districts, and nonprofit organizations to meet their education goals. PASA worked with Cross & Joftus to identify areas of Common Core alignment and improvement in our AfterZone Summer Scholars program. 

Cheryl Krehbiel helps schools, districts, and states improve instruction, align curriculum, and better support teachers through more effective professional development



Students in DownCity Design's Design For Growth AfterZone Program building a water collection structure for
Southside Land Trust's Peace and Plenty garden. Photo by Jori Ketten.


By Cheryl Krehbiel, Cross & Joftus Associate

Across the country, Expanded Learning Organizations (ELOs) that run afterschool and summer programs are doing their part to support students in their efforts to meet increased learning expectations. As states are implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or other standards focused on college and career readiness, some ELOs are taking a bold step to closely examine their current practices and establish plans and milestones for further improvement by more closely aligning their work to these new standards.

As partners in the education process, ELOs provide many students with the additional time needed to learn at high levels. ELOs also incorporate different learning styles and approaches including more hands-on projects and problem solving. For many ELOs, alignment to the new standards provides an opportunity to strengthen their programs and is a must for sustainability as districts seek to align all student supports with the new standards. While the idea of ELOs aligning their programming with the...

07/09/2014 -

by Michael Braithwaite, Director of Communications

posted 7.9.2014

This year, PASA is lucky to be looking back at 10 amazing years working with 10,000 young people. As we take this opportunity to reflect before looking ahead to the next 10 years, we thought we'd sit down with some of our youth alumni and community partners about their thoughts on the AfterZone, Hub, and citywide afterschool in general. 

Adults talk a lot about academic outcomes, and college and workforce preparedness. We look for ways to make sure after-school and expanded learning programs are connected to in-school content and competencies. We try to find ways to link student interests with career and college options. Interestingly, what we've been hearing from all of the alumni we touched base with is that it was the positive adult relationships and the ability to choose what they did with their after school hours that made a huge difference to them. 

It's a good reminder to not lose sight of how critical caring adults and youth choice are to the longterm success of our young people. 

Joely Barrios


Left Photo: 6th grade Joely (bottom right) meeting John McEnroe with her AfterZone tennis program

Right photo: Joely as a senior in high school reading her piece "Sidewalk Women" at the 2013 Providence Youth Poetry Slam


Joely started the AfterZone at Gilbert Stuart Middle School in 6th grade. Like many of our young people, she was drawn to the diversity of after school options she could pick from and was immediately drawn to tennis—one of her father's passions. Throughout her middle school career, Joely took tennis,...

07/01/2014 -

This summer, the AfterZone is partnering with Rhode Island's Roch's Produce to provide healthy snacks from local farmers. 

Roch's is a Rhode Island born and operated produce market and wholesaler that was started by Joseph Roch as a family business in the mid-1930s. They offer year-round fresh produce and strive to source as much of that produce as possible from local Rhode Island farmers. 

Students participating in the Summer Scholars Camp will receive fresh fruits and vegetables in snack packs each morning to ease the summer heat! The Roch's partnership is both cost-effective (providing students with healthy produce only costs .50 per student), and furthers PASA's commitment to providing our young people with healthy food choices.

07/01/2014 -

This post originally appeared on The After School Corporation (TASC's) blog. TASC is one of PASA's Every Hour Counts partners and is dedicated to helping urban schools give kids more time, more ways, and more opportunities to learn so that everyone can succeed. 


photo by Jori Ketten

By Katie Brohawn, Director of Research for TASC

Every spring, the American Educational Research Association (AERA) hosts the world’s largest education research conference. It is a mecca for edu-geeks like me. And yet, I’m often disheartened upon finding only a few sessions that fall under the conference’s “Brain, Neurosciences and Education” category, despite the thousands of sessions available. This year, there were only six.

See, while I’m entrenched in the education space now, the former neuroscientist in me can’t help but always be on the lookout for ways to marry my two passions together. I am convinced that a greater understanding of the brain’s developmental processes is crucial in being able to design educational models and interventions that ensure our kids succeed.

We recently released a video that highlights a key point in this developmental trajectory: 6th grade. While we’ve long known that adolescence is a critical period for physical and emotional growth, neuroscience shows that there’s a “use it or lose it” reality at play, too. What children are exposed to during this period can have long-lasting effects. As Dr. Jay Giedd of the National Institute of Mental Health summed up...