The city invests public and philanthropic dollars into youth programming—from state-defined OST programs to athletic and drop-in reading programs.

While the total amount of funding has not been captured, we estimate that among the three City departments (Department of Human Services, Parks & Recreation and the Free Library) that manage, run or fund after-school programs for young people (from grades K-12) more than $41M is invested in this programming annually. Close to 187,000 youth participate in these programs through the school-year and during the summer months.

With the change in administration, the Managing Director’s Office now sits over all of the City’s operating departments which provides for an extraordinary level of opportunity for collaboration. Moreover, Mayor Kenney’s platform—creating an equitable Philadelphia by eliminating disparities in education, economic, public safety and public sector outcomes—has led to historic investments in initiatives such as PHLpreK, Community Schools, and Rebuild as well as expanded support of the School District of Philadelphia’s Action Plan 3.0 and the Read by 4th Campaign.

Each of these initiatives are focused on specific goals such as increasing the number of our young people that reach their full potential by ensuring that all children enter school ready, that all children are reading on grade level or that all youth graduate from high school.

OST is, as we know, an important and valuable component of learning and development for our young people. In addition to the city-funded OST system there are non-profit and community-based programs, funded by the Commonwealth (about a $10M investment) and philanthropic dollars (approximately $4.3M), that provide positive OST experiences for young people. The significant Wallace Foundation grant ($915,000) that began in 2012 and is ending this year, helped to move the OST community toward linking program improvement and data collection. This grant and the Kenney Administration’s investments in education, parks, recreation centers and libraries led the Managing Director to task his departments to develop the City’s first OST strategic plan. A plan that would harness the power of all OST stakeholders to realize the full potential of Philadelphia’s OST.

Philadelphia’s OST Landscape:

1This reflects the number of Youth Served at Least Once
2This number does not reflect the number of individual youth that participate in PPR programming.  This number shows the number of program participants. PPR does not currently have the capacity to track all individuals using its paper-based system.