(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser and Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn announced a total of $3.6 million in grants for the 2023 Summer Strong DC Grant Competitions from the Office of Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (OST Office). Funds will be distributed to 42 nonprofit organizations in the District of Columbia that provide school-aged youth ages 5-18 years old with access to summer programming. These funds are expected to support organizations serving more than 2,900 DC students.
“We know how important it is to keep young people engaged in safe and fun activities throughout the summer, and that requires all of us working together to make sure families know about programs, to help get our young people get enrolled in those programs, and then ensuring that once kids are enrolled, they stay engaged throughout the summer,” said Mayor Bowser. “With expanded camp offerings, school-based learning opportunities, and summer jobs and internships programs, we are making sure we have options for kids and teens across grade levels and in all eight wards.”
The Summer Strong Grant Competition, now in its fifth year, provides funding to community-based organizations that offer high-quality summer programs for District youth. The 42 organizations were selected based on the strength of their program proposals and their demonstrated ability to provide for the needs of the community. Each organization will receive a grant of up to $150,000 to support its summer programming efforts. Programs will run from June to August and will offer a range of activities, including academic enrichment, dance, STEM, sports and recreation, arts and culture, and community exploration.
“We know that high-quality summer programs are critical to boosting overall academic performance, providing important social and emotional development opportunities, and preventing summer learning loss,” said Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn. “We recognize the importance these OST programs play in the lives of young people in the District and are proud to invest in these organizations as they work to create positive outcomes for youth in all eight wards.”
This year’s Summer Strong Grant DC competition attracted a diverse pool of applicants from organizations across the District. After a rigorous review process, the following organizations were selected to receive grant funding:
- After-School All-Stars DC
- Alliance of Concerned Men
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of the National Capital Area
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington
- Capital Hill Boys Club
- Children’s Legacy Theatre
- City Blossoms, Inc.
- College Success Foundation-District of Columbia
- East of the River Boys and Girls Steelband, Inc
- East River Family Strengthening Collaborative (Benning Terrace)
- Empowerment Enterprise 2, Inc.
- Ethiopian Community Services & Development Center
- Exodus Treatment Center, Inc.
- Friendship Public Charter School
- George Washington University - Honey Nashman Center
- Horizons Greater Washington
- Jah Kente International, Inc
- Levine Music, Inc.
- Life Pieces To Masterpieces
- Life Success Center for Children, Youth and Families
- Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region
- Many Languages One Voice
- Mission First Housing Group
- National Center for Children and Families
- Open Goal Project
- Positive Focus Foundation
- RISE DC
- Smart from the Start
- Student-Athletes Organized to Understand Leadership
- The Giveland Foundation
- The House, Inc.
- The Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation
- Tumaini DC, Inc.
- Tutoring Cafe
- Two Rivers Public Charter School
- United Planning Organization
- Washington Nationals Philanthropies
- Words Beats and Life
- Young Playwrights' Theater
- Young Women's Christian Association of the National Capital Area
- Youth Entrepreneur Institute
Proposed FY24 Budget Investments to Support OST Programming
Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget proposal includes significant investments to strengthen and expand access to afterschool opportunities for District children, youth, and families. In addition to sustaining nearly $17 million in grantmaking funding for the OST Office, the FY24 budget includes an additional $5 million to build “My Afterschool DC.” This investment represents a significant down payment toward creating guaranteed access to high-quality afterschool programming, which will be piloted in priority elementary schools across the District, serving students with the greatest needs and filling targeted programmatic gaps across the District.
If approved in the FY24 budget, My Afterschool DC will serve as a one-stop shop for OST programs offered by multiple agency partners and provide families with options for by-right programs and programs of choice. This newly created system will expand the number of seats offered and increase families’ access to free-of-charge, high-quality OST programming.
In addition, the Mayor’s budget proposal prioritizes OST access for students with disabilities and special education needs. In FY24, the OST Office will provide expanded training opportunities to ensure all OST providers are well-equipped to serve students with special needs. The OST Office will also ensure $2.5 million of existing grant funds are targeted towards students with specialized education needs. The Department of Parks and Recreation will also receive $3.4 million to support the Inclusive Summer Plus recreation activities and accelerated learning opportunities for the students that were most affected by the pandemic, as well as $409,000 for additional summer camp slots across sports and aquatics programs for children and youth with disabilities. To learn more about Mayor Bowser’s FY24 Budget, visit budget.dc.gov.
About the OST Office
Since October 2017, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) and the OST Office have worked to improve out-of-school time programming quality by administering workshops that improve the skills of youth development professionals, supporting capacity building within organizations, and working to enhance program and implementation to youth-serving organizations. The OST Office leads the Learn24 network, which consists of OST programs, government agencies, the Commission on Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes, the Institute for Youth Development, and other key stakeholders that are committed to ensuring all District youth have access to quality OST programs.