ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships
Strategic Impact Coordinator
Project Goal: The goal of the Strategic Impact Coordinator is to enhance and sustain program impact in high-need target populations by coordinating resources across ASAP’s after school initiatives – chess, Scrabble, debate and drama – and by maintaining existing Impact School relationships and facilitating new partnerships aligned with best practices for positive youth development.
ASAP’s mission is to develop high-quality after school activities and resources to empower youth and strengthen communities in Philadelphia.
Address 1520 Locust St. Suite 1104
Philadelphia, PA 19102-4407
Total number of Agency Staff Members 8 full-time, 1 part-time, 1 VISTA (currently)
Agency Budget 830,000
The fellow’s duties and responsibilities:
- Develop and maintain relationships with key ASAP programmatic partners to ensure continued and sustainable program success; this includes individual schools and sites, as well as larger organizations and departments such as the Office of Strategic Partnerships at the School District of Philadelphia and the Philadelphia Out-of-School Time Coalition
- Create formalized memoranda of understanding with key partners to strengthen pathways to sustainability;
- Engage in community/parent outreach with target populations;
- Create new partnerships with local organizations and groups to support ASAP’s Strategic Plan goals;
- Lead stakeholder and planning meetings at key partner schools and sites;
- Create a sustainability plan for new partnerships, including identifying future fellows and/or ASAP staff members who will be managing the partnership after the fellow’s service term has ended;
- Cultivate a deep understanding of the challenges in working with high-need populations in Philadelphia, particularly focused on the varied educational landscape;
- Identify current and anticipated future barriers to ASAP program success in high-need populations, as laid out in ASAP’s Strategic Plan;
- Host parent and community engagement events on behalf on ASAP;
- Maintain a database of parent and family engagement, identifying attendance at events and creating an electronic mailing list to further engage stakeholders;
- Work with ASAP staff to refine evaluation models and data-collection methods;
- Conduct site-based evaluation by traveling to clubs around the city;
- Through access to a citywide database, collect and evaluate measurable demographic statistics (e.g. age, gender, ethnic make-up of clubs, etc.) to gauge progress toward strategic plan goals;
- Capture stories of successes and challenges from the field for newsletter or website publication;
- Attend weekly staff meetings and other meetings pertaining to job duties;
- Contribute to the work plan of the Community Impact Committee and a second committee of fellow’s choice;
- Attend community and school-based fairs and assist at ASAP special events;
Skills/qualifications a fellow should have to succeed in the position:
- Have a B.A./B.S;
- Have a strong interest in youth development and public education;
- Have experience with community outreach or engagement;
- Possess strong leadership skills — the position will be supported by colleagues but comes with a good deal of autonomy;
- Possess excellent oral and written communication skills;
- Have good computer skills;
- Be comfortable making presentations on project progress to ASAP Board as well as prospective partners or supporters;
- Be able to manage several tasks simultaneously;
- Be available for occasional week night and/or weekend events and meetings;
- Be organized, professional and punctual;
- Be willing to make site visits at schools, community and recreation centers, and faith-based organizations across the City of Philadelphia;
- Be able to prioritize work and problem solve;
- Enjoy working as part of a small, energetic team;
- Have a good sense of humor;
- Believe in the mission of ASAP;
- Knowledge of Spanish not required but preferred.
Specific community need that the Philly Fellow will address:
In recent years, the School District of Philadelphia has endured massive financial challenges resulting in often devastating consequences for the city’s schools and students from low-income households. Reviewing the impact of recent state cuts to public education, the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia reported that over the last four years low-income minority students lost an average of $728 in per pupil state funding each year (2014). Meanwhile, dozens of the city’s neighborhood public schools have been closed, more than 2,000 school staff has been laid-off, and nearly half of district schools have been assigned new principals since 2011 (Philadelphia Public School Notebook, 2015). After staffing, the deepest cuts in school funds have been to extra-curricular activities. Beginning in 2012, the District lost state funds to support its own remedial after school programs. Other District funds to support the work of school-based after school care providers dropped from $51 million in 2010-11 to $4 million in 2012-13 (Notebook, 2013). In Philadelphia, where 84% of students come from circumstances of poverty, the lack of funds for after school programs has a direct impact on the achievement gap between youth from low and moderate income households. In a recent national study, researchers from Brown University discovered that, “income-based differences in extracurricular participation are on the rise,” and these differences greatly affect later outcomes. Findings show that over the last 40 years more affluent student populations have become more active after school, while their low-income peers “have become increasingly disengaged and disconnected” (The Atlantic, 2015). For Philadelphia, this presents not only an alarming education challenge but also a public safety concern. As many as 40,000 of the city’s youth are unsupervised during the weekday hours of 3-6pm, during which police report juvenile crime rates triple (Philadelphia Police Department, 2013).
How the new capacity created by this fellow will help strengthen the community and alleviate the problem:
Countless studies have demonstrated that participation in out-of-school time programs that teach skills, reinforce positive habits and engage youth in nurturing communities can have an enormous impact on young people, including enhanced academic performance, reduced antisocial and risky behaviors, and increased likelihood of career advancement (Journal of Adolescent Research, 2003). In recent years, extreme cuts to after school funding and support staff have significantly inhibited schools’ ability to build and sustain strong cultures of after school participation that complement classroom learning and boost student engagement. As such, the primary purpose of the Strategic Impact Coordinator is to initiate new or support existing partnerships with schools and community sites to better help ASAP serve three target populations identified in the organization’s most recent strategic plan: 1) youth attending neighborhood public schools, particularly middle school-aged youth, 2) economically disadvantaged youth, and 3) English Language Learners. By serving as an organizational liaison, the Strategic Impact Coordinator will seek to maximize ASAP’s impact in schools and communities with the greatest needs by concentrating ASAP’s programs and services and launching new outreach strategies designed to bolster community and parent involvement.
Level of community involvement in the fellow’s project:
The fellow position at ASAP features a high level of community involvement. Through direct outreach as well as a variety of community events, the fellow will interact with a broad range of community stakeholders, including parents, youth, school principals, teachers, and volunteers, as well as peers from other non-profit education or social service organizations. The fellow will also visit key partner schools and community sites throughout the year to lead stakeholder and planning meetings, conduct evaluations and record success stories.
The organization’s experience operating anti-poverty programming of this nature:
ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships was created in 2002 at the request of city leaders to bring to public awareness the dangers of the afternoon hours for unsupervised youth in Philadelphia. Implicit in this charge was to design a model for using the time after school to coordinate fun, sustainable activities that complement classroom academics and help students develop their full potential — motivating young people to stay in school, graduate and plan for further education. Under the direction of founder Dr. Marciene Mattleman, ASAP has become a trusted collaborator and leader in the out-of-school time and education communities in Philadelphia. Supported by strategic partnerships with city agencies, community organizations and a broad stakeholder network of educators, peer groups, parents and funders, ASAP has served more than 65,000 school-aged youth since its inception. Each year, approximately 70% of ASAP’s programs take place in public schools where it is estimated that 84% of students come from circumstances of poverty. In recent years, ASAP has maintained its high-level of programming amidst a rapidly evolving school landscape and the worst financial crisis in the history of the School District of Philadelphia. For this work, ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships has received the following honors and awards: • The 2016 Citizens Bank Champions in Action award given for strengthening communities through collective impact. • The 2014 GSK IMPACT Award for exceptional achievements in contributing to a healthier Philadelphia. ASAP was awarded for its work to coordinate 75 after school programs serving more than 1,100 students affected by the closing of 23 public schools in fall 2013. • The 2014 21st Century Solutions Award, sponsored by NBCUniversal Foundation, which recognizes and supports innovative, high-impact initiatives. ASAP was selected for its use of mobile and online technologies to create a searchable database of after school programs for families in Philadelphia. • The 2012 Impact100 Award to support expansion of its chess and debate initiatives in low-performing schools. • The 2010 Afterschool Champion Award from the Pennsylvania Afterschool Youth Development Network for “demonstrating over and above dedication and inspiration to the Out-of-School Time (OST) community.”
Fellow orientation plan:
During the summer prior to the beginning of the fellowship, the Debate Manager& Partner Liaison and Executive Director will be in touch with the fellow through emails and phone calls to provide background information on ASAP and the fellow’s position. Once onboard, the fellow will complete a formal orientation process, including reading the sustainability plan and report from the previous year’s fellow. The fellow will meet with all members of the ASAP staff to learn about the organization’s external programs and services and internal policies and procedures. The fellow will observe trainings and accompany ASAP staff on site visits to returning sites/clubs and meet with different community partners to discuss programming for the upcoming scholastic year. In addition, to learn about the goals and objectives outlined in ASAP’s most recent strategic plan, the fellow will observe meetings of four staff committees: (1) Community Impact Committee; (2) Business Process Committee; (3) Data & Outcomes Committee, (4) Branding & Marketing Committee. The fellow will be assigned to participate in the Community Impact Committee and can join one more committee of their choosing. The fellow will also have ongoing opportunities for professional development both on the job, through interaction with the executive director and through workshops and seminars made possible through United Way, Independence Foundation and other organizations.
Name and title of the fellow’s immediate supervisor: Sara Morningstar; Debate Manager & Partner Liaison
Plans for supervision of the fellow:
ASAP’s Debate Manager & Partner Liaison Sara Morningstar will serve as the fellow’s direct supervisor. In addition to her regular duties, Sara chairs ASAP’s Community Impact Committee and serves on the Data & Outcomes Committee, making her an ideal candidate to support the fellow’s outreach and evaluation efforts at key partner schools. Sara and the fellow will have weekly meetings to review project objectives and progress towards project goals. The fellow will also attend all staff meetings and participate in committee meetings in order to better comprehend the various aspects of ASAP’s operations. In addition, Sara will work with ASAP’s executive director to conduct mid and end-of-year performance evaluations to provide the fellow with constructive feedback and to discuss the fellow’s interest in additional professional development.
Will fellow be working at the same address listed above?
Will the fellow have their own…
Office? Fellow will share
Desk? Fellow will have their own
Computer? Fellow will have their own
The approximate percentage of time the fellow will work…
As a team member in a group setting 25%
As a team leader in a group setting 25%
Will the fellow be expected to travel as part of the position? Yes
If so, how often and where? The fellow can expect to travel on average 1-2 times per week. The fellow’s primary destination will be key partner schools and community sites to support the coordination and evaluation of ASAP activities, professional development sessions and youth events.
Will the fellow need the following to carry out the position…
A driver’s license? No
Their own car? No