Thursday, April 2, 2009

A visit to Providence, Rhode Island

Last week, I had the privilege of spending a day in Providence, Rhode Island with Dr. Eva Joseph, Superintendent of Schools, James Tuffey, Albany's Chief of Police, as well as other members of my administration and school district personnel. We were the guests of Providence Mayor David Cicilline, and we visited his City to learn more about their award-winning after-school program, the Providence After School Alliance (PASA). To read a news story about our visit that appeared in the Providence Business News, please click here.

We learned that PASA is a public-private venture launched by Mayor Cicilline in 2004. It is designed to offer high-quality after-school learning opportunities to the children of Providence. This program has been a great success, receiving national recognition, and currently there are more than 150 partner organizations involved.

PASA’S JESSIE KERR-VANDERSLICE – center, wearing red – shows off the after-school program at Delsesto Middle School to Albany, N.Y., city employees. Photo courtesy of Providence Business News.

As I have frequently discussed, in today's society, middle school and high school students are often left to their own accord at the end of the school day and the work day. And, as a result, they can be tempted to travel paths involving undesirable activities. Meaningful, structured after-school programs can provide students with places to go that are interesting, fun, and educational. They can offer our students the opportunity to continue to learn and grow in a safe, nurturing environment beyond the traditional school day.

Like Providence, Albany has an extensive network of after-school programs. Many of our offerings have received significant acclaim, such as our award-winning karate program. I saw this trip as a wonderful opportunity to gain insight as to how we might further enhance the work we're already doing. As far as I'm concerned, we can never stop trying to do more for our kids.

I am very thankful for the opportunity to visit Providence, and I look forward to working with the Albany City Schools, the myriad of service providers of youth programs in our City, and many of the City's departments, to incorporate some of Providence's best practices into our existing youth programs.

-Mayor Jerry Jennings-

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Mayor: what took so long? And why didn't you bring any critics or school board members with you? If you are going to (finally) demonstrate some concern for the kids in this city, perhaps you want to widen the umbrella of people you are willing to work with. It seems like you and the Chief are hunkered down, just you and him against the world. The City needs more from you.

    With that in mind, would you be willing to meet with the mothers of all young people that have been slain in Albany over say, the last 8 years? Maybe I'm crazy, but I'll bet you they've done quite a bit of reflecting on how the City let them down. I know the Convention center won't be ready to host this forum, but I'm thinking the Pepsi Arena might (barely) provide enough space...