The Providence afterschool staff prepares to improve programming.

by Kelsey Shea

Brightwood nonprofit Providence Connections was one of four programs in Southwestern Pennsylvania chosen to pilot a new national program to improve afterschool programs.

The program will be launched nationally after several test sites in Pennsylvania have successfully completed the program.

“Being selected … is a feather in their cap,” said Penny Lang, School Age Care Coordinator at the University of Pittsburgh who is overseeing the program.

Providence Connections currently has about 40 students enrolled in its afterschool program who are mostly from Propel Northside or Northside Pittsburgh Public Schools.

The after school program currently offers homework help, snacks and enrichment programs to students for an affordable, nonprofit price. They work with various organizations like the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Carnegie Science Center to provide enrichment programming for kids enrolled.

The program is largely based on assessment in the form of questioners for students, staff and parents, which will be analyzed and made into positive change.

“I think it’s going to be beneficial for us,” said Tiffini Gorman, Before & After School Coordinator. “There are some areas we know we can improve on, but I think it’s interesting to get feedback from parents, students and staff.”

Providence staff is now in the process of analyzing the data gleaned by the surveys and look forward to the results.