ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships' mission is to develop high quality after school activities and resources to empower youth and strengthen communities in Philadelphia. ASAP facilitates weekly after school clubs in schools, libraries, and community and recreation centers throughout Philadelphia. In the 2014-2015 scholastic year, ASAP served nearly 5,000 youth in 363 weekly enrichment clubs. Through the following citywide initiatives, ASAP expands the traditional scope of after school activities to cultivate communities of diverse youth for whom extra-curricular passions are the gateway to improved academic performance and post-secondary success:
- Chess: With 200 clubs meeting weekly and competing monthly, ASAP's chess program develops the problem-solving and strategic-thinking skills of more than 2,500 youth each year.
- Debate: Through ASAP's debate program, more than 400 youth in 50 middle and high school clubs explore important issues while building critical reading and public speaking skills.
- Scrabble: Through weekly play and citywide events, ASAP Scrabble teaches the essential building blocks of literacy to more than 1,000 students active in 93 clubs.
- Drama: For more than 300 youth in 30 clubs, ASAP Drama nurtures young people's powers of expression, team work skills and cultural knowledge through participating in group performances and attending professional productions.
- After School Directory: A comprehensive after school program directory, featuring thousands of enrichment and recreational activities in more than 900 sites across Philadelphia. ASAP's Directory is published each year as a supplement to the Philadelphia Daily News and is maintained as a searchable directory on ASAP's website and as a feature on the city's Philly311 mobile application.
To develop and support high-quality after school activities and resources to empower youth and strengthen communities in Philadelphia.
All children and youth in Philadelphia have access to high-quality after school programs that keep them safe and engaged, inspired and passionate about learning, committed to graduating on-time, and prepared to succeed in college and the working world.
Education: Education is the key to empowering young people to lead happy, healthy and productive lives. The after school hours present a unique opportunity to educate youth in fun and exciting ways that complement classroom instruction while broadening their horizons. With the right elements in place, after school programs can be effective tools for enhancing core academic skills such as reading, writing and math as well as developing critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
Youth Development: After school programs can have an enormous influence on positive youth development. Through structured activities and events, youth learn valuable lessons in leadership, perseverance and resilience under the guidance of caring adults. These experiences help build confidence and self-esteem and provide a platform to foster communities of diverse yet like-minded youth.
School Culture & Safety: Quality, sustainable after school programs are an important part of the fabric of healthy schools and communities. After school programs help to cultivate school cultures of excellence, achievement, friendship and collaboration. Moreover, participation in after school programs reduces the risks kids face after the school day ends – including violence and substance abuse – leading to safer communities, happier families and healthier children.
Partnership: Partnership is essential to performance. The success of ASAP is largely dependent upon the partnerships we forge with schools, city agencies and community organizations as well as the relationships we build with educators, non-profit peers and volunteers throughout Philadelphia. ASAP is committed to developing strategic partnerships to meet the growing needs of our city’s youth and honoring these partnerships by conducting our work with integrity, transparency and inclusivity.
Impact: To deliver and sustain impactful outcomes, organizations must be dynamic, informed and adaptable. Through an ongoing process of monitoring, evaluation and refinement, ASAP is committed to maximizing the impact of its programs and services and providing meaningful support to families as well as school and community partners.