RICHMOND, Va. — In Virginia, 36 percent of middle school students care for themselves after school, and only nine percent participate in after-school programs.
But starting this week, Richmond Public School elementary and middle school students will have access to after school care and opportunities thanks to a collaboration between RPS, the city of Richmond and community partners including Next Up.
On Thursday, community members celebrated the start of Albert Hill Middle School’s out-of-school time program, operated by NextUp.
NextUp provides opportunities for students to ” to explore interests, express themselves, make friends, and learn.,” through after school programs at least two days a week. Participants are provided snacks, dinner and transportation.
Since NextUp’s pilot in 2014, more than 1,600 RPS middle schools have accessed high-quality afterschool learning programming.
“I’m so proud of our partners, including NextUp, for embracing my goal to universalize access to afterschool programs across Richmond,” Mayor Levar Stoney said. “When we announced this vision back in the summer of 2018, some said we were too ambitious. Here we are, less than two years later, and every elementary and middle school RPS student has access to a full-service afterschool program either on-site or nearby. That’s real progress.”