The Children’s Agenda applauds the city of Rochester’s draft 2034 Comprehensive Plan for many of its goals to promote equity and prosperity going forward. Though many goals and strategies in the plan would benefit children and families, children are not mentioned in the vision statement nor is there a section dedicated to their unique needs.
In partnership with the Greater Rochester After-School Alliance (GRASA), The Children’s Agenda has completed an inventory of out-of-school time (OST) opportunities in Rochester. This report is an update and expansion on previous inventories of after-school programs in Rochester. Several very recent initiatives in the Rochester area target resources toward common goals of 3rd grade reading competency and overall school success for Rochester students. A growing body of research has shown that time spent outside the classroom – in after-school programs and in summer learning and expanded learning opportunities – can impact efforts to improve the academic and social/emotional competencies of PreK – 12 students.
There’s no doubt that many of us enjoy the affordable housing prices, social and cultural offerings, educational opportunities, and growing technology industry in our community. But these benefits belie the preventable problems that many children and families living in Greater Rochester face, especially in light of a weak national economy.
But what if we could do better? What if we could eradicate child abuse? What
if all parents who needed a safe, quality child care setting for their child could
afford it? What if our most vulnerable youth spent less time on the streets and
more time learning?