What’s the Issue?

Each year, young people have an average of 1,900 hours of unstructured and unsupervised discretionary time.  A recent survey by the Afterschool Alliance estimated that 54 percent of Minnesota’s middle schoolers take care of themselves after school. The national average in the survey was 30 percent. Additionally, Minnesota has one of the largest achievement gaps between white children and non-white children in the nation and the US census predicts that by the year 2020, non-whites will make up a majority of the population in Minnesota.  There is an incredible opportunity to engage young people in our community in a positive way.  Research has linked participation in well organized out-of-school time enrichment activities to better academic attitudes and performance, reduced criminal activity, improved work habits, and higher personal aspirations for success.

What are we Doing About it?

The Dream, Explore, Connect, program offers multiple, concurrent opportunities throughout the year for youth to have access to caring, positive adult role models and to participate in high quality, structured out of school time enrichment activities grounded in research and foster the 6 C’s of positive youth development: Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, Caring and Contribution.

Our program, through meaningful out-of-school time experiences, strengthens the social, academic, leadership and community engagement skills of culturally and economically diverse youth.  We believe that everyone is a leader and we are providing opportunities for youth to discover and develop their leadership.   For more information contact Elana Dahlberg, Youth Enrichment Coordinator, at 612-977-3251 or elanad@phylliswheatley.org