Lt. Governor Promotes Investments in Afterschool Programs

Lt. Gov. Austin Davis joined state Sen. Lynda Schlegel Culver at the Milton YMCA to highlight their afterschool programming and call for new state investments in out-of-school time programs.

“As someone who grew up going to a Boys and Girls Club in my hometown of McKeesport, I know firsthand the value of afterschool programs,” said Davis. “At their most basic level, they provide structure for students after the school day ends, but the best programs enhance and expand on what they learn at school, giving them social skills, homework help, sports and exercise, music, art, theater and so much more. They also keep kids safe during those critical hours from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. That’s why investing in out-of-school time programs is a top priority for the Shapiro-Davis Administration.”

“Investing in our children’s education is more than just securing funds for in-class instruction,” said Culver. “It is also about investing in quality before- and afterschool programs that create transformative learning experiences for kids across the Commonwealth, particularly in rural Pennsylvania. Providing for care after school, like what is provided at the Milton YMCA, is vital to working parents.”

Gov. Josh Shapiro’s 2024-25 budget proposal includes $11.5 million to create a statewide Building Opportunity through Out of School Time (BOOST) program to increase access to before- and afterschool programming for Pennsylvania kids.

“We are thrilled Lieutenant Governor Davis and Senator Culver came to the YMCA to talk about their support of afterschool programming,” said Greater Susquehanna Valley YMCA CEO Bonnie McDowell. “The YMCA has been offering a safe enriching environment for kids to go after school for decades. We are so grateful to the Shapiro-Davis Administration and Senator Culver for recognizing the important role of out-of-school time.”

A June 2021 report by the Joint State Government Commission calculated the return on investment for out-of-school time programs as approximately $6.69 for each $1 invested in Pennsylvania.

The Afterschool Alliance estimates that for every Pennsylvania child enrolled in an afterschool program, there are four more waiting for an available program.

However, the Commonwealth does not currently provide a line-item appropriation for out-of-school time programs. The commission recommended establishing a “dedicated and reliable funding stream” for afterschool providers.

“Given our reach across the Commonwealth, YMCAs, along with Boys & Girls Clubs, are natural partners for providing safe, quality programming for young people in the hours before and after school and during summer breaks,” said Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs CEO Nathan Brant.