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City Officials Looking To Improve Students' 'Out Of School Time'

by Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Philadelphia is taking a new approach to providing students with activities when they're not in school.

City officials launched a program on Thursday to make "out of school time" as productive as time in school.

Just as city officials are working to expand and improve pre-kindergarten, as a path to better lives, they're also taking on programs that serve some 200,000 students before and after school, on weekends, and in the summer.

Mayor Jim Kenney says they'll start by re-engineering programs for students in kindergarten through fourth grade, so they address at-risk children's most pressing needs.

"Namely, early literacy, asthma, obesity, and food insecurity," said Kenney
A Wallace Foundation grant will help find how to do that most effectively and the model will spread.

The city also plans to re-focus high school extra-curriculars on work experience, says Human Services Commissioner Cynthia Figueroa.

"Exposure to work is one of the greatest indicators of future work force success," she said.

No additional money is earmarked for the program. Officials say it will be a more efficient use of the $41 million the city already spends on out-of-school time programs.

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