By Pat Loeb
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia officials are hoping to expand a new model for providing after-school and summer activities for youth.
It’s not just that the city’s Recreation Department budget has been cut to the bone, with just 1½ full-time staff member per recreation center.
Deputy mayor Mike DiBerardinis says there’s a new appreciation for how important it is to get kids into activities.
“The data about out-of-school time is, if you can give kids high-quality and diverse opportunities, particularly in the middle school years, it’s a big developmental tool. They feel more connected to the neighborhood, they’re safer, they tend to do a little better in school.”
So, the recreation department has joined with a half-dozen partners to create a model program, “Mantua in Action.” The goal is to get every middle schooler in the neighborhood doing… something!
Keith Graves, for example, wrestles.
“It’s a good way to get rid of anger and make new friends and stuff,” he tells KYW Newsradio.