This episode features a conversation with Barbara Sipe, Jeanine Turner, and Amir Elsayed from the Richmond, Virginia-based nonprofit NextUp RVA. Barbara is President & CEO of NextUp, an organization that partners with schools, the district, the city, and the community to connect middle schoolers with quality out-of-school-time opportunities across the city of Richmond, as well as provide capacity-building and support for providers of expanded learning programs. Jeanine is Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Programs for NextUp and Amir is Senior Manager of Program Services. The level of effort in infrastructure and relationship-building required to provide equitable access to quality out-of-school time programs at a large scale is complex and intensive, and also essential to drive learning and development outcomes for young adolescents.
In part one of their conversation, Barbara, Jeanine, Amir and Jason talk about the origins and evolution of NextUpRVA and why middle school has been their focus from the very start, the array of partners the organization organizes and coordinates to make out-of-school opportunities available to students, the mechanisms to help young people make good choices in engaging in programs that are a good fit for their interests and needs, and the support NextUp offers to program providers to boost their capacity to serve young people.
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