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4/23/2024 Sen. Cano and Rep. Shallcross Smith join Afterschool Network to highlight out-of-school learning funding bill
STATE HOUSE – Sen. Sandra Cano, chairwoman of the Senate Education Committee, and Rep. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith joined the Rhode Island Afterschool Network at a press conference today at the State House to bring attention to legislation they introduced that would invest in out-of-school learning programs in the state.
“As a former operation coordinator for the Providence After School Alliance, I understand how investing in out-of-school learning and youth development programs can have a tremendous impact in the community.  These programs help our kids in so many different ways and this bill will provide continued and vital support to the numerous out-of-school learning programs that already exist and are having transformational effects on Rhode Island’s students.  If we want a successful future Rhode Island, then we need to invest in our children today, and ensuring that our kids have access to out-of-school learning programs is a smart place to start,” said Chairwoman Cano (D-Dist. 8, Pawtucket).
“Out-of-school learning programs are one of the best investments we can make to ensure that our children remain healthy and engaged students who are prepared for the future, particularly with our vulnerable and at-risk students.  I have a been an early educator for decades and I have seen the firsthand benefits that these programs bring to our children and their families.  This legislation is a good investment for our children, which in turn is a good investment for our state,” said Representative Shallcross Smith (D-Dist. 46, Lincoln, Pawtucket).
The legislation (2024-S 2864, 2024-H 8047) would allocate $4 million to support comprehensive and effective afterschool, school vacation, summer learning and workforce development programs for students in grades kindergarten through 12 in Rhode Island’s schools.
The funding would invest in high-quality afterschool and out-of-school programs and instructors; quality assistance supports for educator professional development; workforce development and funding to create a pipeline of high-quality youth development professionals; and funding for retention and professional development.
Recipients of funding may include nonprofit organizations, local governments, universities and local education authorities.
Senator Cano’s bill has been referred to the Senate Finance Committee and Rep. Shallcross Smith’s bill has been referred to the House Finance Committee.

For more information, contact:
Andrew Caruolo, Publicist
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903