Quality OST programs pave the way to a bright future

Quality OST programs pave the way to a bright future

High quality out-of-school time (OST) programs are one of the most important support factors in increasing high school graduation rates and achieving the goal that every young person is prepared to succeed in life. BLOCS - a partnership between Metro United Way, Louisville Metro Government, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) and the Alliance for Youth - introduced the BLOCStar initiative this year as a way to improve the program quality and impact of OST programs for participating youth as well as incite provider participation in the BLOCS network of programs.

The Lighthouse Academy of Newburg - a BLOCStar OST program - not only works on improving the academic skills of youth, but also provides experiences designed to encourage their development of moral character and leadership skills. Participation in high-quality OST programs helps these students build social-emotional skills and increase their engagement and performance in school, ultimately improving overall educational attainment. The Lighthouse Academy provides free enrichment programs after school through mentoring, health classes, instrumental music, art and leadership opportunities in the Newburg area. And results are showing in and outside of the classroom.

"The skills bestowed upon my son by the Lighthouse are definitely a part of him growing into a successful student and productive person," said Gail T. "My child has ADHD and the guidance provided at the Lighthouse Academy has improved his grades greatly, given him to new confidence in learning and planted the seeds to productively socialize with others," she explained.

By partnering with high quality out-of-school time providers like these, Metro United Way is helping more of our children achieve their full potential by graduating high school on time prepared for college, work and life!

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