Every youth in the City of Alexandria thrives, regardless of circumstances, through equitable access and engagement in high-quality and meaningful out-of-school time and community-based programs.
We foster collaboration and provide coordinated supports to a network of community organizations, government agencies, schools, and other partners dedicated to improving the equity, quality, and continuous innovation of youth-serving programs in the City of Alexandria.
Equity & Inclusion
Youth need high-quality, inclusive, linguistically- and culturally-responsive opportunities. As a community and a network, we have a responsibility to change systems, policies, and resources that exacerbate disparities based on race, ethnicity, cultural background, socioeconomic background, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation, immigration status, ability, religion, and other dimensions of difference. We recognize culture is an essential lens through which we learn and grow.
Positive Youth Development
We embrace positive youth development and a whole child approach to learning. Youth engage with caring role models equipped to foster their social-emotional development. Youth learn best in an atmosphere of safety and belonging, where their individuality and creativity are valued, they have a voice in their engagement, and the experiences are meaningful and relevant to them.
We will be successful only when an inclusive network of youth, families, schools, organizations, and government, reflective of our diverse community, actively works together to achieve long-term results. We strive to have a cross-sector, citywide, youth-centered system that offers multiple pathways to expand opportunities for the youth of Alexandria.
Commitment to Quality & Ongoing Learning
We commit to sharing best practices. We each have something to learn and to contribute. We promote authentic youth engagement, practice-based reflection, and research-based knowledge to improve opportunities for youth. Gathering and analyzing data is critical to program improvement, accountability, transparency, and sustainability.
In 2020, ACT for Alexandria partnered with the Frank & Betty Wright Foundation, Alexandria City Public Schools, the City of Alexandria, youth-serving community organizations and other stakeholders to support the ACPS Virtual PLUS+ vision for supportive programs and services, so that all youth in Alexandria could be successful with distance learning. ACT for Alexandria hired a Network Manager to focus on building relationships and collaboration among out-of-school time stakeholders, including the Virtual PLUS+ partners, to establish the Youth Support Network. It builds on ACT’s experiences and success as the coordinator and host for the Early Care and Education Workgroup, a five-year initiative that strengthened the network of nonprofits and government entities that help young children (ages 0-5) thrive.
The network continues to grow, and more than eighty youth-serving organizations are actively participating in the network. The Alexandria Youth Support Network has been recognized locally, regionally, and nationally as a strong example of a coalition-based approach with a high level of collaboration between stakeholders.
Increasing Opportunities for Alexandria Youth: A Community Report
With financial support from the City of Alexandria and the Frank & Betty Wright Foundation, the Alexandria Youth Support Network commissioned Weber Moore Partners, LLC, to conduct a community-wide landscape study, Increasing Opportunities for Alexandria Youth: A Community Report. The purpose of the study was to document and map the current state of K-12 out-of-school time programming in the City and identify the hopes, needs, and barriers experienced by youth, families, and providers related to OST activities with a focus on middle and high school students. The study recommendations inform the continued development of the network and serve as a community-wide call to action about the value and importance of expanded learning programs for our children and youth.
Our Current Initiatives
- Establishing a Community Program Locator/Website
- Middle School Programming
- Program Quality
- Social-Emotional Learning
For more information, please contact Caitlin Brown, Youth Network Support Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.