ACT for Alexandria

Youth Support Network

About the Youth Support Network

ACT for Alexandria is pleased to partner with the Frank & Betty Wright Foundation, Alexandria City Public Schools, the City of Alexandria Parks & Recreation Department, youth-serving community organizations and other stakeholders to support the ACPS Virtual PLUS+ vision for supportive programs and services, so that all children in Alexandria can be successful with distance learning.  Through the 2020/21 school year, ACT has hired a Network Manager, Caitlin Brown, who will focus on building relationships and collaboration among out of school time (OST) stakeholders, including the Virtual PLUS+ partners, ultimately strengthening the out of school time network and system.   Our hope is that this initial effort will expand into a multi-year, multi-faceted initiative that will have a far-reaching impact on the educational, social and emotional and career-readiness outcomes for Alexandria’s children and youth.  It builds on ACT’s experience 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 (0-5) thrive. 

About the ACPS Virtual PLUS+ Program

In response to COVID-19 and the need to support students with virtual learning, Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) and the Alexandria City School Board adopted the Virtual PLUS+ model for the start of the 2020-21 school year.  Students learn within virtual classrooms, and ACPS provides additional in-person and virtual supports, placing racial equity at the core of the Virtual PLUS+ model. Many low-income families in Alexandria do not have access to affordable childcare, reliable internet access, nutritious meals, and other resources that pave the way for academic success.  ACPS’ Virtual PLUS+ model provides the supports necessary to ensure the success of every child.  This model includes an array of academic supports, childcare options, meal distribution, and technology resources.

As part of the Virtual PLUS+ Childcare initiative, ACPS partnered with the City of Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks, and Cultural Activities, Boys and Girls Club, YMCA, and other community partners to provide the Virtual PLUS+ School Day and After School Program.  This program provides childcare and free school day/after school support for vulnerable K-5 students, as well as parents/guardians who serve as essential workers. 

For more details about Virtual PLUS+, visit: https://www.acps.k12.va.us/virtual-plus

Youth Support Network Manager’s Role

The Youth Support Network Manager consultant position with ACT for Alexandra will collaborate with partners to create a coordinated, aligned, equitable, and high-quality out of school time network.  The Network Manager will be responsible for facilitating the development of the emerging Youth Network’s vision, goals, and values with a focus on racial equity.  During the 2020-2021 school year, the Network Manager will provide support to providers who have partnered with the ACPS Virtual PLUS+ Childcare program.  Other primary responsibilities of the Network Manager will include supporting cross-organization communication and collaboration, building an internal infrastructure to support the network, facilitating the sharing of information, best practices, and collective problem-solving, as well as tracking network project progress and outcomes. 

Caitlin Brown, Youth Network Support Manager

Caitlin Brown is delighted to be working with ACT for Alexandria and supporting the dedicated out of school time and youth-serving organizations in the Alexandria community.

Caitlin has a multi-faceted background as a non-profit co-founder, program director, and educator.  Prior to joining ACT for Alexandria, Caitlin was a program director at Levine Music, where she was responsible for the continued development of Camp Levine, a multidisciplinary arts program serving one thousand youth across campuses in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., each year.  Additionally, Caitlin established school partnerships, working alongside school administrators and teachers to create engaging programming for students in grades PK-12.  Caitlin also has experience in the classroom, having taught in public and private schools in Fairfax County, Montgomery County, and Prince George’s County for ten years.

For more information on the Youth Support Network initiative, please contact Caitlin Brown at caitlin.brown@actforalexandria.org