Home » Metro/Health » Online network will ease access to after-school programs in Mpls

Fatima Muhammad hired to head project

 

The Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board (YCB) has announced that it is developing an online network aimed at linking parents, caregivers and young people to after-school programs available throughout Minneapolis. The YCB has hired Fatima Muhammad as after-school project director to help manage development of this citywide network.

Modeled after initiatives like Saint Paul’s Sprockets, the network will be designed to help create awareness of and enhance opportunities for young people to benefit from the vast array of after-school programs offered, from sports and arts programming to leadership-building, service-learning and other opportunities.

Fatima Muhammad Photo courtesy of YCB

Fatima Muhammad
Photo courtesy of YCB

“Participating in after-school programs strengthens young people’s ability to complete school, helps them develop essential skills and talents, and contributes to advanced learning, career preparation and future civic engagement,” said YCB’s Executive Director Ann DeGroot. “We want all Minneapolis young people to have access to safe, quality opportunities to learn outside the classroom. This coordinated approach, which Fatima will help manage, is a big step in making that happen.”

Besides benefiting young people, their families and the community, the citywide system is expected to enhance coordination and communication among youth-serving organizations, facilitate the use of data to inform planning for after-school programs, and optimize the resources of the parks, schools, libraries, community partners and families.

In addition, YCB plans to use the network to improve the quality of after-school experiences through coordinated trainings, and to create new partnerships in both the public and private sector related to after-school programming.

Minneapolis-based Youthprise is helping to fund YCB’s work on the citywide network through a grant of $400,000 over two years. The system will focus on youth development and after-school providers serving children and youth ages five to 21 and will include both public and community-based organizations. While the YCB is just starting to develop the system, once in place, the citywide network is expected to allow young people and parents to search for after-school programs by geographic area, a child’s age and/or interests, type of program and other factors.

Muhammad has 18 years of youth development experience. Prior to her position at YCB, she was the manager of youth development at the St. Paul YWCA.

She has also served as youth development director for the YMCA of the Twin Cities, and as a group facilitator with Hennepin County Foster Care Licensing. The mother of two daughters, she also has been involved in parent and family engagement committees for the North Community YMCA and the African American Leadership Forum.

“As a working parent, I know the value of quality after-school programs,” says Muhammad. “This citywide system will make it easier to select opportunities and resources that support the development and interests of each young person.”

 

An initial version of the online after-school network is expected to be available sometime this summer. Readers with questions are invited to contact Fatima at YCB at 612-673-2060. 

Information provided by the YCB

 

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