Many families and young people first hear about Sprockets because of our online Program Finder, which connects youth to after-school and summer programs that match their age and interest.
What’s less known about Sprockets is the important work we do behind-the-scenes to help improve the quality of programming available in Saint Paul.
Suprising research reveals that it’s better for youth to do nothing at all than to participate in poor-quality programs. So, we’ve made it our priority to help program providers raise the bar on quality, while at the same time increasing access to these programs so that even more youth can experience the positive impacts. We do this in a number of ways:
- Program providers are invited to implement the Youth Program Quality Assessment, a nationally recognized tool that helps program staff identify areas of strength and areas where improvement is needed.
- Sprockets hosts an ongoing series of no-cost professional development opportunities for youth program workers. From our conference for networking and sharing best practices to a series of skills workshops and ongoing coaching – Sprockets is here to help youth workers make a positive difference in the lives of youth.
- Eliminating barriers— like lack of bus transportation to afterschool and summer programs — that keep young people from participating.