Chester Youth Collaborative Honored as 2013 Afterschool Champion - Crozer-Keystone Health System - PA

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Published on March 18, 2013

Chester Youth Collaborative Honored as 2013 Afterschool Champion

Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) recognizes 10 individuals and two programs for innovation and excellence in afterschool programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning and help working families.

Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) honored the Chester Youth Collaborative (CYC) as an Afterschool Champion for outstand­ing work in developing, supporting and promoting meaningful high-quality afterschool/out-of-school time programs to benefit children, youth and families across Pennsylvania.

Afterschool programs pick up where the school day leaves off. In addition to offering kids a safe, supervised place to go before and after school, on weekends and during summers to get academic help, programs provide a variety of activities—art, music, dance, sports, science, service learning, career exploration and much more—that help kids develop new interests and skills. The Afterschool Champion Awards honor programs and individuals for excellence in the service of children, schools and communities.

The CYC has developed and sustained innovative citywide projects that directly improve the quality of life and opportunities for Chester youth, such as R.E.A.L. Change (an anti-violence initiative), the University Scholarship Program, the Chester Employer Paid Internship Program, the Chester Youth Empowerment Summit and the Chester Youth Council Leadership Empowerment Institute.

“Recognition of the CYC is an honor equally shared with the many youth organizations, community residents, business leaders, nonprofits and partners throughout the tri-state area that continue to work to increase the quality of resources available to Chester youth,” said Janet Riley-Ford, CYC director. “We are grateful for the continued support of Crozer-Keystone Health System and the city of Chester. This award is confirmation that collaboration works.”

“As an Afterschool Champion, CYC leads through example,” said PSAYDN director Kacy Conley. The Collaborative’s outstanding commitment was recognized by the peers, leaders and community members who made the nomination. We are thrilled to shine the light on these inspiring accomplishments.”

“CYC is the keystone connecting, convening and coordinating programs and efforts to benefit the youth of Chester. The stakeholders in four key areas collaborate in health and wellness, post-secondary options, workforce development and quality out-of-school time,” said Cyrise L. Dixon, chief of staff for Chester Police Department. “It is an invaluable advocate for the youth of Chester.”

“Formative, out-of-school hours can be filled with quality youth development programs that not only promote the well-being of our children and youth, but also families,” Conley said. “Increased academic achievement, reduced criminal activity, and positive social development are the results of high-quality afterschool activities.”

According to the landmark America After 3PM study conducted for the Afterschool Alliance, more than half a million Pennsylvania children need – but don’t have – afterschool programs, even as statewide demand for afterschool programs has increased.

“When it comes to creating safe and creative expanded learning opportunities for children and youth in Chester, CYC is a champion indeed,” Conley added.

“Too many Pennsylvania children who need afterschool programs don’t have them, and families are carrying a heavier burden as a result,” Conley said. “Afterschool Champions are critical for building support from all sectors – from the business and philanthropic communities, as well as from the government at all levels.”

For more information about PSAYDN, visit, or contact Aylissa Kiely Tyndale at 717-903-0219 or


Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool/Youth Development Network (PSAYDN) promotes sustainable, high-quality out-of-school time youth development programs through advocacy and capacity building to enhance the welfare of Pennsylvania’s children, youth and families. More information is available at

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