State money for after-school program

An after-school program provider that serves seven South Philly schools received a $200,000 state grant.

The grant was secured by state Sen. Nikil Saval and state Rep. Elizabeth Fiedler and awarded to Sunrise of Philadelphia, a community-based out-of-school time and family resource provider serving families across the district of Philadelphia, specifically in South and West Philadelphia. 

Sunrise of Philadelphia, headquartered at 907 Cantrell St. in Lower Moyamensing, has sites at South Philly schools: Francis Scott Key Elementary School, Chester A. Arthur School, South Philadelphia High School, Eliza B. Kirkbride School, Edwin M. Stanton School, Southwark School and F. Amadee Bregy School. 

Fiedler announced the grant last week at a Sunrise fundraiser at the WSFS bank at Broad Street and Passyunk Avenue. The fundraiser was one of thousands of “Lights on Afterschool” events held around the nation on or near Oct. 20. 

Organized by the Afterschool Alliance, the fundraiser highlighted the importance of afterschool programs and their importance to the community.

“At a time when violence has been increasing in our city, we need to do more to invest in programs like Sunrise that provide kids with safe places to develop and be mentored,” said Fiedler. “Quality after-school and summer programs, like those that Sunrise puts on, are too rare in our city and across the commonwealth. I’m thrilled that the senator and I were able to obtain this one-time grant, but the truth is, we need dedicated, recurring funding from the state for out-of-school-time programming.”

According to officials, the grant will provide direct funding for supplies and equipment, technology, college and career readiness experiences, infrastructure improvements and professional development for Sunrise staff.

“These dollars are going to provide critical support where Philadelphia students and families need them most,” said Vince Litrenta, co-founder and executive director at Sunrise of Philadelphia. “With this funding, we will strengthen opportunities for young people to learn and grow. This grant sends a clear message that Sen. Saval and Rep. Fiedler are committed to prioritizing afterschool programs and recognize their role in addressing the complex issues our youth are grappling with today, including poverty and gun violence.” 

Saval issued a statement on the grant.

“Out-of-school time means care for families, investment in students and safety for our communities. These programs turn local schools into neighborhood hubs where working families have their real needs met. Sunrise of Philadelphia is doing this transformative work across 11 School District of Philadelphia locations and serving more than a thousand families. Rep. Fiedler and I recognize Sunrise of Philadelphia’s long-term vision. We’re committed to it, too. We are so proud to have worked with Sunrise to secure this grant and help expand this incredible work.”