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Out-of-School Time Resource Center Director Named National Afterschool Champion

Authored by: Rose Bender

Photography by: Courtesy of Nancy Peter

Faculty & Research

06/04/14

The Afterschool Alliance recognized Nancy Peter, EdD, Director of the Out-of-School Time Resource Center (OSTRC) at Penn’s School of Social Policy & Practice, as a State Afterschool Champion for her continuous support of afterschool programs. The announcement, made at the “Breakfast of Champions,” a gala event held in Washington, D.C., featured Members of Congress and national afterschool champions.

“Over the past thirty years, more and more families, funders, policy-makers, and other stakeholders have recognized the positive impact of out-of-school time (OST) programs on academic achievement, risk reduction, career preparation, and life-skill development,” Dr. Peter explained. “These types of national awards truly celebrate the growth and success of our field.”

Dr. Peter was honored for her support and expansion of innovative approaches to increase learning and closing opportunity gaps. Her work has helped to build student skills and create pathways for lifelong learning. The Pennsylvania Statewide Afterschool Youth Development Network submitted her nomination.

“Out of eleven national award recipients, I was one of two who were not politicians. I believe that speaks to the stature of the Out-of-School Time Resource Center and its staff,” Dr. Peter said. “Moreover, I think the award speaks to the integrity of both the School of Social Policy & Practice and the University of Pennsylvania, for supporting and believing in the OSTRC since its inception.”

Dr. Peter has worked in the field of environmental education, informal science education, afterschool programming, and positive youth development for more than 20 years.

“One day, I realized that I was more interested in youth impact than in environmental stewardship or science literacy,” Dr. Peter explained. “As the school day becomes more constricted and under-resourced, I see a greater opportunity and need for out-of-school time programming and activities.”

The OSTRC, which she founded in 2003, promotes youth achievement though staff support and professional development. OSTRC identifies and coordinates resources, conducts and evaluates research, and recommends changes in policy and practice. These activities aim to improve outcomes for children and youth who participate in out-of-school time programs.