Real Property and Homes graphic for banner

The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

The Finer Properties of the Valley of the Sun

ICAN grows into Mesa providing vital after-school programs at 2 new locations

Photo of students at ICAN after-school programs
ICAN’s expansion into Mesa is made possible, in part, by a catalytic $100,000 grant from Bank of America, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to advance racial equality and economic opportunity by building pathways to education. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)
Bank of America funds provides shot-in-the-arm to Title 1 expansion efforts
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

For more than 30 years, ICAN has been serving Chandler youth with its free, after-school programs, but last week, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit opened two new locations in Mesa to reach an additional 150 youths in need.

The sites opened with 60 youth total and will continue to grow. The new locations are at Longfellow Elementary School, 345 S. Hall St., and Adams Elementary School, 738 S. Longmore in Mesa, according to a press release.

“The pandemic brought to light the critical importance of accessible childcare — a service that is essential for the economic mobility of families in our community,” said Shelby Pedersen, ICAN CEO, in a prepared statement.

“Our board of directors identified Mesa as our next location because 17% of youth in Mesa schools live in poverty and 22 schools within the district have 75 percent of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch. Due to the success of the Chandler sites, and the dire need for free programs like ICAN in other communities, we know we’ll make a positive impact on the youth and families in Mesa.”

— Shelby Pederson

The new sites offer ICAN’s afterschool program, which is a holistic program, an approach to helping youth from vulnerable backgrounds to prevent and overcome life challenges and prepare for healthy transitions to adulthood. The program utilizes the “5 C’s of Positive Youth Development,” a nationally-recognized youth engagement model that focuses not on “fixing” behavior problems, but building and nurturing all a child’s beliefs, behaviors, knowledge, attributes and skills.

The 5 C’s are: connection, confidence, character, competence and contribution.

Youth attend programs Monday through Friday afterschool until 6 p.m. Program activities include S.T.E.A.M., academic support, literacy skill building, sport and recreation, and all youth receive a healthy snack and dinner daily.

“We expect all sites to continue growing in enrollment to serve 80-100 youth per site within the next two years,” added Ms. Pedersen.

ICAN’s expansion into Mesa is made possible, in part, by a catalytic $100,000 grant from Bank of America, as part of the company’s ongoing efforts to advance racial equality and economic opportunity by building pathways to education, the release states.

The funding builds on Bank of America’s recent $1.65 million in grants to Arizona State University and Maricopa Community Colleges Foundation and to increase student success in degree and certification completion among students of color.

“Access to high-quality, affordable childcare is a game changer in terms of creating more positive educational and economic outcomes for under-resourced families,” said Benito Almaza, Arizona president for Bank of America. “ICAN programming and services impact multiple generations within a household, which ultimately constructs more widespread economic mobility and strengthens our Valley economy as a whole.”

A view of children participating in the ICAN after-school programs now available at two locations in Mesa. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)

ICAN educational statistics:

  • 86% of students at Mesa Longfellow tested “not proficient” in ELA (English Language Arts) and 94% in Math (2021).
  • 83% of students at Mesa Adams tested “not proficient” in ELA and 91% in Math (2021).
  • 20% of students in Mesa District attend a Title I school.
  • The average cost for an afterschool program in the U.S. is $6,500 per year, per child, which can be a tremendous burden on a family living in poverty.
  • 93% of parents agreed/strongly agreed that having access to ICAN’s free after school program helped them keep their jobs (ICAN Spring 2022 Survey).
  • 92% of parents agreed/strongly agreed that having access to ICAN’s free after school program helped them save money on other basic needs expenses.

SOURCE: ICAN Spring 2022 Survey

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category Sponsor

Learn About the Author

Published On:

Category Sponsor

SUSD

Newsletter Sign Up

Scottsdale Daily Beat - Logo

Could we interest you in Local News That Matters? How about Enterprise Business Reporting & Real Property & Homes?

Anna Square
OneSky Square
Final Ortega 336x280 (1)
Cover_Spring 2024 SUSD Showcase magazine
Experience Scottsdale AD