Building Brighter Futures through OST System-Building
There just aren’t enough out-of-school time programs and activities to fully serve our children and youth. And that’s a critical gap we must close. But we can only succeed by working together.
In January 2007, the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth and Families issued a report, The Status of Out-of-School Time in Montgomery County, which identified the need for an integrated system which would move the county toward better use of resources. The goal is to improve the quality and quantity of experiences for children and youth when they are not in school.
In July 2007, the Collaboration Council was funded by the County Executive and County Council to create an umbrella structure to coordinate, strengthen and leverage funding for out-of-school time programming for children and youth in the county. The Collaboration Council consulted with county leaders, nonprofit organizations and advocates to developing this structure, a funding mechanism and a brand identity for out-of-school activities.
Excel Beyond the Bell was launched during the First Annual Excel Beyond the Bell symposium in May 2008. We connect diverse community stakeholders and multi-sector partners, including parents, youth and families; out-of-school time program providers; community leaders; public agencies; faith-based organizations; the business community; funders and elected officials. The Collaboration Council serves as the intermediary for Excel Beyond the Bell, with a partnership group meeting regularly to collaboratively plan, act and monitor our work to fulfill our vision.
Our Vision. A bright future for all of our children and youth. Our mission sets our course.
Action Agenda. The Excel Beyond the Bell Action Agenda outlines strategies within four overarching goal areas of 1) Communications and Advocacy, 2) Quality Standards and Professional Development; 3) Financing and Resources; and 4) Data and Accountability.
Progress Reports. We hold ourselves accountable through regular review of the Action Agenda within an evaluation framework.Staying Informed. Partnership meeting notes, quarterly e-mail newsletters and other updates and news will help keep our stakeholders informed and engaged. Subscribing to regular Excel Beyond the Bell updates will keep you informed.