FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 30, 2019
For More Information, Contact:
(408) 299-5050 office
(650) 740-9399 cell
SIMITIAN AND ELLENBERG PROPOSE PARTNERSHIP
WITH INPLAY TO CONNECT FAMILIES
WITH AFTERSCHOOL ACTIVITIES
SAN JOSE – Santa Clara County Board President Joe Simitian and Supervisor Susan Ellenberg have proposed a partnership between the County and InPlay to connect students across the county with affordable afterschool and summer activities.
“Out-of-school time programs are essential for our students’ health and education, but students in Santa Clara County don’t always have equal access to high quality summer and afterschool programs; or even awareness that such programs exist,” Simitian noted. “My hope is that this program, InPlay, will help parents find programs for their kids that keep them engaged, excited, and educated after school and through the summer.”
Simitian’s referral, coauthored by former San Jose Unified School District Trustee and newly elected County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg, was heard at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday, January 29th. The proposal received initial unanimous support and approval from the Board of Supervisors at the meeting.
InPlay is a Northern California nonprofit that connects families with after-school and summer programs. Their searchable databases include programs such as:
- Sports, including basketball, volleyball, and soccer
- Science, including robotics, math, and coding
- Art and Dance, including ballet, tap, and hip-hop
Simitian said he was, “particularly pleased that the service is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin; and that many programs on the site are affordable and/or offer scholarships.”
“I am thrilled to support this partnership that will provide our families with access to a much-needed support system that offers options for afterschool and summer enrichment,” said Santa Clara County Supervisor Susan Ellenberg. “Our working families have enough on their plates. A tool that offers them a more holistic view of all the sports, science and art programming available for their children outside of school will save them both time and headaches.”
In their referral, Simitian and Ellenberg suggested that a potential partnership between the County and InPlay include:
- A set aside of up to $250,000 in County funds annually for three years, enough to serve every student in the County;
- Annual reporting to the Board of Supervisors on how many school districts participate, and how many students have accessed programs;
- Coordination between InPlay, the County’s School Linked Services staff, and contractors at each participating district, to ensure participating families get specialized assistance in accessing InPlay services; and,
- Coordination between InPlay and other County departments and staff serving families – such as the Department of Family and Children’s Services, Behavioral Health, Primary Care Providers, the County Library, and the Department of Employment and Benefits – so that County staff can direct families to additional resources via InPlay’s website.
In the first stage of their model, InPlay develops an online database of out-of-school time programs for families, allowing families to sort by location, cost, and type of program. The website is created in partnership with program providers, in multiple languages. InPlay also helps families seek services for students with special needs. InPlay staff work with school districts to reach out to families to inform them of this website, and when appropriate, particular outreach staff, like School Linked Services staff, work with families to navigate the website in person.
In the second stage of their model, InPlay works with school districts to help families who would qualify for discounted or free programs to connect more directly with programs that have these discounted slots. In Fremont and San Francisco, for example, InPlay created a scholarship-matching service by which a family’s qualification letter for free or reduced-price meals or Headstart directly pre-qualifies them for a number of subsidized afterschool and summer programs (without having to fill out additional paperwork). InPlay also worked to make sure families got direct sign up information via text – helpful for busy, working families.
"Closing the opportunity gap for summer learning truly takes an entire community,” said Rod Hsiao, CEO and Founder of InPlay. “InPlay is happy to provide a solution to bring all the after-school and summer programs together in one searchable activity directory so that parents can find local and affordable programs. We’re excited to work with schools and county staff to give enriching experiences to the most underserved children and youth.”