Our History & Mission
Our Mission: Close the learning gap by increasing access to enriched education experiences.
In the Beginning
Founded as The After-School Corporation (TASC) in 1998 through a challenge grant from the Open Society Foundations (then the Open Society Institute), we were the first organization that set out to build a citywide system of daily comprehensive after-school programs for kids in kindergarten through high school. We created a model for daily after-school programs that community organizations, such as settlement houses, YMCAs and Boys and Girls Clubs, operate in New York City public schools every day that school is in session. We proved that high-quality after-school programs that keep kids safe while parents work could be scaled to reach large numbers of students.
We also influenced policy change by showing how private investment could leverage more efficient and effective use of public investments in both education and youth development. In our first decade, we leveraged more than four dollars in private and public spending for every dollar the Open Society Foundations invested in our founding grant. We laid the foundation for New York City to build the nation’s largest publicly funded after-school system through its Out-of-School Time initiative; New York State’s Advantage AfterSchool was based on our model; and we helped develop program standards for the U.S. Department of Education’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers.
Building on Best Practices
At the end of our first decade, we challenged ourselves to apply the evidence from the most effective after-school programs to improving the full school-day experience of kids who are disproportionately failing to prepare successfully for college and careers.
We found that in the most effective after-school programs, the host school and its community partner operated as one team with a common vision and set of goals for student progress. Together the principal, teachers, parents and community educators planned after-school activities that reinforced and expanded on what kids learned during the school day. They shared responsibility and accountability for supporting and educating the whole child. We built ExpandED Schools on this foundation of shared school-community planning, responsibility and accountability for educating the whole child.
Today, we recognize that schools looking to expand learning for their students can fall on a continuum that ranges from traditional after-school to the fully realized ExpandED Schools model.