Youth partnership receives new funds for out-of-school efforts

More than $100,000 in funds will support youth programs in improving their quality and capacity to teach, engage and empower youth.

Representatives from youth programs receive training in activities designed for kids as part of t...
Representatives from youth programs receive training in activities designed for kids as part of the Richmond YPQI.

Richmond Youth Program Quality Intervention, a partnership between United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg and Virginia Commonwealth University’s Mary and Frances Youth Center, has received more than $100,000 in grant funding to improve the quality of out-of-school-time programs across the region.

Richmond YPQI is a nine-month continuous improvement process that provides assessments, planning, coaching and training to help before-school, after-school and summer programs improve their instructional quality and their overall ability to teach, engage and empower young people. Currently, 47 sites across the region participate, serving approximately 4,000 youth each year.

“United Way is proud to work with out-of-school-time programs throughout the region and help create spaces where kids experience learning, receive social and emotional support and feel empowered,” said James Taylor, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Richmond & Petersburg. “These funds will enable us to continue this successful program and work with even more sites in the Greater Richmond and Petersburg region.”

The Richmond YPQI launched as a pilot in the spring of 2012 with five Hanover programs. That fall, the program started its partnership with the Mary and Frances Youth Center to manage the initiative.

“VCU values being a partner with the United Way and the generous funders in order to bring best practice learning opportunities to the many after-school programs in RVA so that our children are provided safe and enriching environments that will benefit their academic and personal growth,” said Catherine Howard, Ph.D., vice provost, VCU Division of Community Engagement.

Funds from these grants are used to support overall operations of Richmond YPQI and allow youth programs to participate in YPQI at a fraction of the cost. Funds will be used to develop advanced training modules and facilitate knowledge sharing across programs through a professional learning community. Grant fund sources include:

  • The Community Foundation ($50,000)
  • The Robins Foundation ($50,000)
  • Memorial Foundation for Children ($12,500)

The Mary and Frances Youth Center, part of VCU’s Division of Community Engagement, works to be a regional leader in university-community collaboration for positive youth development by providing programming and training to enhance the lives of youth in the Richmond metro area.
For more information about YPQI and United Way’s broader efforts to support youth in communities, visit