ABC has partnered with Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS) to create a comprehensive program, that specifically serves children living in foster care.
Providing extracurricular and enrichment opportunities for ALL children in the Greater-Cincinnati area—including those in foster care—is the primary focus for Activities Beyond the Classroom. Because of the nature of foster care, it can be difficult for children to enroll in and maintain consistency in their activities. For this reason, ABC has joined with Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS) to help provide these opportunities for students through the Foster Enrichment program, a comprehensive partnership that specifically serves to break down barriers for Cincinnati-based children in JFS custody.
ABC works to ensure that each student receives the support they need to thrive in their activities. Through collaborative efforts, families impacted by the foster care system have seen a boost in educational outcomes including more stability, better communication, and fewer discipline-related disruptions. The addition of the enrichment program provides students in JFS custody the opportunity to engage in activities similarly to their peers, eliminating another barrier for students who have been removed from their homes.
While initially offering this program for 15 years at Cincinnati Public Schools, ABC has expanded the program to support more children in the foster care system who live in the Cincinnati area. Starting in the 2022-23 school year, the program will be offered to students in the Northwest Local School District with talks of expanding to others as well.
Students involved in ABC’s Foster Enrichment program have been able to participate in the following activities:
In 2008, Cincinnati Public Schools implemented the KISR! Program in 22 schools. In 2012, the program expanded to all of the schools within the CPS districts. Since its implementation, the program has experienced tremendous growth. During the 2016-2017 school year, Activities Beyond The Classroom joined the team and placed 120 students in extracurricular activities. Over the past four academic years, ABC has worked to help students connect to over 400 activities they might not otherwise have had the opportunity to access.