NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – For the first time ever, the New Mexico legislature has decided to put $20 million toward out-of-school programs; these include after-school, summer enrichment, and tutoring programs. The deadline for local education agencies to apply for funds is coming up on May 8, 2023.

The New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network says, “The historic funding comes at a critical time, as young people across our state are experiencing high rates of anxiety and depression, losing ground academically because of the pandemic, and continuing to be chronically absent from school.”

Funding for out-of-school programs is essential, as it allows children to be supported in their education outside of school hours. It also allows parents more flexibility and time to work while their children are being cared for.

The funding will be distributed among local education agencies, community-based organizations, and tutoring programs. Local agencies can apply for funding here.

We are overjoyed that the legislature is prioritizing out-of-school time in this year’s budget. These programs work so well because, in addition to academic support, they offer safe, fun and welcoming spaces where children and youth of all ages feel a sense of belonging and learn together through hands-on, team-building activities. We urge providers to apply for funds and partner with schools and community-based organizations to ensure every child in New Mexico can benefit from these enriching learning opportunities.

May Sagbakken, executive director of New Mexico Out-of-School Time Network