Mayor's Time Fair helping to fill after-school programs in Detroit; more than 17,000 additional youth signed up this year

December 1, 2003

More than 17,000 more youth are participating in after-school programs since the 2002 inception of Mayor’s Time, keeping it on its trajectory to enroll 50 percent of Detroit’s school-aged children in after-school programs.

The upsurge is due in part to the success of the annual Mayor’s Time After School Fair and related efforts to make more Detroiters aware of the benefits of after-school programs and to increase participation in them, says Jeff Griffith, communications director for Mayor’s Time. According to data collected from Detroit Public Schools and Mayor’s Time Network Partners, 61,593 children (28 percent of all school-age children) are currently in after-school programs, compared to 47,876 in 2002.

Among Mayor’s Time’s many policy- and communication-based strategies is the annual fair, at which parents have signed up thousands of kids in activities as diverse as golf and computer training. The second fair was held in September 2003. Several statistics point to the growing popularity of the fair and related outreach efforts:

233 after-school providers signed up kids at this year’s fair compared to 189 at last year’s event;

623 providers are now in the Mayor’s Time Network Partners, compared to 335 in 2002;

More than 100,000 hits were recorded from August-October 2003 on the Mayor’s Time website,, through which parents and youth can find information about programs provided by network partners;

Nearly 90 percent of parents at this year’s fair were first-time attendees, indicating that the effort is reaching new audiences.
Generally, Mayor’s Time has a two-pronged approach. It seeks to expand after-school opportunities through policy and funding changes (see accompanying article titled, Mayor’s Time using an innovative strategy to increase funding for kids who need help, for an example). It also seeks to promote participation through communication efforts like the fair.

The fair is particularly helpful in helping parents and youth find existing programs. This year, more than 10,000 after-school program vacancies were filled through the Mayor’s Time Fair; last year the number was 7,000.

Several area businesses and philanthropies provided more than $100,000 in grants and awards in 2003 to help expand the fair and related efforts. Coca Cola, Colgate-Palmolive and The Skillman Foundation made the largest donations.