TNDC’s Tenderloin After-School Program
The Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation’s (TNDC) Tenderloin After-School Program’s (TASP) mission is to provide a safe drop-in space for the children of the Tenderloin District. TASP’s vision is based on the belief in the inherent value of children and youth from this community and their ability to grow, thrive, and succeed. TASP is a safe place for kids to express themselves socially, artistically, creatively, and physically through individual and group activities. TASP’s programming strives for great diversity in the daily scheduling of events and activities – a diversity necessary to occupy the very active minds of the children.
TASP’s work is guided by youth development principles and best practices from the Out-of-School-Time industry. These encompass five broad areas:
- Emotional and Physical Safety
- Relationship Building
- Youth Participation
- Skill Building
- Community Involvement
The program serves more than 250 youth ages 7 -18 and their families. The majority of participants are from the Tenderloin District neighborhood, but some children travel from other neighborhoods in San Francisco to attend. More than 65 children attend the center Monday through Saturday. The program includes a homework room, kitchen & snack area, small library, a teen room, computer lab, two play rooms that are used for science, art, and other workshops, and a main program area used for physical activities like hip hop dance workshops.
TASP staff are committed to ensuring that programs are culturally and linguistically appropriate and strive to demonstrate a respect and understanding of our participant’s cultural identity, beliefs, and values. Some of the ways in which we demonstrate this is by: ensuring participants have access to services in the language that they are most comfortable communicating in, organizing events, workshops, and celebrations that include engaging and educational activities that allow participants and staff to learn about each other, and ensuring that the food at our community events is reflective of the needs, desires and cultural identities of our participants. For example, TASP hosts an African American Festival and a Cinco de Mayo celebration every year and invites neighborhood youth agencies and the wider public to attend. TASP also celebrates a number of cultural holidays throughout the year, including Chinese New Year, Eid, Hannukah, and Dia de los Muertos.
Academic enrichment activities are woven throughout the daily activities at TASP. Creative literacy activities, art, science, cooking, and other activities help complement school-day learning in fun, interactive ways. Weekly and monthly activities are designed with an eye to what the children are learning in school, as well as creating opportunities that will spark their imagination, creativity and critical thinking skills. The computer area is used for interactive complementary learning activities, complete with games and computers for the younger participants. There is a playroom for the little kids and a separate room for older teenagers to do their homework and use computers. The main room is home to all kinds of activities from computer stations for games and the Internet, to dancing and art expression. The homework room is our biggest space, which is set up with tables and chairs for staff and volunteers to work with participants on homework during the school year. Students from UC Hastings College of the Law and other volunteers provide daily homework help for participants.
TASP also likes to make frequent use of local parks so that participants can be active, run around, and have fun. Park outings can include organized sports games, team building games, or simply free-play. Field trips include weekly sports activities, field trips to museums, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, parks like Muir Woods, ice skating, rock climbing, and various cultural institutions.
TASP provides special programming for teens including weekly teen nights, movie nights, and social events. Teens also help plan Cultural Festivals for the program participants as part of TASP’s youth leadership development activities. The teen room has a pool table, and can be used for meetings, homework on the iMacs, or just hanging out.
TASP is open late two nights a week to provide academic support for teens.
Each spring the teenage participants at our Tenderloin After-School Program (TASP) begin a ten-week college workshop series that includes guest speakers and assignments that teach the realities of applying for and getting in to college. For the participants who attend all the workshops, have the minimum GPA, and complete all of the assignments, the reward is the opportunity to go on the Annual College Tour. The tour is a week-long trip, often cross country, that includes tours of college campuses, cultural activities, leadership experiences, and service learning projects.
When kids reach their teens they often want to find employment, particularly during the holidays. We make it a point to give priority in hire our own by hiring recent participants in TASP as part-time Youth Workers. We can also do referrals to other youth employment agencies.
Parents and guardians provide a lot to TASP by chaperoning field trips, cooking for holidays and special events, and helping in the homework room. TASP also has a close working relationship with TNDC’s Social Work Unit to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate, wrap-around services to many of the families who participate in TASP and reside in a TNDC building.
Throughout the year, TASP and the Social Workers organize and facilitate Intergenerational Events at the Senior Properties. The activities are designed to be interactive and engaging so that the seniors and kids can socialize with and learn from each other. Most events focus on sharing and learning about culture through food, games, and Arts and Crafts.
The Tenderloin After-School Program (TASP) was started as a partnership between TNDC, the Leadership San Francisco Class of 92, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Cheryl Jennings of ABC7, and several other San Francisco business leaders who came together to create a safe, quiet and creative place to go after school. The current center was opened in 1993. The ongoing success of the program is due to generous individual and foundation donors, a host of volunteers, and partnering with local businesses.
If you have a few hours during the week and want to inspire young minds, then volunteering at TNDC’s Tenderloin After-School Program (TASP) is for you! The program serves youth between the ages of 7 and 18 years old and is a safe, supportive space for kids. TASP offers a range of free educational, cultural, artistic, and physical activities. The program is especially eager to enlist volunteers who have strong academic skills to provide tutoring in all subjects—like reading, math, science, and history. TASP operates from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays. We have extended hours on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for teen homework sessions.
Please note that volunteers must make a minimum six month commitment and work between 4-6 hours every month. A background check and clear TB test is also required.
TASP Program Manager
We look forward to hearing from you.