Learning outside the classroom discussed Wednesday in St. Paul conference

/ 21 March 2012 / jennifer

Joe Kimball, MinnPost, March 21, 2012 –

One hundred officials interested in how kids learn outside the classroom are gathering in St. Paul today for the Minnesota Mayoral Summit: Building Citywide Systems for Learning Beyond the Classroom.

Organizers expect 50 officials from cities, school boards and counties from around the state and 50 people from cities, nonprofits and state agencies who deal with kids outside school hours.

The summit runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Traveler’s headquarters in St. Paul. It’s hosted by Youthprise, a nonprofit founded in 2010 by the McKnight Foundation. It’s mission: to increase the quality, accessibility, sustainability and innovation of opportunities for learning beyond the classroom.

The keynote address will come from Will Miller, president of The Wallace Foundation, an education nonprofit based in New York, which recently made a sizable grant to St. Paul to build and expand an after-school system known as Sprockets.

St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, who will welcome the group and take part in a panel, said:

“We know that children spend 80 percent of their time outside of the classroom. Reaching our youth where they spend the majority of their time is key to helping them succeed and develop to their fullest potential. This summit is a chance for our elected officials who care deeply about the youth in their communities to share information and build support for out-of-school-time initiatives back home.”