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The City Journals

Promise SSL Adds Four After-School Programs

Aug 30, 2016 04:05PM ● By Brian Shaw
With a new school year on the horizon, Promise South Salt Lake, with help from the grant programs that help fund its initiatives, has added four new after-school programs to its roster to meet the needs of its residents. 

Chief among those that Promise SSL wants to continue to help are children ranging from grades K-12, who, according to Emily Mead, Promise SSL business manager, need more resources available to them in order to get what they need after they leave their homes. 

“We really try to spread these programs evenly around South Salt Lake. We try to hit everybody,” said  Mead. “If parents need an after-school program in their particular area, we try to have something convenient for everyone.” 

Mead likened the program's initiative to being that of an octopus, having many tentacles with which it can target several areas at once. At present, the city currently has 10 after-school programs in operation: Hser Ner Moo Community Center (named after the young girl murdered near her South Salt Lake apartment several years ago), and there is the Roosevelt Community School as well as the Historic Scott Arts School and Community Center. 

Other programs already in operation include Lincoln Community School, the Utah International Charter School, Central Park Community Center and the PAL Boxing Program, the Columbus Center, the Community Center at Woodrow Wilson Elementary, Granite Park Jr. High and Meadowbrook. 
By the time school begins in late August, however, Mead added that with the new additions there will now be 14 total after-school programs in operation, including four new centers at Cottonwood High, the Kearns-St. Ann Catholic Church, the Commonwealth Performing Arts Center and at Moss Elementary. 

At Cottonwood, for example, Mead said there was a specific need for a high school program serving South Salt Lake residents—because the city didn't have one. The Commonwealth Performing Arts Center will also serve those students, she added. At Kearns-St. Ann and at Moss, those were areas that Promise SSL hadn't yet reached, but Mead said the city needs to reach in order to meet its community initiative of helping everyone. 

According to information received on its website at, Promise's aim in part is to “offer youth and family services including homework help and small group tutoring, mentoring, field trips, recreation, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) activities, college and career coaching and planning (including elementary programs).” 

“The aim is to keep these kids off the streets and out of trouble. We're trying to cover all the age ranges we need, in the areas of the city where they live and work,” said Mead. 

The centers also offer a nightly dinner to its students, courtesy of the Utah Food Bank. It provides a safe learning environment for the children it serves, according to Mead. The cost to enter the after-school program is free, added Mead, who urges residents with any questions or interest in joining any of the 14 after-school programs to give her a call at 801-483-6057 or email her at [email protected]

Slots in the programs provided for youth and adults are granted on a first-come, first-served basis and require a three-step process in order to be considered for enrollment. 

First, please see page 2 of the city's newsletter for August 2016 (accessible here: On the left sidebar is a list of programs available to city youth and adults. After choosing from one of the programs on the list, all you need to do is call Mead at 801-483-6057 or the center phone number listed. Then request the forms, complete them and simply return them to the site you wish to attend at your earliest convenience. 

Please allow several days for the application to be processed, according to Mead. Also, she added that “completing an application does not guarantee” a resident entry into a program, but she did say that Promise tries to find a program for every child or adult in South Salt Lake. 

“We'd love to serve every single kid and that's our goal. This is Mayor [Cherie] Wood's promise that she wants every resident taken care of. It's about focusing on the kids and the families. It's an entire community initiative,” Mead said.