A St. Paul program that aims to steer kids to after-school activities -- and to, hopefully, help close the achievement gap in the process -- has a new leader.
Mayor Chris Coleman announced Tuesday that he'd tapped Eyenga Bokamba, a former teacher who served most recently as youth arts program manager at Pillsbury House in Minneapolis, to be the new director of Sprockets, billed by the city as its "out-of-school-time network."
She replaces Kari Denissen Cunnien, who had been the program's director since its launch in 2011 and who recently was named director of the Minnesota Afterschool Network, a city news release said.
The Sprockets website allows kids and parents to search through dozens of after-school programs, and to narrow those searches by subject areas and age groups.
The search page is here: http://sprocketssaintpaul.org/program-finder
"Sprockets is one of the best opportunities we have to help close the achievement gap in St. Paul by increasing access to after-school and summer learning for young people throughout the city," Coleman said in a statement. "We need a solid leader to keep the Sprockets network strong, and I'm delighted that we've found such a person in Eyenga Bokamba."
Said Bokamba, "Sprockets is a vibrant example of the community coming together to improve the lives of young people, and I'm thrilled to be part of that. I look forward to working with the broad spectrum of individuals, partners and organizations that comprise Sprockets to build on our past successes to create an even stronger future for St. Paul's youth."
The program, unveiled two years ago by Coleman and schools Superintendent Valeria Silva, now provides training, professional development, coaching and data sharing for more than 50 organizations serving more than 7,500 young people, the city said.