bownelogo2x3legacyWhile the Robert Bowne Foundation closed its doors in 2015, its work is living on through the Robert Bowne Foundation Legacy pages of the Youth Today OST Hub. Explore the history of the Foundation, its philosophy of funding and of providing support for grantees, its vision for the OST field, and principles and practices. You can download in-depth articles and research projects, as well as video and text about its work.

For further information contact Anne Lawrence at: annehlawrence@gmail.com 

Young girl in Robert Bowne Foundation funded afterschool program writing at deskHISTORY:  THE ROBERT BOWNE FOUNDATION

The Robert Bowne Foundation supported the development of quality programs that offer literacy education to children and youth of New York City, in the out-of-school hours, especially for those living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods.


The Foundation was established in 1968 by Edmund A. Stanley, Jr. and named in honor of Robert Bowne (1744-1818), founder of Bowne & Company.

Young boy in Robert Bowne Foundation funded afterschool program with mentorVISION: BUILDING A FIELD OF OUT-OF-SCHOOL TIME YOUTH LITERACY

The Robert Bowne Foundation’s vision of a thriving professional field of out-of-school-time education guided its efforts to:
○ Build the educational and organizational capacity of its grantees;
○ Support program evaluation as a way to strengthen and enhance afterschool programs;
○ Promote advocacy efforts at the national, state, city, and community levels;
○ Establish a national Afterschool Matters publication;
○ Generate and disseminate research on community-based organizations serving youth during the out-of-school hours.


The Robert Bowne Foundation offered its grantees numerous opportunities to engage in practical, informative professional development. All with the aim to bolster grantees’ capacity to provide quality youth literacy programs within sustainable organizations. Over time, the Foundation’s professional development offerings diversified and deepened even as its core professional development practices and principles remained consistent, reliable, and feasible.

Lena Townsend Robert Bowne Foundation Executive Director at deskEVOLVING PRACTICE: INQUIRY, REFLECTION, RESEARCH

For the Robert Bowne Foundation,  inquiry was both a stance and a process. As part of the efforts of the RBF Board to define the Foundation’s focus, Dianne Kangisser, first Foundation Executive Director, conducted an “inquiry process,” resulting in the focus on Out-of-School Time (OST) youth literacy education.  Subsequently, the Foundation made the practices of reflection and inquiry integral components of its own practice, its relationships with grantees, and its efforts to develop and enrich the OST field.

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