Building Resilient Children
Sometimes we hear “you all do a lot” at Community Partnership! And yes, that’s true. As an organization tasked with responding to community issues and acting as a hub for collaboration in our community, it’s part of the deal. But also part of the deal is our mission–to build resilient children, healthy families and strong neighborhoods & communities—and everything we “do” must work towards meeting that mission. So what are we “doing” now to meet our mission? This time, I’ll focus on how we help build resilient children and in future blogs, I’ll share more about our work to build healthy families and strong neighborhoods & communities…
To help build resilient children, our programs and services focus on preschool and school age children as research shows that early intervention and support is the best investment we can make. This year, we are investing in our community’s kids in many innovative ways:
Through Kindergarten Camp, which helps prepare kids to enter kindergarten with age appropriate education and literacy activities provided right in the school that kids may attend in partnership with Springfield Public Schools. This year we had more than 120 kids at Camp in 9 different SPS schools. This might have been the first time many have even been in a preschool or classroom setting, so there was lots of excitement! While at Camp, they were able to participate in story times with the Springfield-Greene County Library, receiving developmental screenings, and learn how to do the basic things kids do in school—line up, raise hands, and follow the leader. Kindergarten Camp also provides education and guidance to parents about keeping kids focused and helping them successfully navigate their first year of school.
Through Kindergarten Prep or KPrep, which will offer a monthly educational program that will provide developmentally appropriate, skill building activities for families to increase school readiness. With funding from the Darr Family Foundation, a monthly program will be offered in every SPS elementary school for kindergarten-eligible children this year. The hope is that these kids will gain skills and comfort with being in school so they are ready and excited to start Kindergarten next fall.
Through 750 School Readiness Kits, which will be distributed by Parents as Teachers and local pediatricians thanks to a grant from CFO. These Kits will include 25 activity cards; a “tool pouch” with crayons, scissors, glue stick, dry erase marker, and pencils; books; and a children’s music CD recorded by local musicians.
Through our Educare program, which works to ensure that child care providers offer a safe, educational and quality learning experience to children birth to school age.
Through after school clubs and academic enrichment programs that improve attendance and self-esteem and that provide a safe place for kids to stay after school.
Through mentoring and lunch buddy programs that offer kids another caring adult to act as a role model while providing friendship and support.
And through educational programs focused on substance abuse prevention, anti-bullying, and violence prevention to help keep kids safe, out of gangs and free from drugs and alcohol.
Obviously we can’t do all of this alone. Because we are a hub for collaboration, none of our work would happen without our partners and volunteers. They are investing with us to help build resilient children in our community!