This summer, ARCHS partnered with Nestlé Purina to successfully pilot a social/emotional learning project at all three After School for All Partnership (ASAP) sites this summer. The ASAP summer sites were located in north St. Louis City and Jennings, in partnership with Neighborhood Houses and Provident, Inc., and served 130+ youth. The nation-wide project is Mutt-i-grees® and ARCHS will expand it to all 30 ASAP sites this fall, plus to ARCHS' programs beyond ASAP.
Mutt-i-grees® seeks to build calm, confident, and caring kids. Its innovative PreK-12 social/emotional learning curriculum highlights the unique characteristics of shelter pets (mutts) to teach essential skills for academic and life success.
The project is designed for use in various classroom settings, character education, after school programs, and libraries. More than 4,000 schools in over 40 states are using the curriculum, often in conjunction with bullying prevention and efforts to enhance school climate. Lesson plans align with the National Health Education Standards and Common Core State Standards.
Nestlé Purina provided the three ASAP summer sites with professional development from North Shore Animal League of New York, grade-level lesson plans, pre-post evaluation by Yale University's School of the 21st Century, animal visits by local therapy pet organizations, and library resources.
Hard to believe it's already time for area families to gear-up for school starting. ARCHS has created a handy resource guide that provides information about local back-to-school fairs and sales tax-free shopping opportunities. It also offers parents a handy checklist to help prepare families as they return to school. Take a moment to review the guide and share with parents you work with.
On June 11, participants of ARCHS' supported youth mentoring program learned first hand about careers in fire protection and emergency medical services. Thanks to City of Olivette Fire Department for hosting Fathers' Support Center mentors and youth. A key component of the youth mentoring program is exploring career options. Additional career camps have been held at BJC HealthCare, Dierbergs Markets, Ranken Technical College, St. Louis Community College, and Saint Louis University's Parks College.
During the school year, many children receive meals through the School Breakfast Program (SBP) and the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). When summer begins, these children lose access to healthy meals and their nutritional needs are not met when the schools close. Over the past four years, ARCHS has participated in a national demonstration pilot program to address this issue.
Since 2012, ARCHS' partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the State of Missouri has provided 14,472 area children in the Saint Louis Public Schools District access to a food benefits program during the summer, while making a $1.96 million impact on the local economy, through Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC). On average, families participating in the ARCHS' program used 92% of the food benefits funding available to them in order to provide healthy meals for their children.
This summer, ARCHS' SEBTC pilot program will assist more than 9,000 area students through an existing partnership with the Saint Louis Public Schools and a new partnership with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis to serve children living in Ferguson.
SEBTC is a benefit designated for children who attend pre-k through 12th grade and also receive free or reduced-price school meals in the SBP/NSLP during the school year. The households chosen through ARCHS' pilot program receive extra funding per month per child for the summer months and prorated amounts for the partial months when school ends in the spring and resumes at the end of summer.
At its June Board of Directors meeting, ARCHS elected the following new board members:
-Herbert Bernsen, Director of the Department of Justice Services, St. Louis County
-Henry Johnson III, Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley
-Melba Moore, Director of Health, City of St. Louis
-Jennifer Moorehouse, Director, Healthcare Operations/
Performance and Mergers & Acquisitions Integration, Ascension Health
-John Parker, Owner and Principal Consultant, Evolution C0mmunications Group
-Dr. Joylynn Pruitt, Retiring Superintendent, The School District of University City
Pictured above left to right: John Parker, Dr. Joylynn Pruitt, Wendell Kimbrough (ARCHS' Chief Executive Officer), Henry Johnson III, Melba Moore, and Matt Mathews (ARCHS' Board Chair).