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New CFO Sheryl Mitchell


ARCHS began its new fiscal year this July with a new Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at the helm. Sheryl Mitchell replaced Terry Blake who retired over the summer. Her 13 years of experience at ARCHS has made this transition seamless.

Sheryl holds a B.A in Business Administration from Webster University and brings more than 15 years of accounting experience to her new position. ARCHS looks forward to her guidance in the future.

Terry Blake Retires After 16 Years

ARCHS will miss the leadership of Terry Blake as he embarks onto a new journey in retirement. As CFO of ARCHS for the last decade and a half, Terry was a crucial component in ARCHS' success.

During his tenure at ARCHS he insured its fiscal soundness and tirelessly led the organization through local and federal audits. Along with his work at ARCHS, Terry was the President of LRM Financial Services.

2017 Summer Programs

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ARCHS’ effort to support after school programs extends well beyond the school year and even outside of the after school site. This summer ARCHS supported two major programs, one at St. Frances Cabrini facilitated by Provident Inc., and a second at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ facilitated by Neighborhood Houses. These programs provide a large variety of educational activities for youth, ranging from disguised academic lessons to week long camping trips.

St. Frances Cabrini
This summer at St. Frances Cabrini, one of their youth’s main activities was maintaining a local garden. On an early June morning, they had two primary tasks; water the garden and pick lettuce and basil. After unlocking their tool shed, the kids lugged around repurposed detergent jugs, filled to the brim with water, stopping at ever plant bed to water the plants. 

After the garden was sufficiently wetted, and a few of the kids having been accidently drenched from leftover water, they set out to collect some fresh produce. As the kids huddled around the raised garden bed, their instructor advised them on which plants were ready to pick.

They spent the next fifteen minutes uncovering heads of lettuce and carefully picking basil leaves off the stem and proudly showed off their hard work. The fresh produce they harvested that morning was cleaned and sent home in hopes of incorporating into the family meals.

St. Paul's

Later in the summer ARCHS had the opportunity to visit St. Paul’s summer program, facilitated by Neighborhood Houses. That afternoon the kids were in the middle of a weeklong project repairing donated computers. Earlier in the week the youth stripped down each computer into its individual components, cleaned them and then pieced them back together replacing any damaged part. In this particular class session, the students were huddled around their newly refurbished machines patiently staring at blues screens while Windows 10 installed. At the end of the week their hard work would pay off as they each brought home the PC they cleaned and built ready to help them with future school work.

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These students also had the opportunity to partake in a week long summer camp at Camp MoVaL in Union, MO. On the day ARCHS visited, the kids were battling the hot weather with some morning boating. While most patiently waited in the shade for their turn, groups in paddleboats or individual kayakers took turns paddling across the lake, being careful not to tip into the lake.

After their boating excursions they participated in an exercise on social biases and how to recognize stereotypes in their everyday lives. During the activity kids were challenged to confront both their own biases and those of their community. From there the kids ventured back into the heat to play a friendly game of capture the flag before lunch. As they divided into teams the coordinators rallied the kids by starting camp chants that everyone loudly echoed.

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Green Center

ARCHS also connected Gene Slay’s Girls & Boys Club with The Green Center in an effort to better connect kids with nature. The first day they toured the Green Center in University City discovering a variety of outdoor spaces including a wetland, woods, and prairie. The second day they visited Babler State Park and enjoyed hiking trails and observing wildlife.

ARCHS is proud to have supported all of these programs this summer. Each provides youth with unique opportunities to enrich their summer while exploring new ideas and activities in preparation for the upcoming school year.

2017 Summer Meals Initiatives

KidEating 1The state of Missouri provides several meal programs during the school year (National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program) that feed underserved students. Programs like these help households avoid the problems of food insecurity and inaccessibility to healthy foods. However, at the commencement of summer break the majority of these families are left with a large question mark about how to effectively feed their children. Without the aid programs, many are required to increase their allocation for monthly food spending, an unrealistic possibility for most relying on these programs.

Fortunately since 2011, the state of Missouri has been participating in a federally funded pilot program that insures these children are provided with access to healthy foods during the summer. The program SEBTC (Summer Electronic Benefit Transfer for Children) provides households, with eligible children, extra funds in the form of an EBT card, based off the current SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) system in Missouri, to purchase extra food.

AppleKid 1ARCHS has, for the last 6 years, partnered with the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and the State of Missouri in assisting in the facilitation of this program through the St. Louis Public School District and the Ferguson-Florissant School District. In addition to aiding participants with support of the system and friendly reminders of the programs expiration dates, ARCHS has created a 2017 Summer Meals Guide to aid families in finding healthy food options and farmers markets that accept EBT (and SEBTC) transactions.

ARCHS has seen steady growth in this program over the past 6 years. To this date SEBTC has served more than 24,369 children in the St. Louis area. In fact from 2015 - 2016 the number of participants increased by 61% to reach the 2016 yearly total of 8,897 children, with projections for 2017 being even greater. Overall, the program in these 2 school districts has seen an economic impact of $2.7 million of the available funds having been spent, averaging about $690,000 a year. These positive trends have allowed ARCHS to champion the results of this program at a federal level White House Event last January and to further advise local food programs during the summer months.

In addition to the overarching initiative of SEBTC, ARCHS has teamed up with several regional organizations to further assist families bridging the summer food gap. The most notable is Operation Food Search’s (OFS) support of ARCHS’ funded and supported summer camp at St. Francis Cabrini Academy. Every morning their fleet of brightly colored vans delivers the iconic Food for Good bins to the program site. Filled with meals for the children attending the summer camps, these bins insure the kids have a substantive meal packed with enough proper nutrients to help them enjoy their summer break. Along with OFS’s support of ARCHS program they sponsor a fleet of vans that provide meals to mobile sites around the city.

Click here to download ARCHS’ 2017 Summer Meals Guide