By Wendell E. Kimbrough, ARCHS' Chief Executive Officer
Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS) continues its investment across the St. Louis region in Fiscal Year 2015 (July 1, 2014-June 30, 2015), focusing more than $6 million in intensive, on-the-ground strategies designed to improve educational and economic growth opportunities for more than 90,000 vulnerable children, youth, and parents. A network of 200 organizations works with ARCHS in close collaboration to leverage programming, resources, and expertise that impact the region’s complex and interrelated challenges.
For 250 years, St. Louisans have fostered a spirit of self-improvement and community betterment. Since 1997 ARCHS has promoted innovation in local education and social services programs. This year we are building on ARCHS’ existing program design, management, and evaluation efforts that improve people’s lives every day. ARCHS has a well-earned reputation among its 10 funding sources for strengthening the rungs on the ladder of opportunity.
Here are highlights from ARCHS' Fiscal Year 2014 (July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014) programs:
- 94,350 people’s lives positively impacted (adults, children, and their immediate family members)
- $5.9 million invested in the community through 10 funding partners
- $9.6 million in additional funding/resources provided in partnership with 200 program partner
- 274 program site locations that included early childhood care, parent support, before & after school activities, youth development services, comprehensive vision care, life skills building, mentoring, job training, career exploration, physical fitness, and so much more
- 14 programs managed through 141 performance-based contracts
- More than 130 distinct output and outcome measures tracked
- 16,640 technical assistance and training hours dedicated to improving program quality
- 23,447 miles traveled throughout the St. Louis region by ARCHS’ staff to provide real-time program enhancement support services and expertise
- 7,254 clock hours awarded at more than 200 professional staff training sessions
- 6,200+ training participants served; at least 95% reported ARCHS’ trainings were a good use of their time, they learned something new, and will apply what they learned
- 202 external jobs supported in the region
- 15,616 volunteer hours donated at ARCHS’ program sites
- ARCHS’ Kids Vision for Life (KVLF) Partnership was recognized with a “What's Right with the Region!” award -- the fourth ARCHS-supported program since 2005 to receive this honor
- Through its relationship with the Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT), ARCHS serves as the Annie E. Casey's Kids Count representative for the St. Louis region.
As we celebrate this season of Thanksgiving, ARCHS wishes to further acknowledge the important work of our board, staff, funders/donors, program partners, and volunteers.
ARCHS distributed 70 "Creative Expressions" giveaways in the month of November to its Educare providers. Included were musical instruments, books, crayons, paper, and other items that can assist young children with learning how to express themselves in their own unique ways.
In order to receive a giveaway, Educare providers must have recently attended an ARCHS' support group meeting or received a site visit.
Last year, ARCHS provided technical assistance and professional development services that promoted quality and safety to more than 90 area state registered child care homes.
ARCHS co-hosted a briefing about childhood obesity on November 14, 2014 at Beyond Broadway with the Missouri Family and Community Trust (FACT), Aetna, and Diet Free Life.
The event was part of a five city tour conducted across Missouri that brought together more than 400 key community leaders for dialogue concerning ways to address the childhood obesity crisis.
Kids Vision for Life (KVFL) performed screenings on 200 students in the Ferguson-Florissant School District on November 5, 2014 as part of the first annual "Kids Vision Fest." Students who did not pass the screenings were given a free pair of eyeglasses. Many of the students received their glasses the same day, after they were made in the mobile lab on-site!
The 200 students selected for screenings were all given exams earlier in the school year. Students who do not pass the exams are referred for a screening.
ARCHS and its partners Essilor Vision Foundation, Inc., Crown Vision Center, and University of Missouri-St. Louis School of Optometry (mobile van) provide free eye services to children in grades K-6 at Saint Louis Public Schools and other area schools.
ARCHS' mentoring program helped youth associated with Missouri Division of Youth Services (DYS) fire up the oven and learn various culinary skills at Dierbergs Markets on November 22, 2014. The youth worked with two chefs to prep and prepare Mexican chicken wings, mixed green salad with homemade dressing, Italian pizzeria pizza, Chinese fried rice, gooey butter cake, and strawberry lemonade.
After they were finished, the youth were able to eat the tasty meal they had prepared.
Earlier this year, other participating youth learned about robotics with the University of Missouri -St. Louis, toured to the Metropolitan, Education, & Training (MET) Center to learn about construction prep, and also St. Louis Community College to learn about computer science. To help determine what careers may fit their skills and interest, the youth took the Character Occupational Relationship Evaluation (CORE) assessment.
Funds for DYS career explorations come through the City of St. Louis' Public Safety, Proposition S, Youth at Risk Crime Prevention Fund.