STAY AT HOME PARENT PROGRAM HELPING KEEP THE STRESS OUT OF CHILD DEVELOPMENT
ABOVE: Jennings resident Arthur Crawley helps his two-year-old son A.J. with a child development activity as part of the ARCHS' Stay At Home Parent (SAHP) partnership, while Parent Educator Margaret Neely looks on.
The eyes of Jennings resident Arthur Crawley were fixed upon
his two-year-old son, A.J., as he started to figure out a motor skills
development activity as part of the ARCHS' Stay At Home Parent (SAHP) partnership. He had
difficulty at first, but A.J. was soon able to string several Fruit Loops onto
a piece of licorice through determination, and from watching his dad do the same.
Arthur’s eyes teared up some as he beamed with pride for what his young son was
able to accomplish.
“This is one of the everyday development practices to help
my child out that I didn’t know before. I used to think I knew it all,” Arthur
said while his wife, Shantail, sat on the other end of the couch holding their
two-month old baby Destyne.
SAHP is a partnership between ARCHS and Missouri Department of Social Services, which is aimed to prevent child abuse and neglect for high
at-risk families who experience certain stressors like poverty and teen
pregnancy. A parent educator visits each family 10 times throughout the course
of a year to work with parents one-on-one to make certain children are properly
developing mentally and physically.
ARCHS contracts with the Jennings School District and New Hope Community Center to provide services to 70 families in the area through SAHP.
“The Stay At Home Parent program positively affects the
lives of approximately 1,300 families throughout Missouri every month,” said
Toni Sutherlands, of the Department of Social Services. “It focuses attention
on one of our most vulnerable populations – children under the age of three –
and helps their parents become the best caregivers they can be, while helping
them realize their own strengths and work towards achieving goals that many of
them thought they would only be able to dream of.”
A variety of activities are taught and implemented within
the families to help with the children’s development. Also, books are
distributed to promote literacy.
To participate in SAHP, a family must have a child less than
three years of age and a household income under 185 percent of poverty.
Additionally, the parent must meet one of the following requirements:
Unemployed but may be receiving temporary assistance
Employed 20 hours or less per week
Living in a shelter or temporary housing
A teen parent
Referred by the state as being "at risk" for physical, emotional, social or educational neglect.
Educator Margaret Neely said through ARCHS' partnership with Jennings School District, services are provided to 42 families. Her focus for
many parents is learning the appropriate times for when each development stage
of a child should occur.
“I hope through the site visits, parents learn the ability
and empowerment to really know their child, and know when to do the
age-appropriate things,” Neely said. “We want to get parents to learn there is
an appropriate time for each step in their child’s development.”
Arthur said through SAHP, he now knows when and how to teach
A.J. basic skills that are essential to his development. He hopes to do the
same with his daughter as she grows.
“I learned a lot about patience,” he said. “I’ve always had
a habit of yelling, but you get a lot more out of your children after you learn
Next Month: ARCHS' SAHP in the City of St. Louis
STAR TO LIGHT UP THE SKY AT REENTRY SUMMIT
ABOVE: ARCHS' Vice-President of Partnerships Les Johnson and Missouri Department of Corrections Regional Administrator Nancy McCarthy discuss reentry topics and the STAR Summit with Gateway Television News (GTN) anchor Randy Gardner.
establishment of STAR comes from an executive order signed in September 2005 to
establish the statewide Missouri reentry process. It allowed state agencies the
opportunity to address barriers within their departments and work in a
collaborative effort to increase ex-offender success. Further, in 2006, the
Missouri Eastern Region Reentry Group Effort (MERRGE) was established to help
with this goal.
MERRGE completed a new three-year strategic plan to guide its efforts in the
community, and as part of the process it changed its name to STAR to better
reflect its mission.
is my hope the STAR Summit will pull together St. Louis to educate, motivate
and collaborate in order to tackle the community’s issue of how to help
ex-offenders reenter the general population,” said Rev. Lynn Mims, STAR
Co-Chair. “Hopefully the Summit can educate and show that by providing
mentoring, general life skills and employment assistance can turn a person’s
life around to make them more self-sufficient, but it also makes the community
a healthier and safer place to live.”
STAR Summit will provide networking opportunities, offer insightful speakers on
reentry and let those in attendance hear ex-offender success stories. Cost is
$10 to attend, and will include a continental breakfast and lunch.
Pre-registration is required.
provides a unique opportunity for the St. Louis region to collectively dialogue
around the issue of offender reentry at the local level,” said Les Johnson,
ARCHS Vice-President of Partnerships. “STAR is building a network of resources
that includes many facets of the community to help increase the knowledge of
what works, and then coordinating scarce assets to maximize the leveraging of
ex-offender centered social services to help create healthy communities.”
received a $12,000 grant last month on behalf of the Lutheran Foundation of St. Louis to help support STAR. The grant will provide strategic management support
to STAR as it connects reentry individuals to agencies working in coordination
to strengthen the delivery of ex-offender services.
register and for more information, visit www.stlreentry.org. For updates on local reentry
issues, visit www.facebook.com/stlreentry.
ARCHS' REENTRY PARTNERSHIPS SETTING THE TABLE FOR ADVANCEMENT
ABOVE: An ARCHS'
Reentry Partnership participant talks with a human resources representative from Marriott Hotel at Union Station about a career opportunity.
The ARCHS' Culinary Reentry Community Partnership has graduated 10 ex-offenders from the class, and is looking to place all in a job soon. Participants recently attended a job fair hosted by ARCHS' partner St. Louis Community College.
Above at left, ARCHS'
Reentry Partnership students prepare fresh crabcakes. At right, ARCHS' Vice-President of Partnerships Les Johnson and Director of Partnerships Gail Dickinson enjoy a meal prepared by the reentry culinary students.
As a thank you for the
support, the culinary class participants cooked a five course celebration dinner for
ARCHS’ partners. The meal included red-wine
vinaigrette and chicken salads, crab cakes and toasted raviolis,
chicken parmesan and jambalaya, Cajun catfish and chicken, and cheese
and red velvet cakes.
“The food prepared and served to us was
phenomenal,” said Les Johnson, ARCHS’ Vice President of Partnerships.
“Not only was the food some of the best I have ever had, but this was
a reconfirmation of the overwhelming success of the partnership between
ARCHS and St. Louis Community College to provide ex-offenders with a
fresh chance on life.”
ARCHS’ ongoing partnership with
St. Louis Community College provides participants with a fresh
knowledge of preparation, cooking, sanitation, safety and much more.
this class has accomplished in two months is monumental,” said Chef
David Green, who teaches the culinary class. “Some of them are ready to
be entry level prep cooks, while others are ready to be first cooks for
soups and salads.”
ARCHS was recently awarded $265,944 from
the U.S. Dept. of Justice via Second Chance Act funding to begin a new
mentoring program in conjunction with the Missouri Dept. of
Corrections. ARCHS is one of the first organizations in America to
receive second chance act funds, and the only organization in Missouri
to do so. ARCHS also partners with St. Louis area reentry professionals
through the St. Louis Alliance for Reentry (STAR).
City of Jennings police officer Eugene Bickley had just
completed an ARCHS’ Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) class for
nearly 20 students at Fairview Elementary. He was enthusiastic the students had
learned something, and hoped they felt comfortable approaching all city police officers, even if it was just to exchange friendly greetings.
“The class is basically about life skills, but more
specifically about being an individual, making good decisions and about not
being persuaded by peer pressure,” Bickley said. “When we talk about gangs,
some students start with a wall up and you then gradually start to see the wall
come down. Hopefully, the students feel comfortable with officers and aren’t
were abruptly interrupted by a student who turned the corner and ran to the
officer to embrace him with a hug. It was the perfect coincidental timing of the
point he was trying to get across. He just looked up and smiled with a sense of
ARCHS has been partnering with area schools and law
enforcement agencies to provide GREAT in St. Louis County classrooms for two
years. GREAT provides school-based, law enforcement officer instructed
classroom curriculum. The primary objective is prevention and is intended as an
immunization against delinquency, youth violence and gang membership.
Lessons focus on
providing life skills to students to help them avoid delinquent behavior and
violence to solve problems.
“We do have gang
activity in the area, and we are trying to make sure students know to stand up
as their own individual and different ways to provide outs of a situation,”
Bickley said. “They need to understand that they do have choices.”
In the next six months, the GREAT partnership between ARCHS
and Jennings is expected to continue educating hundreds of new students, who
will participate in a graduation ceremony and receive GREAT promotional materials
such as T-shirts.
“One of the biggest advantages of GREAT is getting the
conversation about gangs out in the open, which is not always discussed in
school,” said Leon Hite, Jennings School District Safety and Security
Coordinator. “They are educated on the real story behind gangs, and rather than
just saying not to join, show them why it’s not a good idea.”
While young students are targeted for recruitment in
Jennings by older gang members, Hite believes students are showing positive
responses to GREAT.
“The gangs are putting their information out, so we should
be able to put our info out about why it’s not a good idea to join a gang,”
Fairview Elementary fifth-grade student Royalty Knight said
in addition to gang prevention, she is learning about being a good citizen.
“We learned about self control, not being violent and
actually doing something when a problem or situation arises,” Knight said.
Fifth-grader Sylvan Porter said GREAT was about showing
respect for yourself and others.
“You should show respect for other people, and help them out
when they need it,” Porter said. “Because people show me respect, I need to
make sure I show them respect back and make right choices.”
ARCHS' Vice President of Partnerships Kristy Kight said the
GREAT partnership has been a great success, and delivers valuable information
“The GREAT partnership continues to provide students with important life skills that will help them develop into
productive citizens, as well as the truth about gang activity in their area
that they may experience at some point,” Kight said.
ARCHS' GREAT partnership has impacted over 500 students. The
Jennings School District is progressing towards the goal of servicing all
accessible fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. The partnership is funded
by a United States Department of Justice grant that was secured through U.S. Sen.
Christopher ‘Kit’ Bond.
ARCHS’ GREAT partners:
St. Ann and Jennings Police Departments
Jennings and Pattonville School Districts
Drummond Elementary (Pattonville School District)
Fairview Elementary (Jennings School District)
Gary Gore Elementary (Jennings School District)
Hanrahan Elementary (Jennings School District)
Above: Jennings officer Eugene Bickley talks to a student about the benefits of not joining a gang, and the impact it could have on his education and advancement in life.
ARCHS was honored to have Missouri Director of Social Services Ron Levy
as its keynote speaker at ARCHS' Annual Community Partnership Breakfast
held Feburary 1 at the Sheldon. Over 200 of ARCHS' partners and area
civic leaders were in attendance at the event.
ABOVE: St. Louis Catholic Academy performers put on a private show for the rest of the school.
Students in the after school program at St. Louis Catholic Academy put
on a private screening of Jack and the Beanstalk for fellow students on
January 26. The feature show was presented January 27 for family, friends and the community.
presentation required time and dedication from the students involved
for the past few months. The St. Louis Catholic Academy program is
operated by Provident for ASAP.
ABOVE: Stevens Middle School students held a successful "Help for Haiti" event in early February.
Several students in the after school program at Stevens Middle School
helped put on a successful Help for Haiti project February 6 at Soldan
International Studies High School.
The United States Army and
Salvation Army were also on hand to collect food and supplies to ship
from St. Louis to Haiti after the devastating earthquake that hit the
country on January 12. The Stevens Middle School hip hop group, Swag
Kids, performed as well as the school's spirit squad.
The Stevens Middle School after school program is operated by The Wyman Center for ASAP.
ARCHS' unique partnership with the U.S. EPA offers North City residents an opportunity to safely dispose of items ranging from household cleaners to lawn chemicals. Last year's event disposed of more than 5 tons of items.
Save the Date:
ARCHS' Free Tox-Away Day Spring Cleaning Event
Sat. April 24, 2010
New Sunny Mount Missionary Baptist Church
4700 West Florissant Ave. (Highway 70 and Shreve Ave.)
ARCHS, ASAP and REENTRY Facebook Pages are filled with additional stories and pictures. Please become a fan of ARCHS' Facebook Page (stlarchs) and ASAP's Facebook Page (stlasap) to stay current on ARCHS' 400 partners and the wonderful programs they deliver to the community every day.