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February 2010 Newsletter
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STAY
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.


PART I:
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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 patience."

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.

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The official launch of St. Louis Alliance for Reentry (STAR) is scheduled for March 23 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley.

The 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.

Recently, 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.

“It 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.”

The 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.

“STAR 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.”

ARCHS 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.

To 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.

“What 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).

Click here to see more pictures from the celebration meal.

A GREAT LEARNING EXPERIENCE

ABOVE: Jennings police officer Eugene Bickley hangs up an ARCHS' Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) banner at Fairview Elementary.

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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 afraid …”

Bickley’s comments 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 accomplishment.

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,” Hite said.

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 to students.

“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' 2010 COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP BREAKFAST VIDEO
Click here to see the ARCHS' 2010 Community Partnership Breakfast Video


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.

Transcript for Ron Levy's speech at the Community Breakfast

SHOWTIME FOR AFTER SCHOOL


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.

The 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.

Click here to see more pictures from the performance.



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.


Click here to see more pictures from the event.
LRM CLIENT NEWS AND EVENTS
LRMGMT.COM

While ARCHS' 
Leveraged Resources Management (LRM) manages their finances, LRM's clients are out making things happen in the community.


ABOVE: ARCHS' Executive Vice President Steve Brawley visits with Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster at a February fundraiser held for the Crime Victim Advocacy Center - an LRM client.

Other Recent LRM Client News:
ARCHS' TOX-AWAY DAY: SAT. APRIL 24
Spring cleaning time is right around the corner.

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.)

Learn more about ways to clean green and the April 24 Tox-Away Day event.

ARCHS' EXPERTS USE SOCIAL NETWORKING

STLARCHS ON FACEBOOK

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.


How to Use Facebook

ARCHS' Facebook Account

ASAP's Facebook Account

REENTRY's Facebook Account

ARCHS IS SOCIALLY NETWORKED

Consider a tax deductible contribution to support one of ARCHS' Community Partnerships.

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