5 Takeaways from the August Coalition Meeting
Several critical services are available to the 24:1 community, but residents and service providers are often surprised to hear what resources are available. We want Network Coalition Members to know what other members are doing. Therefore, we have been devoting this year to meetings that increase awareness of available resources.
This month, we discussed several community resource anchors in the 24:1 area and how they support the work of Network Coalition Members. Here are five key takeaways from our August meeting:
1. Nine PBS reverses the “summer slide”:
"When I was growing up, and when my children were growing up, Nine PBS was a staple in our home," explained Gina Watkins. "But now everyone has streaming services, so we realized we needed to get these resources directly into the community."
Nine PBS’s Power Hour series teaches science, literacy, and other educational cornerstones to children in the 24:1 footprint. They also provide students and educators with books and other materials that push back against the "summer slide," the tendency for children's educational and literacy skills to backslide during summer break.
2. Blueprint4Summer helps families find summer programs:
Blueprint4Summer STL helps families find childcare and summer camps for children in the St. Louis area, including the 24:1 footprint.
“Every summer we list from 7,000 to 9,000 summer camp sessions, which range from 2-hour programs to 8-week residential camps in the middle of Missouri,” explained Zasmine Johnson.
Families can use up to 30 search criteria to find a program that meets their child’s specific needs and interests and lines up with the budget, hours, dates, and location that work best for parents.
3. St. Louis County Library, Natural Bridge Branch, offers meals, groceries, diapers, and gun locks to youth and families:
St. Louis County Library’s Natural Bridge Branch offers much more than books. It also provides a wide variety of community resources, including after-school meals, groceries, diapers, and gun locks.
“You may stop in and get a recipe, you may get a book, you may learn how to use a computer, you never know,” stated Devon Harris. “Natural Bridge is the place where you can come and learn it all.”
Many of these resources are provided in collaboration with other Coalition Members, such as Operation Food Search and the St. Louis Area Diaper Bank.
4. The HSSU Community Impact Network Center offers college and career services:
The Impact Center, located just north of Normandy High School at 2100 Lucas and Hunt Road, is a collaboration between Harris-Stowe State University and the Community Impact Network.
"We prepare youth for work or college, teaching them how to present themselves professionally at interviews, offering resume writing, and even have a boutique where they can get work attire," explained Serrita Sydnor, Interim Director.
The center also offers HiSET (formerly GED) testing and continuing education programming.
5. September's meeting will expand on housing resources that are available in the 24:1:
Our next Network meeting, on September 8 at 9:00 a.m., will discuss service-enriched housing resources that Coalition Members offer the 24:1 community. We hope you join us and bring others from your organization who might benefit from learning more about this critical topic.