St. Francis Reader
Fall Edition, 2016





 
Executive Director's Message
As a busy nonprofit executive director, I am often hurrying to the next meeting, solving a problem, or buried in administrative  paperwork. I have long days that turn into night quickly, often ending the evenings at events that will further the mission of St. Francis  Neighborhood Center. I love what I do. However, I realize that I need to slow down sometimes or I will find myself in a frenzy and miss  the moment to reflect and fully appreciate the journey I am on with you, our kids, and parents. Last week, I took some time to hear my  inner voice. I wrote this piece that describes my feelings. I hope it gives you a window into my world and the lives of those that utilize the  Center.

Founded on the Premise of Love.
When someone says, "good job," I don't view my position at the Center that way. I view it with love, mutuality, care, and respect. Our  kids, parents, families, and community are amazing people of hope and faith. The community drives my actions for the Center. It is the  Community's Center.

What can I bring to the Center? Most people don't realize I have a background in both corporate and nonprofit. Almost 20 years as a  nonprofit director. But, did you know I sold steel in the corporate world? Ran the national flagship for Sylvan Learning Centers? But, I  also have a MA in Theology and for some time was a pastoral associate, counselor, and teacher. What makes me passionate, what drives me? It  is the hope, faith, and love that I as born with, that inspired me throughout the years from loved ones in my life, and what I currently  see and feel.

For example, when Holly, a mother of two boys in our program approached me about her returning to the
Holly with her certificate!
workplace, I wanted to know 
how we could help. She said, "You already are. You have my boys all summer in your program (at no cost), which gives me the time  and confidence to return back to school." Holly just was awarded her Nursing Assistant Certificate, 140 hours of job training (our  summer program is 168 hours)! When she recently saw me, she ran excitedly to show me her certificate. I am so incredibly happy for
her. She is a single mother who has lived in multiple homeless shelters--and she has  hope, faith, and love. She is amazing, and I look up to her.

People can report the negative aspects of West Baltimore. They can talk about the unrest a year ago. What do we talk about? Love.  Care. Support. Calm. Stability. The Center culture that started with a Jesuit Priest, in 1963, now independent, still holds the culture of its  foundation in me, our great team, and our community. Transformation with love.  And, now we are in a transformation that is spreading. Our capital campaign launched this year to renovate and expand this foundation --to support and share even more.

This year we would like for you to consider a gift to both the Center's capital campaign, Count on Me for St. Francis Neighborhood  Center, and to our ongoing programs. We operate from a 3-story townhome. Our current space is too small to comfortably teach more  than 50 kids in the afterschool & summer program. We currently have children on the waiting list who have been waiting for three  years to enroll. This means we need to expand both programs and space to meet the community need.  We could use your help to keep pace with the incredible need for education and community services for the underserved in Reservoir  Hill. Your gift today will provide services to more children in the future while anchoring the present programs for adults,  children, and families.

If you would like more information, please contact me directly at cgreen@stfranciscenter.org. I would also be happy to set a time for  you to visit the Center. I would love to show you what love looks like to me.

Thank you for your consideration of a donation of any amount this year. Donors who give $500 or more will be invited to attend special  VIP events and notified first of fun and meaningful opportunities to get more involved in our plans.

Thank you for your kind consideration and happy holidays,
All my best,  Christi Green,  Executive Director



Our New Volunteer Maryland Coordinator!
Archie Slade is a recent graduate from UMBC with a B.A. in English and a minor in Gender and Women's Studies. She is passionate about dogs, seltzer water, coffee, and literature. She is currently a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator with Americorps, and St. Francis will be her service site for the next year. She will be working with Tara Thompson in the field of volunteer management and recruitment, as well as serving as a classroom assistant in the Group 2 classroom. 

From a military family, Archie spent her childhood moving around Europe and the continental U.S., with stints in California, the Czech Republic, and France. Her mother is a Brazilian citizen who met her dad in Germany in the 90s, so they have some knowledge of Portuguese as well as French. Archie hopes that the perspective they were lucky enough to gain from this unconventional upbringing will help them serve St Francis and its prodigies well.

Baltimore Sun Releases Features Article on the Center, and our Summer Program Results ROCK!
Ruby Doo from B'More Dogs teaches the kids how to treat and approach animals! Kisses for everyone!
Thanks to many supporters, the 7th Annual Summer of Service Excursion (SOSE) enrichment program had record breaking numbers and helped prevent summer learning loss for youth enrolled, ages 5-14.  

Ryleigh is enjoying her sandwich!
The Center started the longest running summer program in Baltimore City the day after school dismissed. The 2016 academic summer program served 55 children, a 20% increase over last year, had a 92% attendance rate, and  according to pre- to post- academic assessments , children increased their scores with an average increase of 9%.   Program length was 8 weeks, 8 hours a day, and also served breakfast, snacks, and lunch everyday as a food service site for the City.  The Center is now running it's after school program. All children who attend, reside in Reservoir Hill/Penn North, live below the poverty line, and attend at no cost due to the Center's fundraising and grant awarded efforts.

Over the summer, the Baltimore Sun visited the Center to see the program in action and to highlight an upcoming first time event, a golf invitational. DuraBante LLC led a golf invitational to support the Center's four million dollar Capital Campaign to renovate and expand October 17, at Hillendale Country Club.  "With 30+ kids on the waitlist, and dire repairs and expansion needed, the Community Center is excited to help transform the neighborhood, a project that is community driven," says Executive Director, Christi Green.  
To read the Baltimore Sun article, visit: Baltimore Sun Article.

Visit the golf invitational website for photos from the event, DuraBante Golf Invitational.

St. Francis Neighborhood Center was also a  proud and recent recipient of the Royal Farms 7th Annual Charity Golf Outing, being awarded $50,000 towards the Center's Capital Campaign, Count on Me. Recent support also includes a BGE Greening Program Grant for $5,000 for environmental education and community clean ups; Family League and Maryland State Department of Education for their after school program funding. The Center is also excited to announce CDBG Funds and a State Bond Bill towards the efforts, after the Centers' youth testified in front of the City Board of Estimates; and the State Board of Appropriations, led by State Delegate Barbara Robinson. The Center youth have an amazing voice!

Power Project, Afterschool Educational Youth Programming
Meet our partners! In addition to homework support, and tutoring, and daily academic enrichment provided daily by our instructors, we have amazing partners that help us out and make things interesting for the kids. For questions regarding the Youth Programming, please contact Jessica Childress, Youth Program Manager.

Crazy 8s is a math club helps kids enjoy the math behind their favorite activities! We're nothing like your usual math  club. With Crazy 8s kids will build glow-in-the-dark structures, crack secret spy codes, and play games like Toilet Paper Olympics.

 
Readers & Leaders u ses state of the art, multi-sensory tutoring methods used in affluent communitie s across the nation, twice per week at an hour per week students are tutored in smal l groups by a team of reading specialists and volunteers. Each youth has an individualized b inder to work in. 

 

Holistic Life brings yoga & meditation to youth once a month. Breathing, managing anger and stress, and being healthy are so important!

 

 
Code in the Schools brings STEM curricula to youth twice a week. Youth have the opportunity to do hands-on robotics,  computer coding, and creating on our 3-D printer.


 
Nutrition--Food Supplement Nutrition Education Program of University of Maryland brings coo king, farming, and nutrition to youth once a week. This program provides  opportunities for students to develop cooking skills, experience new foods and ingredients, and become more accepting of a wider variety of foods.

 
Art with Randi Reiss-McCormack, students attend weekly sessions to learn various traditional printmaking processes.

Making A Difference is a sexual health & wellness curriculum created by the Baltimore City Health Department. This curriculum is targeted towards ages 9-11.

 
The Flight Program, Mr. Dan does weekly counseling and mentoring sessions with our Group 3 boys. 


Butterfly Garden Service Learning Project , Mr. William teaches the environmental science of butterflies! The youth track migration patterns, build and maintain a butterfly garden at the Center, and care for caterpillars! 

Meet our New Fall Instructors we added to the team--


Meet Ms. Tiffaney! She has a degree in early childhood education. She co-teaches in Group 1 with Mr. Alex. She also has two daughters in the program, Shariah and Shamarah.
 
 
Meet Mr. Jerr'L, our new Group 3 instructor! Jerr'L received his BS, Bachelor's of Science in Psychology from Morgan State in 2015. He is a member of the fraternity Alpha Nu Omega, Inc. Jerr'L has experience working in Therapeutic Behavioral Services at Changing Turn Community Healthcare Services.
 

Kids Corner


The election was a stressful time! Ms. Jenna's group 2 class (grades 3-5) in a Talking Circle. Talking Circles are a restorative justice technique, that use a structural framework to build relationships and to address conflict within a community. But Talking Circles serve other purposes as well: They create safe spaces, build connections and allow students to practice verbal expression. 
Our students voices are important and powerful! 

Click here for an article on how to talk with kids about the election. 



Ethan, age 10, wrote this beautiful poem!


















Our First Ever Paid Youth Interns...
that graduated from the Power Project!
Congratulations to Robert and Jwarn! Robert has been in the program since he was 6 years old, and now he is 15! Jwarn started three years ago. Both young men stayed engaged and volunteered after they graduated until we could put programming and funding together. 


We Just Can't Say Thank you Enough!
Some of the guests at the gathering enjoyed the photo booth we created!
At a recent gathering, we honored and thanked our parents, contributors, staff, board members, and the following special awards for 2016:

1. Above and Beyond - for going the extra mile to accomplish a major objective for the Center - Scott and Tanya Thompson & their company DuraBante with their recent 1st Annual Golf Invitational to support the Center.

2. All-Star Award - top individual donor based on personal giving - Louise Kemper

3. Parent of the Year - parent who has attended the most engagement nights, volunteer service hours, has kids who are exceptional - Everel Watson 
Scott Thompson, CEO of DuraBante and Board Treasurer and Christ Green, Executive Director prepare for the golf invitational to start.

At a family engagement night at the Center, we struck a silly pose with this great, big, check from Royal Farms!Chef Nancy Longo teaches our kids!
4. Top Fundraiser of the Year - for raising the most from their network of friends and colleagues for th e ca pital campaign - Heejin Ryu

5. Top Organization of the Year - for greatest advocate and for contributions to programs this year- Family League

6. Corporate Sponsor and Largest Corporate Donation of the Year - Royal Farms

7. Act of Kindness Award (In Kind--thousands of dollars, and many hours): Eileen  White, with Eileen White Consulting/ EWC Relocation Service

8. Partner of the Year: Chef Nancy Longo (donated 1 week of culinary school all of group 3, donated all the food and found funding for over $2,000 in instruction  
At family engagement night we struck a pose, super excited for Royal Farms' gift!
+ donated 2 martini pairing parties to our fundraisers--thousands of dollars in services)

Remember, only purchases at  smile.amazon.com, (not  www.smile.am azon.com  or the mobile app,) support charity. 

Look for the AmazonSmile badge in Your Orders and choose St. Francis Neighborhood Center!

Volunteer Opportunities, We Can't Do it Without You!

Fall 2016-2017 Power Project Program
 
The Fall 2016-2017 Power Project Program has begun. It's never too late to volunteer with us. The program will run Monday through Thursday from 3:00 PM to 6:15 PM. If you are interested in volunteering in the 2016-2017 Power Project program, please contact tthompson@stfranciscenter.org for  more information .

Mentoring
 
Are you interested in making a difference in a child's life? Why not become a mentor? St. Francis Neighborhood Center works in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters to match mentors with our Power Project prodigies. If this sounds like something that would interest you or a friend, please contact tthompson@stfranciscenter.org.

Tutoring

Give a child the individual attention that he or she deserves and start tutoring at St. Francis Neighborhood Center! Taking an hour or two out of your day to help cement a child's academic future is a great experience for you and for the child. Help a kid who is struggling. If you are interested in tutoring, please contact volunteer@stfranciscenter.org


Opportunities always come up for volunteering, including weekends. Stay in touch!

Did you know...?
  • Community member Ms. Juanita developed an online campaign through youcaring for the Center? Check it out! 
  • Friends of Reservoir Hill (FoRH) meet at the Center the second Tuesday of each month at 7pm?
  • Corpus Christi coordinates a grocery giveaway at the Center every Monday morning?
  • Madison Park North Redevelopment Coalition meets this upcoming Monday (November 28) at 7pm at the Center?
  • Narcotics Anonymous meets every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at the Center at 6pm?
  • That we are seeking a volunteer Yoga instructor to resume our community yoga?
  • The Yoga Service Project is putting on an awesome event next week, on Saturday December 3 from 4PM-6PM, check out the facebook event here!
  • You can have pints and pancakes with Santa? Bring an unwrapped toy to this year's event for Center kids and our Power Buck Store (incentive program). Click here to see the facebook event on December 4 from 9-noon at Mahaffey's Pub in Baltimore.
  • There is a cool whiskey tasting event December 6 at 7pm, that supports the Center through the restaurant Chausseur in Baltimore! Check it out
  • We have a Giving Tree this year? By December 8--to help a family over the holidays, email Mason at mdavis@friendsbalt.org.

#countonme

 
Just a reminder that you're receiving this email because you have expressed an interest in St. Francis Neighborhood Center. Don't forget to add cgreen@stfranciscenter.org to your address book so we'll be sure to land in your inbox!


St. Francis Neighborhood Center
2405 Linden Ave. Baltimore, MD 21217  

Team:
Full Time:
Christi Green, Executive Director 
Jessica Childress, Youth Program Manager
Torbin Green, Program & Outreach Director
Tara Thompson, Volunteer & Parent Liaison Coordinator
Morganne Ruhnke, Development & Event Coordinator
Archie Slade, Volunteer Maryland Coordinator

Part Time:
Richard Davis, Facilities Manager
William Drew, Service Learning Instructor
Jerr'l Ellis, Instructor
Kristina Gray, Teaching Intern
Alex Minucci, Instructor
Daniel King-Robertson, F.L.I.G.H.T. Mentor
Emily Mayock, Instructor
Judy Nash, Senior Liaison, Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP) Family and Children's Services
Jenna Porter, Lead  Instructor
Robert Ross, Student Leadership Intern Program
Jwarn Wallace, Student Leadership Intern Program