This month's give comes via Cara, my friend and volunteer at South Street Youth Center in Jamaica Plain.
SSYC serves youth ages 7 to 22 years old in order to provide them with academic, social, and emotional support. The center aims to support each child, and help them become successful in life as they transition from children, to teenagers, and then adults. Research has shown that the primary measure of success for high-risk youth is the presence of consistent and caring adults outside of their family and school. SSYC provides that for these children, who would otherwise not be enrolled in after school or summer programming.
Because they are so small, they are reliant on the support from other organizations and people. All of the families they serve are below the poverty line. In the fall of 2009, they began a Mixed Martial Arts program as a way to teach teens how to channel their aggression and anger. The program is very basic, but attendance is higher than any other program they have ever done. This fall they plan to start a dance class as well, in order to incorporate more teenage girls into the programming.
Below is a list of things that they need:
Supplies/ Physical Items:
- Floor paint
- Newer, indestructible couches
- Newer rugs
- Newer air conditioners
- Good, durable book shelves for library (no particle board)
- Boxing and Mixed Martial Arts Equipment
- Coat rack for staff and volunteers to hang coats and place bags
- Sports equipment organizers
- Locking file cabinets
- New, unbroken office desk with locking drawers
- Office/ computer chairs
- Lots of plastic bins with lids, large medium, small, etc. Or durable organizers for arts and craft supplies and larger bins
- Shelving for future storage closet
- Locks for cabinets in future kitchen
- Newer tables for homework and activity areas (6)
- Digital Camera
- DVD player and necessary cords/ wires
- Basic art supplies: construction paper, markers, scissors, glue, popsicle sticks
- board/ table games
- Bi-lingual English/ Spanish books for various reading levels
- Access to more healthy and affordable food supplies
- Foosball/ air-hockey / ping-pong (one of these)
- Billiards equipment
- Funding to take teens on more field trips (movies, roller skating, bowling, trips with YES)
- Funding for teen workshops and pizza/ food
- Access/ connections to more volunteers to have a greater number of volunteers with specialized skills who are available from 3:30-5:30pm or 6-7:30pm
- Having people who specialized in math, ESL/ literacy, etc. would be amazing
- Artists who would come in and do workshops with our youth on different types of projects (photo, digital media, muralist, sculpture: wire, wood)
- Increased/ consistent funding to support staffing costs and programming.
- Funding to cover weekly or bi-monthly professional cleaning in the youth center
- Grant writing assistance
- Or (for all in training and research) access to a school/ adult ed center to attend classes for director or staff
- A muralist/ resources on how to make indoor murals possible
- Access to classes or experts who can help SSI build a more sustainable financial situation
I will be giving the items to Cara at the end of the month. Hope you can participate!