St. Anthony-New Brighton Family Services Collaborative - Initiatives
Middle School Open Gym Program: A Community Partnership
Elmwood Church hosts a free open gym program for sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students from St. Anthony Middle School every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. This program is a unique community partnership. St. Anthony Community Services supervises the program, St. Anthony-New Brighton Family Services Collaborative provides funding to hire supervisors, Elmwood Church generously hosts the open gym program, and members from St. Anthony Kiwanis volunteer each week to sell snacks. In addition, St. Anthony-New Brighton Family Services Collaborative and St. Anthony Kiwanis provide an annual contribution to Elmwood Church in recognition of their dedication to the open gym program and the youth of St. Anthony.
St. Anthony Middle School students and open gym participants Aaron Smith, Tyler Stopera, Riquan Baker, and Josiah Johnson.
Dave Abrahamson, retired principal of Wilshire Park Elementary School and member of St. Anthony Kiwanis; Roger Braun, open gym volunteer, member of St. Anthony Kiwanis, and St. Anthony Family Services Collaborative Board member; and Pastor Fred Thoni of Elmwood Free Church.
Purpose of the Parent Focus Group:
Address concerns of parents as a whole and invite speakers to further present information on the issues. Market the speaker to the community. This can be done through billboards, announcements, flyers, newspapers, etc. Coordinate and sponsor the 6th and 9th grade parent transition meeting. Act as hosts for any speakers/presentations. Act as a sounding board for parents who have concerns…assist them in finding the information they are seeking by offering resources, including Shelley Freeman and other school personnel. Members will serve differing terms on the board, but no more than 3 years.
Roger Braun Receives Award for Outstanding Service to Youth Congratulations to Roger Braun who was nominated and selected to receive this year’s Outstanding Service to Youth Award which is sponsored by Northwest Youth and Family Services. Braun volunteers his time to supervise the middle school open gym program at Elmwood Church every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon. Braun enjoys interacting with the youth and works to ensure they have a safe, supervised place to go after school. Braun was formally recognized at the awards banquet on February 11, 2010.
Thanks to the St. Anthony Middle School Builder’s Club organization for their gift of $200 which will go toward the Tuesday and Thursday Open Gym Program at Elmwood Church. Each week on Tuesday and Thursday, from 3 to 4:30, middle school students gather at the church to play basketball, foosball, table activities or to just hang out with friends in a safe and caring environment. Supervision is provided by three adults and two high school students. Concessions are provided by the local Kiwaniians and Vital Aging members. Not only does this give students a change to interact with their friends outside of the school day, but also this time affords the opportunity to build connections with other members of the community. Thanks to the Builder’s Club and the Kiwanis Organization for their generous donation.
Evidence of Bridging the Generation Gap
Read 180 is a remedial reading program for 6th and 7th grade students who are reading below grade level. Students use the computer to work on building fluency, comprehension, and vocabulary, and to improve spelling skills. Students also are reading high interest books that are at their reading level. There are also teacher led reading comprehension lessons. In addition, students are taught study skills and given support in textbook reading and notetaking skills.
At least 75% of the students each year have increased their reading level by at least one grade level. For example, last year, one sixth grade student was placed in the Read 180 class for the whole school year, and went from being tested as a "Beginning Reader" to a lexile level of 419, which is equivalent to about a 3rd grade reading level. This kind of progress is phenomenal, given the fact that an average school student is expected to increase by one grade level per year. Students have also commented on how their enjoyment of reading has increased. The Read 180 program is making a significantdifference in the reading levels of many of the students involved. We look forward to more improvement in the coming years.