Northwest Denver Neighborhood Center Friends

Youth of Northwest Denver are making gains in academics, but also need increased awareness of college, vocational, and entrepreneurial possibilities. Friends helps to provide programming for academic support, high school readiness, social and emotional wellbeing, STEAM programming, athletics, college awareness, and project-based learning. Friends' goal is to equip students with the tools they need to succeed in middle school, in high school, and ultimately be ready for post-secondary education or training. Our focus has been on students and families that have been historically underserved in their attempts to reach these goals. Help Friends support Neighborhood Center programs to stimulate and grow individual academic and enrichment success.

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Neighborhood Center

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Adults
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged
Adolescents/Youth (13-19 years)
Families
Hispanic, Latino Heritage

Description

The Neighborhood Center at Skinner provides students and their families access to a diverse range of out-of-school time programming intended to meet the needs of Skinner students and the Northwest Denver community. Through academic support, high school readiness,character building, STEAM programming, athletics, college awareness, and project-based learning, we equip students with the tools they need to succeed in middle school and successfully transition to high school. We also provide Skinner families with resource sharing, skill development and role education. The Neighborhood Center at Skinner is a safe and welcoming space for both students and the surrounding community.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Over the past 3 years the Neighborhood Center has served over 75% of the schools population, with an average of 210 students who attended at least 30 days. Our students have a 12% better attendance record then their peers, and perform 10% better than their peers on standardized tests of math, reading and writing skills.

Summer Academic Focused Education (SAFE)

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Female Children (5 - 14 years)
Hispanics
Male Children (5 - 14 years)
Other Minorities
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

Research shows that low income youth suffer significant loss of academic skills over the summer break, which contributes to an achievement gap that can determine whether a child drops out of high school or sets s course for college. Additionally, students are far more likely to attend college if they have had the prior experience of being on a college campus. To address, this, the SAFE camp program was developed.

SAFE camps are 4 week-long residential or day summer programs for rising 7th and 8th grade students. The camps feature academic activities, such as health science experiments, mechanical and biomedical engineering projects and business plan development and presentation, to name a few. The goal of the camps is to introduce students to post-secondary possibilities while providing academic activities in the summer months. The camp activities focus on STEM learning with an emphasis on problem solving and critical thinking. Our camps are conducted in partnership with local colleges and universities. We have had camps at CU Boulder, CO School of Mines, CSU, and CU Denver / Anschutz.

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Evidence of Program's Success

Our program's success can be measured by the following;
- 100% Increased support and participation by each of the University Partners who express the need for the enhancement of the "educational pipeline" to post secondary schools.
- 80% Increased Parental Involvement at Friday Presentation Days
- 98% attendance at these week long SAFE Camps, with many of these students attending three or more camps.
- 74% of students returning every year.
_ A waiting list for four or more students is maintained for each of the five camps.
- Parent, School Administrator and Faculty support for the program is tremdous.
- Positive increases in student academics and attendance reports for participating students.

College 4 Y.O.U.

Class

Education 

Beneficiaries

Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Female Children (5 - 14 years)
Male Children (5 - 14 years)
Other Minorities
Poor/Economically Disadvantaged

Description

COLLEGE 4 Y.O.U. PRE-COLLEGIATE PROGRAM

This program is conducted as an after school offering during the academic year. It focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering , and Math (STEM) career interest areas. This "hands on" program gives students a view of potential STEM career options and a roadmap for how to pursue those options. Our target population is comprised of Skinner students in good standing, that are potential first generation college attenders, and eligible for free and reduced lunch.

This program has two components:

1) Required Monthly College Visitation Academies (one Saturday per month) are visitations to various college campuses within the seven-county Denver-metro area, that introduce the students to campus life. At these visits, the students get hands-on exposure to areas of study that the respective colleges offer that are unique to their campus, and may not be offered anywhere else in the state.

2) After school programming consists of several topics that are covered throughout the academic year:
- Career Exploration introduces the students to various STEM careers and how to best prepare for them (e.g., appropriate class selections) in both middle school and in high school;
- Basic Study Skills (e.g., effective note taking, budgeting of time, effective listening, how to take essay / objective-type exams, etc.);
- Communication Skills Development (e.g., how to better communicate with parents, peers, siblings, and teachers; effectively dealing with stress; etc.)
- High School Transition Preparation (e.g., anxiety, mental / physical preparation, including explanation of high school classes students need to plan on, year-by-year in order to be successful candidates for their choice college
- Supplemental Academic Instruction is designed to give students the opportunity to enhance their academic skills in the following areas: writing, critical thinking, math, sciences, and computer research.

We also provide additional assistance to families, such as parent partnership workshops where parents are advised about financial planning for college, and ensuring their children's academic preparedness. Finally we also take students on field trips for extra curricular activities on college campuses, scubas Fiske planetarium and sporting events.

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Evidence of Program's Success

- Faculty has reported that the College 4 Y.O.U. participants have better academic progress in their classes than most other students.

- Parents report that students are excited about attending the Saturday Academies.

- Student attendance at Saturday Academies averages at 89%.

- Program is at maximum numbers (55 students) each year and a waiting list is maintained.

Key aspects of this profile information have been reviewed by Community First Foundation staff. Each organization is exclusively responsible for the content that appears on the profile page. Community First Foundation offers general guidance as to the purpose of each area but does not require or encourage charities to include anything in particular in each section.