Programs at Children and Family Urban Ministries
The Breakfast Club is a year-round breakfast program for children, serving an average of 80 children during the school year, and an average of 60 children during the summer months. Recognizing that a hungry child does not learn, and that many working families cannot afford before-school child care, The Breakfast Club was established in 1968. The Breakfast Club creates community and supportive relationships, while providing a meal; and a safe environment for children and youth, most of whom attend Moulton Extended Learning Center. Open 6:00-8:15 am on days Moulton is in session. During fall, spring and summer breaks the hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 6:00-8:30 am.
Power Hour is a time dedicated to improving academics at the Breakfast Club, supporting literacy development and the positive effect literacy has on all aspects of life. Wednesday mornings children are encouraged to read, do math facts, work on skills like telling time, and counting money. Volunteers are needed for the one-on-one work that such days demand. The Breakfast Club meets from 6:00-8:00 a.m. Other needs for the Power Hour include gently used or new books for children to take home and incentive prizes of fun school supplies given at the end of every Power Hour to selected students.
Power Breakfast is a partnership with Everybody Wins! Iowa which is known for its Power Lunch program that takes place in nine schools in the Des Moines Metro Area. Power Lunch seeks outside volunteers to go into the schools and read with the same student every week in order to help improve literacy skills and form a more bonded, mentoring relationship. We have the first Power Breakfast program and the first that doesn’t take place at a school. We have adapted the reading program to fit our organization. With this adaptation there are some differences, but the main goal of literacy improvement and relationship building remains. Volunteers are needed to read with the same partner from 7:15-8:00am every Wednesday.
The Supper Club provides an evening meal for 110-180 adults and children Monday-Friday and 40-60 adults and children on Saturday. Many of the guests at the meal are among the growing number of the working poor. The meal is provided by local congregations, service clubs and faithful volunteers. Opening at 4:30 p.m. Mon-Sat. The meal is served from 4:45-5:30 pm.
The Haven is an after school program offered during the extended school year at Moulton Extended Learning Center (mid July- early June). Daily, the Haven offers literacy enrichment and homework help along with recreational and creative activities for grade-school children. Enrollment is limited to 50children. Open 3:30-5:00 pm on days Moulton is in session (1:50-5:00 pm on Wednesday). Volunteers needed 2:45-5:00 pm, (1:50-5:00pm on Wednesdays).
Awesome Days takes place Monday through Friday during the Moulton school breaks. Educational components such as reading, writing, computer skills and math fill the mornings. A variety of experiences in the afternoon including art, cultural activities, field trips and recreation time connect learning to life. Volunteers are welcome for any part of the day, but especially in the mornings with the educational activities. Awesome Days programming is offered a total of ten weeks throughout the year- 5 in the summer, 3 in the fall, 2 in the spring.
The Back-to-School Health Fair is held annually in July, in collaboration with the back-to-school night at Moulton Extended Learning Center. The fair offers physicals, dental and vision screenings, school supplies, and a tent-full of neighborhood agencies available for families with children returning to school. Entertainment is provided throughout the event which culminates in a neighborhood barbeque to celebrate learning and the beginnings of the school year.
Backyard Boyz, The Whyld Girls are gender-specific programs for middle school students, a critical time in a young person’s life. Backyard Boyz focuses on boys in grades 6 through 8 and for girls The Whyld Girls focuses on grades 6 through 8 (Link to Whyld Girls Web site.) The Backyard Boyz and Whyld Girls multi-day after school programs are designed to encourage healthy self-development, support choices that result in meeting academic and life goals, and foster an understanding of their place in the larger world. These programs include a high school student mentor component- inviting participants who have gone on to high school to return as mentors, continuing to work on their self-development and leadership skills. The Whyld Girls student mentors also operate a jewelry making and selling business, Product with Purpose, with proceeds going to an educational fund they can access throughout high school and beyond.
The Wonder Girlz program is a gender-specific program for grades 4 and 5. This program meets weekly throughout the school year and is designed to help girls discover more fully the wonders they are individually and as girls together, and to support them in exploring all that they wonder about in their worlds.
High School Mentors is a gender-specific program that has launched a peer teen pregnancy prevention campaign. They have created and trademarked the campaign Future. The Alternative F Word (Link to Future. The Alternative F Word Web site) to educate peers that their brightest future comes through having a plan that includes educational success and being knowledgeable regarding sexual health.
Friday Fun Night is a special evening of creativity and fun involving children in the neighborhood with students from Grinnell College on Friday nights during the school year.
A Winter Clothing Closet furnishes mittens, hats, coats, shoes and boots to children and adults in need.
Community Celebrations really help to bring the neighborhood together. Winter and Spring Talent Shows showcase the gifts of the children, building their confidence and nurturing self-esteem. Special Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve dinners are served family-style, bringing massive numbers of volunteers together with about 200 neighbors for feast and fellowship on these holidays. Volunteers are needed to make these events a celebration.