News from St. Stephen’s Youth Programs

Wednesday Dec 5, 2012

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church

With Thanksgiving behind us, and the holiday season in full swing, we have much to be grateful for: the hundreds of volunteers who invest in building relationships with our young people; the churches, nonprofits and community organizations who carry out our work; the foundations and individuals who support us financially, and the young people themselves. From the smallest new reader, to the teen ready for life beyond St.Stephen's, we are constantly amazed and impressed by our students. It is a joy to watch them flourish with care and support.

It all happens because of you! If our fall appeal letter is sitting on your desk among the early holiday cards, please consider making a donation for another life-changing year of B-READY. And from all of us, to you and your families, warm wishes for the holiday season and all the best in 2013!

Turkey Wahoo!

On Tuesday, November 20th students, their families and our staff celebrated Thanksgiving, B-READY style, with our annual Turkey Wahoo. At St. Stephen's, about 200 people enjoyed fabulous food, games and crafts provided by our partner church, Parish of the Epiphany, Winchester. In Lower Roxbury, the festivities were hosted by Church of St. Augustine and St. Martin. Father Evan and his volunteers provided a huge feast, and the event was made even more festive by teen staff from B-SAFE who dropped by to help us celebrate. As Camille Spivey, B-READY Site Director noted, "The abundance of food, love and gratitude was more than we could have asked for this year!"

Together we can do so much

Wellesley College volunteer organization has a huge Iimpact

It started with one Wellesley College student who was concerned about the quality of Boston Public Schools. Three years later, Stronger Communities, Stronger Schools (SCSS) is a 40-member student organization which provides invaluable support for the Blackstone Elementary School and St. Stephen's after-school program, B-READY.

Wellesley volunteers serve in 11 Blackstone classrooms as teachers aides, and work in the Blackstone Library. Their support for teachers in the Multiple Disabilities classrooms at the Blackstone has made a great contribution to the school's special education program. At the end of the school day, volunteers come over to St. Stephen's with our students to provide homework tutoring. They also support our middle school Youth Leadership Corps (YLC) teen organizing program, and lead a monthly girls group with Kendra Eddy, our Student Success Coordinator.

Leaders from SCSS attended the recent "All Our Children" conference, in Richmond Virginia with SSYP staff Liz Steinhauser and Meg McDermott. At the conference, the team made a presentation about the Blackstone school Partnership to groups from across the country.

Faces of B-SAFE

Emily Tabor, Development Coordinator and Kendra Eddy, Student Success Coordinator enjoy the exhibit

The Faces of B-SAFE, a photographic exhibit of black and white portraits, debuted on Thursday, November first at Avanti Studios, located a few blocks from St. Stephen's. The artist, Meg McDermott, is a School and Community Organizer for St. Stephen's. The exhibit celebrates the teens and staff who made the summer of 2012 a great one for a record number of students from the South End, Lower Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan and Chelsea.

Many of the teens featured in the portraits were on hand for an impromptu discussion of how they described what St. Stephen's means to them (each subject in the exhibit held a small white board with a word written on it). Featured in photographs, and present in spirit, was Jorge Fuentes, a longtime member of the St. Stephen's family, who was slain in a tragic and senseless act of gun violence this fall.

You may view the collection at our website. The framed photos will be available for display at community and funding organizations in the coming year. Please contact Emily if you are interested in hosting the exhibit.

Calling All Volunteers

B-READY Needs You!

The school year is well underway, but we still need volunteers for B-READY. Over the course of the year, we need more than 130 volunteers to make the program happen five days a week, every week. Volunteers provide homework help, and tutoring in math and reading, contribute opportunities for cultural and academic enrichment, serve meals, host celebrations, and lead field trips. That's a lot of work! We need you! To volunteer today, contact Liz Steinhauser.

419 Shawmut Avenue Boston, MA 02118 (617) 262-9070


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