Your donation will help to provide services to nearly 200 children, youth, and families in the Whittier neighborhood.
Jabbok Family Services is a nonprofit serving low-income families and youth in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis through high-quality, low-cost childcare, family support, and youth programming. We operate a one-of-a-kind childcare center providing part-time childcare that is focused on early childhood education and school readiness. For parents we provide family support advocacy and parent group learning sessions. Jabbok also operates a family oriented, year round youth center that provides academic enrichment, social and emotional development, and life skills training for youth ages six through 18. Innovative Supports To Empower Parents (INSTEP) INSTEP is a licensed, part-time childcare program serving children and families who fall through the cracks of traditional government programs. INSTEP makes care accessible to families who do not qualify for subsidy, are seeking or waiting for permanent childcare, or cannot afford or require traditional full-time models. For many children, INSTEP is the only formalized education they will receive before entering kindergarten. We know that an investment in early childhood education is a good investment. According to economist Art Rolnick of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, a $1 invested in early education and childcare brings a $12 to $16 return to the community. INSTEP is well used by the community and consistently has a waiting list of families who would like to use our services. At this time we have 65 children on the waiting list. Without childcare, these parents are unable to make progress toward self-sufficiency and economic independence. We know of no other affordable services to families in transition and poverty such as ours. Part-time care is rare and costly. The average hourly rate for childcare in Hennepin County is $8.56 per hour, per child. INSTEP charges 50 cents per hour, per family. In response to the need for additional support, Jabbok added family advocacy and support services in the fall of 2005. Our INSTEP staff works with referral agencies and our entrance interviews to determine that the family has nowhere else to turn for quality childcare. The Family Advocate position works with families on individualized action plans and works with the families to achieve self-sufficiency goals. Families served by INSTEP come from many different parts of the world and speak a variety of languages. In fiscal year 2007-2008, 99% of the children served were people of color and 90% of our children speak a language other than English in their homes. In response to the diversity of our participants, our teachers are multilingual and multiethnic. Center of Our Lives (COOL) Youth Center The COOL Youth Center is a neighborhood based, family oriented program that provides high-quality after school and summer programming for youth ages six through 18. The majority of our families are lead by single mothers and 98% of our families have annual incomes of under $35,000. We know that an investment in youth through high-quality after school programming will provide positive impacts later in life in the areas of school performance, social and emotional development, preparation for the work force, and better health. In the last three years, the number of COOL youth students has nearly doubled. According to the Minnesota Summit on Afterschool Learning Opportunities, each year youth have nearly 2,000 hours of discretionary, non-school, time—roughly the equivalent of a full time job. What these young people do with that time is critical in developing their futures, success in school, and on their impact on our society. After-school programs like the COOL Youth Center are critical to the success of at-risk youth. After ten years of research, the Harvard Family Research Project indicates that youth that participate in quality after-school programming like the COOL will have positive outcomes such as: • Better attitude toward school and higher educational aspirations • Higher school attendance rates and better performance in school • Lower drop-out rates • Improved homework completion • Decreased behavioral problems • Increased self-confidence and self-esteem • Lower levels of depression • Avoidance of drug and alcohol use • Decreases in delinquency and violent behavior • Avoidance of sexual activity • Reduction in juvenile crime According to Wilder Research, targeted after-school programs like the COOL Youth Center return a savings of over $4.89 to the community for every dollar invested in youth. COOL aims to positively affect life outcomes for marginalized youth and families in the Whittier community through intentional investments, consistent relationships, and meaningful programming after school and in the summer. COOL provides a place of structure, safety and support and our programs are designed to meet many of the mental, physical, and emotional needs of youth from the community.