Growing Home is an organization offering dual-generation programs to nurture children, strengthen families, and create community. Their early childhood interventions help children from birth through age eight with evidence-based programs that help them prepare for kindergarten and keep older kids on the path to success. Supportive services strengthen families during times of crisis by offering food, shelter, healthcare, and homeless prevention assistance. Growing Home combines direct service strategies with efforts to advance change to work toward equal opportunity.
Growing Home’s Blocks of Hope neighborhood initiative is enlisting an entire neighborhood to join forces toward the common goal of creating community strength. Their resources are concentrated on a neighborhood bordered by 72nd Ave. to the north, 52nd Avenue to the south, Lowell to the east, and Sheridan to the west. The area includes the Tennyson Knolls Elementary School attendance area. The community has an estimated 1,114 households with children, including 825 children under the age of five. The Blocks of Hope neighborhood faces several challenges including:
• 2 in 5 children living in poverty, more than twice the child poverty rate for Colorado
• Nearly 9 out of 10 Tennyson Knolls students are eligible for the federal free and reduced lunch program
• More than 87% of Tennyson Knolls third graders did not meet statewide English/language arts expectations on the 2015 Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) assessment, and 85% did not meet math expectations.
• 56% of Tennyson Knolls students are English language learners, meaning that they must both learn academic content and a new language
Blocks of Hope is working to create a community where success becomes the norm for every child. This is done through family programs focused on school readiness, parent involvement, student achievement, attendance, and family stability. They’re bolstering the momentum for change by increasing community resources to serve 60% of neighborhood families in the coming years.
Teva Sienicki, Growing Home’s CEO, believes that volunteers can do anything that paid staff can do. They rely on 1000 volunteers with a wide range of skills to help operate their programs. For more information on volunteer opportunities with Growing Home click here.