Bright Futures Joplin invests it’s time and energy into a number of initiatives that we believe will help us achieve our mission. Some initiatives we offer direct delivery of services, but in most we work as connecting agents to help bring our community together around needs or issues. Here are a few of the things we’re working on right now:
- Immediate Student Needs – when a teacher or staff member identifies that a student has a need, they can reach out to the Bright Futures Joplin office to help meet that need. We have a Donation Center called Darla’s Room that houses clothing, shoes, school supplies, and other donated items to help respond quickly so that the child can get back to work as soon as possible. Our Eagle Angel Fund helps support these needs. Click here to learn more and give.
- Mentoring – All students need safe adults to serve as mentors in their lives. Often at-risk students don’t have these safe adults in their lives consistently. Sometimes this is simply because mom and dad are working. Other times it’s due to one parent not being involved in his/her life any longer. No matter the reason, BF Joplin works to bring the community together around this need. We have several mentoring programs to help thanks to the support of our incredible volunteers.
- TREK (for elementary students) & BFF (for middle school students) are programs designed to help meet the educational mentoring needs of students through once a week after school tutoring. Students who are struggling can get help each week from a safe adult who cares. Click here to learn more.
- PALS is a program where safe adults come and have lunch with an at-risk student each week. Click here to learn more.
- Snack Pack – Snack Pack is a program that provides weekend backpacks filled with food and snack items for kids who have been identified as food insecure. Each student is identified by building administrators. Each week volunteers meet together to pack the snack packs. Click here to learn more and get involved.
- Transitions Programs – One of the number one causes of students losing interest in school and eventually dropping out is those critical transitions of elementary to junior high school and then again junior high to high school. Bright Futures Joplin serves as a support to the WEB and Fusion programs to help address these needs. These programs are peer-to-peer programs where older students help younger students get acclimated to their new schools, as well as help them stay engaged. BF Joplin, along with many other community agencies, supports these programs in various ways, and we are very proud of the work these fantastic educators and students have done to help Joplin kids feel at home each year. To find out more about what Fusion is up to, check out their Facebook page.
- Operation College Bound – OCB is a program that was begun by a group of teachers who got inspired at a Model Schools Conference. It was born at Columbia Elementary School and has taken flight since then. The goal is to expose K-5th grade students to 6 different college campuses during their time in elementary school by visiting and having great experiences while there. Students learn about careers and ways that they can achieve their dreams/goals through higher education. To find out more about what the OCB crew is up to, check out their Facebook page.
- Bright Futures Councils – Each school building in the District has a Bright Futures Council made up of Business Partners, Faith Based Partners, and Human Services partners that meet with that school monthly/quarterly to assist the school in reaching their goals. Each site council operates independently under the direction of the building Principal. Click here to see who the partners are at your school or how you can be involved as a partner.
- Reading Matters – Over half of the kindergarteners that come to school aren’t ready with the literacy skills needed to succeed. Bright Futures has developed the Reading Matters campaign to help address this issue. We have brought together a group of individuals and agencies from the community to help us solve this problem by increasing awareness of the importance of reading to children from birth to 5 for 30 minutes every day. Click here to learn more.
- Service Learning – Service Learning is the third leg of the Bright Futures model and an area where we are continually working to grow our efforts. We believe that kids learn best by doing. True service learning is an incredible way for kids to learn about what compassionate, involved citizenship is all about. Click here to learn more about what’s happening.