2020 Katy Stone Memorial Fund
Legal-name: EarthLodge Center for Transformation
Address: 235 E. Broadway, Ste. 800
City: Long Beach
Organizational-status: nonprofit 501(c)(3)
Title: Exec. Director
Tel: 562 753 3339
Tel-2: 323 387 8739
Contact-title: Grant Writer
Contact-tel: 562 513 0886
Grant-title: Katy Stone Memorial Fund
Grant-purpose: To ensure the continuity of our annual holistic children’s programming schedule upon which the community so greatly relies online; and, to further develop the newly created Earth School to address community childcare, social and educational achievement gap left by COVID-19.
How-many-individuals: 15-25 ppl
What-is-project: The Earth School was developed to meet several needs in the community stemming from the onset of COVID- 19. A small group of children, 6-11 years old were offered childcare and when school was not viable, six volunteer instructors began to design a well-rounded curriculum to enrich the minds and hearts of impacted children. The intention is to navigate the crisis by creating consistency and normalcy around life learning, recreation. We believe these to be in keeping with Katy Stone Memorial Fund philosophy. Meals and nutrition are an important component in the effort to maintain healthy immune systems and delicious organic lunches and snacks are bought and prepared daily. This also relieves the stress of food prep for our working or low income parents. Meditation, breathing techniques and yoga are centered at each session so children begin at a young age to learn benefits of the mind, body and spirit and use these tools to combat the anxiety brought about by current times. We place emphasis on the environment, urban farming, and ecology. The children learn to plant seeds, learn about climate and our connection/relationship to nature through a scientific lens.
Our goal is to purchase kid friendly tools, equipment and outerwear (boots) for manageability. Technology is vital, in order to stay on track, we have identified online learning programs that fit the ages and learning styles of the youth. Our reading curricula relies upon phonics kits, “Highlights” workbooks, individual listening stations, sight reading cards, and children’s literature for our library. We have compiled a list of language software programs for their enrichment and with more funding, we can purchase computers that enable them to keep pace. As a way to encourage creative expression, we have in mind to create digital art projects using photography to map their current life cycle journey as it correlates to that of a plant. Finally, to encourage exercise, love of outdoors and the “fun loving spirit” of Katy Stone, we identified camping, biking, hiking and fishing as COVID-safe activities for our youth. With your support, we can provide them adequate equipment to enjoy these goals.
How-will-you-succeed: We devised a multi-week lesson plan based on a calendar year with benchmarked goals in accordance to the age and grade levels. This includes a weekly review of lesson plan, random quizzes, group and individual projects. The life skills enrichment portion of our program i.e. planting, soil cultivation, CPR or yoga pose is assessed by a group debrief of each activity where students are asked to perform different aspects of learning or tasks via demonstration to show proficiency. There are no grades, a more apt metric is applied when compared to the individual goals first discussed with parents. Those areas may also include behavior, conduct and social skills. Digital documentation of this innovative school will record these experiences and our hope is to use funding to publish and share promotional materials to elevate this model, attract more students and create the community support we desire. Our hope is to take advantage of new funding and use virtual technology to re-design these programs to recapture the cultural vibrancy and engagement they held in the past. As we are a volunteer organization, our hope is to compensate our consultants and help them build professionally. Based on networking and community sharing, our hope is that we begin to showcase our instructors and programs to our surrounding circles a model of engagement. We are hoping to attract the attention of more funders who have a stake in our success. As one of the only Black-led nonprofits in Long Beach during
this cultural shift and health crisis, we feel confident in our ability to be innovative, relevant and long-standing.
Who-are-you: Deeply ingrained in our work is the philosophy of mind, body and spirit and our connection to nature and the outdoors. Our origin story of how our selfless founder donated her family home and property to the community couldn’t be a more fitting example of how to meet this current moment. Everyone is being called upon to resurrect models of care that we need. Given our mission to reconnect our communities healing and teachings of the Earth through education, community building, ceremony and hands on service. The Earthlodge community has found that meaningfully connecting to the Earth is one of the best ways to not only ground the mind and soul, but to address and interrupt cycles of trauma particular to the Black community. Our community and volunteers is made up of holistic healers, teachers, parents, LBGT, women, low-income, elderly, disabled, students and youth. Our leadership is a small core dedicated group of volunteer board members made up of working class LGBT of color with shared values who have been building together for nearly 10 years. We have been working closely with partners like Dignity and Power to provide Healing Justice to impacted families, most recently the Palmdale community of Robert Fuller who was found hanged in a tree. We were called on the Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) working group and the re-entry coalition like Long Beach CAP Alliance to offer holistic modalities during their sessions. BLM and LGBT nonprofits have also invited us to create altars in areas that have seen violence. Currently, we are contracted to conduct self-healing workshops for promontora or health care workers at the dynamic agency, Youth Justice Coalition. Due to COVID-19, our long standing Girls Rites of Passage program which provides a guided peer group and safe space for girls ages 11-17 to share and develop was impacted, as was our African Drum and Dance intensive workshop.