2020 Katy Stone Memorial Fund
Legal-name: The Salvation Army Long Beach Corps Community Center
Previous-name: The Salvation Army Long Beach Red Shield Community Center
Address: 3060 Long Beach Blvd.
City: Long Beach
Title: Commanding Corps Officer
Contact-title: Community Programs Director
Grant-title: Red Shield Distance Learning Assistance
Grant-purpose: The Salvation Army (TSA) Long Beach Red Shield Community Center is respectfully requesting funding support toward its new Distance Learning Assistance program, which has been created in response to the need for families who cannot efficiently “school” from home – whether because of jobs, lack of space/WIFI access, or lack of a family member who can assist the student.
How-many-individuals: 50 children
Total-cost: $ 77,526.84
What-is-project: The majority of residents served by the Long Beach Red Shield live in the zip code of 90813, an area with varied socioeconomic challenges. About 36% families with children live below the poverty level, and 50% families headed by a single female live below the poverty level (US Census 2017). Many families experience linguistic isolation where nearly three-quarter of residents (72%) speak a language other than English at home and 34.5% report speaking English “less than very well” limiting their ability to help their children succeed in school.
The youth programs offered at our Red Shield provide enriching opportunities to help address the needs of at-risk youth in the community helping local children/youth stay and succeed in school. The low-income, primarily Hispanic population that we serve live in very tight quarters in Long Beach, due to rental prices, where children don’t have space to focus on school. Students who are already disadvantaged with language barriers, space in home, technology issues, and the non-prioritization of school within the families will lead them to fall further behind during the pandemic this academic semester. In response, the Red Shield has launched a Distance Learning Assistance (DLA) program that provides up to 50 low-income students with support to help them “school” efficiently online. The DLA runs from 7:45am to 3:30pm, where students are placed in “pods” of 10-12 to adhere with Social Distancing guidelines. The program has secured free lunches and breakfasts for the students from LBUSD nutrition services in partnership with Jackie Robinson K-8, where many of their students attend.
Our Distance Learning Assistance program at the Red Shield is meeting the greatest need for this moment by providing disadvantaged children with the support and tools they need to successfully do online schooling in a safe and healthy environment working parents can trust.
How-will-you-succeed: The goal of the Distance Learning Assistance program is to provide a safe micro-schooling environment that follows CDC guidelines. The Center is using its large multi-classroom space with separated restroom to safely hold up to 50 children, plus staff and volunteers. The auditorium with a 332-person capacity, is a safe lunch area where students can interact and have “down time”, safely holding up to 50 children plus staff and volunteers with physical distancing. Students are divided into pods of 10-12 kids. Each individual has a table space. If needed, the facility has a courtyard and extra classrooms, if more spacing between students is needed. The program has a CSULB Health Science Student Intern who monitors the health protocols and ensures guidelines are followed as they change.
TSA has developed a strategic five-year (2021-2025) program and operation expansion model. Efforts toward program expansion is currently underway with anticipation of modest but impactful program growth in fiscal year 2020-2021, and in relation to the new gymnasium facility opening. We anticipate a greater need for Reading and Homework assistance following COVID-19 online academics. Operations will increase incrementally every year during the 5-year expansion plan. Long Beach services and memberships expect to grow significantly within the 5-year span, growing to serve up to 1,000 children/youth and up to 500 families in the Greater Long Beach community by 2025.
Evaluation. Our programs report under TSA’s National Statistical System and rely heavily on program statistics that measures numbers of children/youth served amongst other services on a quarterly and annual basis to measure program activities and memberships. Youth programs at the Center are being evaluated through staff observation, conversations with the student’s teachers, parent and child sign-in sheets, and follow-up conversations and surveys with parents to monitor participation and for feedback on social behavior and academic progress.
Who-are-you: Established in 1906, Long Beach Corps Community Center has provided services to low-income families, children/youth, seniors and the homeless in greater Long Beach, offering a physical and spiritual haven for the most disadvantaged for 114 years. ‘Doing the most good’ for youth, families, seniors, homeless individuals and veterans, is a focused goal for TSA. The Red Shield provides programs and services that regularly serves approximately 25,000 low-income and homeless men, women, and children annually, the number of people served has increased this year due to COVID-19.
Leadership. The Center is located in TSA’s California South Division. Corps Community Centers/Red Shields and social service programs are under the supervision of professional TSA personnel at the Divisional Headquarters in Carson, CA. The Center is overseen by Commanding Corps Officers, Captains Sergio and Stephanie Garcia. The Long Beach Advisory Board, consisting of volunteer community members, provides overall guidance to operations at the Center, which includes budget and program oversight.
Partnerships. The Center collaborates with community partners and other agencies to ensure children’s success, meet the specific needs of children and parents, and to avoid duplication of services in the community.
Partners include: Shared Science, enables youth that TSA serves access to STEM classes; Wado-Kai Karate, Karate lessons at low-cost; WomenShelter of Long Beach, we serve their children/families with Distance Learning Center, TSA’s Summer and Day Camps, Christmas distribution, and youth programming; Long Beach Scouts; Long Beach Boys and Girls Clubs, sending 75 of their children to TSA’s Summer Camp; Rotary Clubs of Signal Hill and Long Beach, Long Beach Lions, Seal Beach Lions, and Long Beach Kiwanis; CSULB (degree completion program), and LBCC (free ESL and computer classes). The Center provides space for Grandparents as Parents, who conduct support classes in both Spanish and English for relatives raising children.