Community Renewal’s School-Based Initiative reimagined for Social Distancing

Before COVID-19 shut down school sites, Community Renewal served nearly 600 at-risk students (identified by their educators) with opportunities tailored to their needs through weekly clubs focused on Social-Emotional Learning and Leadership Development, as well as reaching every elementary student through our Campus Culture program.

The We Care. Campus youth development initiative has always been about meeting students where they are and ensuring they have the tools and the support they need to become the caring, connected neighbors we need for the future.

With COVID-19 safety measures closing traditional schools for the rest of the semester, meeting students where they are has just taken on an additional layer of meaning for us.

Partnership with Shawnee Public Schools, Pleasant Grove School, and McLoud Middle School have enabled us to serve their students at multiple levels of need, and we are walking alongside administrators and teachers now to continue the work we’ve been doing, in new ways.

The best example of this is the new daily video series, In the Neighborhood, where club leaders bring their students into their homes, yards, and life to learn one simple aspect of social / emotional health each day.

→ In the Neighborhood series

In addition to this video series, our We Care. Campus initiative staff are connecting with their students through technology and mail, as well as continuing to build relationships with families of our students in their homes and in our neighborhoods.

“Staff has been working very hard to ensure we stay connected with our kids” said Club Leader Rachel Monday. “It is exciting to call a family and hear just how much the little act of writing a letter to them made their day. We will do everything we can to make sure they stay safe and healthy during this time while still feeling seen, loved, and valued.”

Best of all, We Care. character curriculum is being distributed as a part of Shawnee Public Schools’ distance learning materials, and we were able to produce a version for the Early Childhood Center so the littlest of our kids are also learning to care well, even in this strange and difficult time.

→ We Care. Campus Daily Activities for littles; “E is for Encouragement