Our link to the community.
The Rose Lane Recreations Center is also our link to the community. During Christmas, Larry Fitzgerald met with 100 of these kids and presented them with music accessories. And, 50 of the community’s families received $1,350 in financial assistance from the Arizona Cardinals to help make their holidays festive.
In addition, many of the younger kids will wind up playing in our sports program once they get to middle-school. Others will get tuition assistance for a local private high school. And many will continue gardening at our Community Garden or attend community events there.
So, Rose Lane helps provide a connection to these low-income, inner-city families.
30 percent of middle-schoolers are unsupervised after school.
And, 45 percent of those kids in self-care are from low-income families according to a report by Afterschool Alliance and JCPenney Afterschool. That leaves these kids in a perilous situation—looking for SOMETHING to do. And, this could lead them into being tempted by gangs, drugs and criminal activities.
Our Rose Lane Recreation Center provides fun, academic assistance for an average of 50 kids a day!
In cooperation with the Arizona Coyotes and the Fiesta Bowl—we provide a safe place for unsupervised kids to go after school and during the summer. There, they can get help with homework, have access to free computers and Wi-Fi, learn about gardening and our Community Garden, take “field trips” to learn how to play hockey or just hang-out and play video games, ping-pong or air hockey.
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After-School and Summer Programs
Jerardo, one of our other Heart for the City success stories, wanted his little sister, Katarena (“Kat”), to beat the odds that were against her. He knew her grades were abysmal at Sunset Vista Elementary School. But, she is not alone. Only 18% of the students at her school passed the AZMerit Tests in English and only 26% passed the math portion.
But, Kat was blessed with a Grandma who made sure she attended school every day. Most students at Sunset Vista aren’t as lucky. Nearly 1 out of every 3 households is considered a “non-typical” family households, with 1 out of 5 is headed by a single female who is, most likely, concentrating more on financial support for her children than academic support.
With these new relationships in her life, Kat stopped being what she called a “bad kid--” a disrespectful, loud and obnoxious bully. She joined worship band and choir. Then, she took a job at Java Grounds (Heart for the City’s workforce development center) and eventually moved over to become a Leader at the Rose Lane Recreation Center.
Kat is emphatic when she says she would have been a drop-out statistic if it were not for Heart for the City. With over 18% (Bureau of the Census, 2014) of the residents in Kat’s zip code possessing less than a high school degree—HFTC helped to contribute an estimated $14,448 increase to Kat’s expected annual earnings. Females without a high school degree in 85303 tend to earn approximately $12,558 a year.
Kat wants other kids who are struggling with school to know that “…regardless of where you came or what you've done in the past, the people of HFTC are there to encourage you and accept you for who you are. These are people who genuinely care for you. It's a family.”!