St. Mark Youth Enrichment
Learning today, leading tomorrow.
St. Mark Youth Enrichment provides healthy and enriching before and after school and summer programs. For 30 years, we have created engaging environments for children in the Dubuque area.
Partnering with Audubon, Fulton, Lincoln and Marshall Elementary Schools, as well as Dyersville, Farley, Peosta and Seton Catholic Elementary Schools
St. Mark is Here
As we continue to navigate this new, albeit temporary, normal together know that you have been on my mind every single day. I imagine all the beautiful things that are coming from this…things like families working together to make dinner, playing together in backyards, pets who are thrilled their humans will be home ALL day again, finding new and creative ways to stay connected to family and friends, and having this moment to pause and remember all that is really important in life centers on our relationships and those we love. I also know, though, that there are many challenges. I think about those too…the financial impact, fear of the unknown, trying to do things you either never signed up to do or at least not in the way you are doing them— being a teacher, a non-stop referee for sibling shenanigans, missing the physical connection of family and friends, wishing you could go back to the office or wishing someone’s job would finally make it possible for them to work from home… Due to the recent extension on guidelines and schools not yet reopening, our offices will continue to be closed to the public at least through April 30. All of our administrative staff are now working from home. We will continue to share the best and most recent news and resources with you. We want you to be safe and to know you are loved and supported. Know that all of us from your St. Mark family miss you dearly, are cheering for you, and continue to prepare to be ready once we get to be with you again…that thought makes my heart smile! In the meantime, please take advantage of ways to stay connected: We are offering Social-Emotional Learning kits that can be picked up at our Little Free Library outside our office. We are also working to figure out ways to ensure more of you can access these kits in both Dubuque and Western Dubuque/ Be on the lookout for updates on that soon. These small gestures help us to feel connected to all of you. And we hope it provides opportunities for you and your family to maintain your emotional health during these tough times.Virtual enrichment activities and stories are shared daily on our Facebook pageReach out to a team member just to say hi or to ask any questions you may have: https://stmarkyouthenrichment.org/staff/Share a video clip via email to Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org. It could be a hello from the kids to our team, a project you are working on together, using the SEL kit, or any other thing you want to share to help keep us all connectedKeep the clips coming of you reading, virtual field trips, or sharing a talent. Families and the community as a whole are loving them! Please be safe, protect yourself and those you interact with, and be healthy. Most importantly, thank you, as always, for all the extraordinary things you do every day! We appreciate you! With love and big air hugs, Dawn View Parent Resources
ISU Extention: Liquid Layers with Leah!
Our friend Leah from ISU Extension and Outreach sent us this cool STEM activity for you all at home.
BE A VIRTUAL GUEST READER
Do you have a story, talent, or activity to share? Send us a message to jaguilar@stmarkyouthenrichment.
Hi friends, it’s Beth here from St Mark, and It’s really eerie. It’s really quiet. It makes me think of what, what could come in the summer, right?
We know that today our kids are being well taken care of. Taken care of by moms and dads who are working and being teachers. The school district and so many beautiful partners are feeding our kids beautifully. I’ve seen some of those meals (absolutely gorgeous) and we at St. Mark are really working hard to make sure that they’re taken care of.
Here at St. Mark we are working on social-emotional packs to send out to our families and give them the opportunity to work on some of those things that are really the big questions for kids. You know, they have big feelings and this is nerve-wracking for them. They don’t know. They’ve lost their school families. They’ve lost their best friends.
And some of them don’t have the technology to be able to FaceTime their best friend, to shoot hoops with their best friend. And when we get to see them—when they come back to us, we’re going to have to do a lot of work. And we’re going to have to do some retraining. We’re going to have to do some re-socialization. We’re going to need to be there to work through big questions like, “how do you be a good friend today, and how do you take care of yourself and work through your emotions?”
There’s also going to be a huge educational lag. We know that. We know that kids were already struggling with summer slack. Let’s think about these kids. There’s a potential that from March until August—no school. And here at St. Mark with our summer program, we’re going to be able to tackle some of those issues and get kids as ready as we can for that first day of school and giving them opportunities.
I know that you as a member of this St. Mark family have been such beautiful supporters of us, and these kids need to know that that’s going to continue.
We’re going to have such a big need in the coming days. With the uncertainty of what could happen today or tomorrow, there are going to be more families than we thought who will need summer scholarships this year. We were planning for 100, and we know that this number will be drastically higher. Parents have been laid off, hours drastically cut. They need to know they’ll be taken care of.
Our staff is preparing to work with kids in trauma, because we know that this isolation is traumatic for kids. We’re hoping that you support us and trust us to take care of these amazing, amazing youngsters and give them the opportunity to be in this safe space. They need your help to do that more than ever. You are their community. You’re their safety. You’re their safe spot.
Our donors who have really been there for us are you. People like you have been making this happen for 30 years. And we want to make sure that we get the chance to take care of these kids this summer. Know very well that we are being beautiful stewards of your donations—taking care of our kids. We are prepared as an administrative team to come in and take care of these kids if and when we go back to school as well as taking care of them during the summer as much as we can.
This is, this is what we gear up for. This is what’s in our hearts. I know that you are behind us in this, and I just need you to know that we’re going to need you, they’re going to need you.
I know it’s so much to ask right now, but please support these kids by clicking below or giving me a call at 563-590-2806 today and giving your best gift.
Please help us be prepared for what’s to come and to be here this summer, to take care of these kids and prepare them for the first day of school. Have a beautiful day.
With love and big air hugs,
P.S. If you or someone you care for is struggling right now or just needs someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out for support, friendship, or a listening ear. We’re all apart together. You can reach me at 563-590-2806 or bmcgorry@stmarkyouthenrichment.
The mission of St. Mark Youth Enrichment is to provide innovative programs and services that cultivate the educational and social-emotional growth of youth and families.
Our vision is to enrich the life of every child.