Dubuque Organizations Join Forces for the Common Good of Local Youth
According to a joint press release from the organizations, change is coming as St. Mark Youth Enrichment and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dubuque will work together to provide more benefits and opportunities for area youth.
Starting in this school year, Dubuque St. Mark Afterschool Programs will take place at the Boys & Girls Club. Afterschool programming for St. Mark’s Peosta Elementary & Dyersville Elementary will continue on location at those schools.
“In addition to these immediate benefits, this partnership will also help St. Mark kids be comfortable at the Boys & Girls Club and see it as a safe space to be in after school when they transition to middle school. It is our top priority at St. Mark to help every child in our program be in an environment filled with love, safety, and belonging at all times. This partnership will help us in our mission to do just that.”
-Amelia Foley, St. Mark Director of Programs
The shift will mean St. Mark will be able to continue its work with kids from Lincoln, Audubon, & Marshall elementary schools in one location, with the goal being to reach more kids throughout the coming years.
“The Boys & Girls Club and St. Mark Youth Enrichment have had a long-standing collaboration. Both organizations aim to serve our youth in different ways to provide them with as many opportunities to learn, feel safe, and be encouraged to do great things. This partnership leverages each organization’s unique strengths and enables St. Mark to continue offering the quality social-emotional programming it has for years in the safe, welcoming environment of the Boys and Girls Club. This is a win-win for the kids in our community.”
-Brad Scardino, St. Mark Board President
St. Mark will work with the Regional Transit Authority and Trolleys of Dubuque to provide transportation from participating Dubuque schools to the Boys and Girls Club. Parents will pick up students at the Club. School-year programming in Dubuque is free for all eligible students thanks to support from 21st Century Grant Funding.
“While our agencies have been working together for quite some time, we want to take it to the next level to reach additional students and their families and to do it with greater depth. We know that by working together, we will be able to more fully surround young people in our community with opportunities and resources that help them thrive. Every piece of what we can do together is so exciting because it allows us to share what is unique about us while collectively making a greater impact.”
- Dawn Cogan, St. Mark Executive Director
There are many benefits of this partnership: kids will be able to eat dinner together during afterschool programming, older St. Mark students will have the option to stay at the Club after 5:30pm, and both organizations will have increased capacity to work with more children and provide more caring adults for every Boys & Girls Club & St. Mark student in the future.
"This partnership means that we can expand our reach and work together to serve even more kids in need. We are proud to be a part of this collaboration and look forward to the positive impact it will have on our community."
-Tom Sullivan, Boys & Girls Club Executive Director
According to executives in both groups, the two organizations are no strangers to collaboration; as they have worked together to host St. Mark’s summer programming for nearly a decade. This collaborative approach to working with students and their families is the “next natural step” in the organization's partnership. Boys & Girls Club Board President, Randy Sigman has also shared his excitement for this growth.
"We are excited about the collaboration between St. Mark and the Boys & Girls Club, particularly as it relates to the transition for children who age out of St. Mark programs. With this partnership, kids can get to know the Club and feel comfortable transitioning to a safe place where they can have fun and learn life skills. Additionally, this collaboration will provide St. Mark with additional space to help even more kids while benefiting the Club's kids as well. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and are confident that it will make a positive impact on the lives of children and families in our community."
-Randy Sigman, Boys & Girls Club Board President
Both organizations will host a community-wide event at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dubuque on August 15th, from 5 to 7pm to celebrate the partnership; further details are being developed at this time for that event. To learn more about St. Mark programs, visit stmarkyouthenrichment.org/programs. To learn more about the many options & programs offered through the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dubuque, visit boysgirlsdubuque.com.