Front Porch Alliance
Front Porch Alliance
Village Church started the Front Porch Alliance (FPA) in partnership with the Ivanhoe neighborhood (31st to 47th Street, Paseo to Prospect) in 1999 in hopes of building a meaningful relationship and understanding of life outside our doors.
To this day, FPA works hand in hand with Kansas City’s eastside residents and community partners to build youth leadership and opportunities for families to make positive, lasting changes in their lives and neighborhoods.
Current programs include the following:
Healthy Parents, Healthy Kids
Targeted to parents of Head Start and Kindergarten students, this parenting class, held at Faxon Elementary School and in partnership with The Family Conservancy, allows parents to come together to share concerns, ideas and strategies to promote healthy early childhood development.
In the Youth Ambassadors program, teens learn from community leaders and mentors and then express insights about themselves, their neighborhoods and concerns through documentary filmmaking, journals, artwork and dialogues. They also learn job skills and financial literacy. In the Fall program, youth also build life skills with small group coaching and discussion.
Each PAL mentor supports two students at Faxon Elementary School helping with reading and math skills and establishing supportive relationships with students. The PALs also host teacher appreciation events and an ice cream social for Back to School Night.
The Boys Mentoring Program provides male role models for 10 boys. These mentors engage the boys in activities that extend beyond their current experiences and bolster their academic success. The group meets twice a month for activities such as Tai Chi or basketball. Mentors host annual picnics at their homes, and some attend school events. Parents report improved grades for the boys as well as fewer behavior problems at home and school.
Junior Urban Rangers
Front Porch Alliance is partnering with Urban Rangers Corp and hosting a summer Junior Rangers Program for boys entering 7th and 8th grades. This program encourages young teens to make positive life decisions and to achieve passing grades in school. The program offers presentations on anti-bullying, peer pressure, what it takes to get to high school, self-esteem, and drug prevention.
Minor Home Repair
Each week, the Front Porch Alliance Minor Home Repair Team assists residents with minor home repairs that keep them comfortable and safe in their homes. The team repairs leaky faucets and broken light fixtures, grouts tile and installs grab bars. More than 50 families receive help each year.
Learn N Grow
The Resident Advisory Council creates and implements Learn ‘n Grow classes. Classes meet on Saturday mornings in the Fall and Spring and include everything from minor home repair skills, computer skills to salsa dancing and cake decorating.
An attorney meets with residents quarterly to answer legal questions residents might have and to give direction as to where they might go to receive the appropriate representation if needed. Experts from banking and financial institutions help participants understand and gain better control of their finances.
With such a broad range of opportunities, you are sure to find a program in which you can share your time and talents. Specifically, timely needs for FPA are listed below:
Tutors come to our area elementary schools once a week for thirty minutes to work with two children on their reading or math skills - or to act as another caring adult in their lives. No teaching skills required.Tutors come to our area elementary schools once a week for thirty minutes to work with two children on their reading or math skills - or to act as another caring adult in their lives. No teaching skills required.
Boy’s Mentoring Program -
Two Saturdays a month the group of boys and their mentors meet for a variety of activities - field trips, community service projects, or just hanging out playing games. Mentors are encouraged to check in with their boys in between activities.
Minor Home Repair -
Handy volunteers with home repair skills are needed to do minor work on homes - projects are as varied as installing a railing to securing a toilet to fixing a light fixture.
Once a quarter, FPA needs a lawyer to listen to the questions and needs of residents and to direct them where they might go for help. No direct legal help is given- just an opinion on their particular need.
Life Skills Instructors -
If you have a special talent such as crafts, dancing or weatherizing your home, instructors are always needed for FPA’s Saturday Learn N Grow classes.