In YouthQuest, a main component of programming is family and community engagement. And even in times when families and the community cannot gather in person, the YouthQuest staff still works hard to make sure they feel connected.
“It is important for us to provide community support in any way we can,” says Nefertari Jones, program director for YouthQuest. “Even if it’s just a call to check in, we want to ensure that the families we serve are safe and happy and have access to the things they need to thrive.”
Each YouthQuest site develops their own activities, events and curriculum, and subsequently organizes family and community engagement individually as well. This way, YouthQuest sites can cater to the specific needs of their families and the surrounding community.
Some examples of family and community engagement include:
- Site Team Leaders at Eisenhower Elementary delivering care packages with goodies and supplies to each family that attends YouthQuest each week.
- A coordinated virtual parents’ night with Doyle-Ryder Elementary families. YouthQuest staff sent sweet treats and game supplies to each family, then organized a video conferencing call where parents and staff played games to connect and relax. Parents were also encouraged to share their needs and concerns during the meeting.
- Staff at Freeman Elementary putting together activity packages for families during winter break that included ingredients for a gingerbread house and hot cocoa, as well as holiday craft activities.
- Weekly “Chat and Chews” at Neithercut Elementary, where YouthQuest families join virtually with a snack and connect with YouthQuest staff and other families.
These activities not only give YouthQuest families the support they may need, they also create a connection between staff and families. With this connection, families know they can rely on YouthQuest for support if they need it.
For more information on YouthQuest and to register your student at Flint Community Schools or International Academy of Flint, visit yquest.org.
YouthQuest is made possible through the generous support of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and 21st Century Community Learning Centers.