All children have the right and potential to succeed.
“It is not beyond our power to create a world in which all children have access to a good education. Those who do not believe this have small imaginations.”
Greetings from the Village,
At Homewood Children’s Village, we believe that all children have the right and potential to succeed if given the opportunity. Every child in our community should have access to high-quality education and learning enrichment. By fostering equity in education, we unlock opportunities so that race, income, or zip code is no longer a predictor of a child’s potential for success.
Homewood's youth and families have experienced some of the greatest social and economic injustices of any community in the city of Pittsburgh. After decades of disinvestment in our neighborhood, our residents have watched Homewood transform from a once-thriving community to one that is confronted with many challenges. Extreme population loss, blight and abandoned properties, generational poverty, low-performing schools, crime, and poor environmental conditions are just some of the issues our families face, yet all adversely impacting the academic, social, and health outcomes for children living in Homewood.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic only widened the education and opportunity gap for Homewood’s youth. While experiencing learning loss due to school shutdowns, disinterest in online learning, lack of overall engagement in extracurricular activities, and behavioral and mental health challenges increased. With community violence on the rise, particularly involving youth, students dealt with increased levels of trauma, and schools dealt with more behavioral issues. For Homewood, the pandemic created an uphill battle in a community already fighting for a more just and equitable future for their children.
To improve outcomes and create a more equitable future for Homewood’s children, we must provide high-quality out-of-school-time (OST) programs, proven to play a vital role in closing the achievement gaps by providing measurable academic, social, emotional, behavioral, and health benefits to children and their families.
Homewood Children’s Village, together with our schools, partners, community members, parents and caregivers, funders, and donors, is working collectively to build high-quality OST programming for Homewood students that not only offers learning support and enrichment but also:
- Provides authentic, culturally relevant, and sustaining learning experiences and
- Ensures adults have an anti-racist mindset & utilize anti-racist practices in the learning environment
- Incorporates positive racial identity development and racial literacy into learning opportunities
- Engages youth/families in decision-making
- Encourages active citizenship
- Provides mentorship opportunities
- Offers holistic support
We will deliver these resources through two new out-of-school-time programs, The Bulldog Academy (6-8 grade) and The College & Career Success Academy (9-12 grade). With the support of our partners, Homewood students receive academic and social-emotional support, post-secondary planning, and enrichment activities to prepare them for college, career, and life.
Our new programs will provide spaces and a positive outlet for students during after-school hours when they are at the greatest risk of being involved in high-risk activities. We will facilitate positive adult-youth interactions, increasing the caring and supportive relationships students have with adults within the community. Additionally, our team members will be trained in anti-racist practices to provide culturally competent care and, through mindfulness training and techniques, will be well-equipped to deal positively with students when issues arise.
Despite these challenges, many of our youth and families find ways to overcome and succeed. However, there are still far too many who are unable to overcome the litany of systemic social and economic barriers that stand in their path, which is why high-quality OST programming is critical for improving outcomes for Homewood students.
Presently, Homewood Children’s Village serves over 1,000 youth. Yet, there is currently no comprehensive OST middle school program at Westinghouse for roughly 300 students, while getting teens engaged in OST programs remains challenging, so the need is here, and the time is now. And we need your help raising the funds that will allow us to serve at least 100 students this school year. We’ve already raised over $15,000 during Give Big Pittsburgh 2022, our community’s annual Day of Giving, and we are asking our Village to help us raise an additional $50,000 to support our new OST programs.
By donating, you will ensure a more equitable future for Homewood children. With more funds, we can provide and sustain high-quality, culturally relevant, safe, and enriching learning environments while addressing learning loss, low postsecondary attainment, and lack of economic opportunity for students in our community.
Because education and opportunities can’t wait.
Give today to help Homewood children succeed!
President and CEO
Homewood Children’s Village