CKCF Kids FUNd grants to impact well over 4,500 kids in Central Kansas

CKCF awarded nearly $24,000 in grants to charities in our service region serving their missions for kids!! Well over 4,500 children will benefit from the funding provided for the following organizations.

Youth Core Ministries, $3,000
Core Community Augusta

Our organization supports families working to overcome poverty. We believe that with support, education, and strong relationships, the heads of households in our program can successfully achieve financial stability. We recognize that the children and families in our group have often been through, or are still living through, traumatic experiences. Our Thursday night meetings focus on creating a safe space for children and families to facilitate growth and healing. Thursday nights our families gather for dinner, the children spend time with dedicated, nurturing volunteers playing games and building relationships, and adults engage with peers and community members in a space of learning and transformation. The relationship-based model used by Core Community Augusta builds social capital for low-income individuals, teaches skills, and helps adults learn how to set a vision and goals for their lives. When families move out of poverty their mental and physical health outcomes improve, they reduce and pay-off debt, pursue higher education, take on higher paying jobs and even establish businesses. As an organization, our goal for our families is that they increase their earned income to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, the percentage considered necessary to provide for a family without assistance programs. As our families work towards this goal, we see positive shifts in their emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical health. We believe that healthier adults support an environment for healthier children. We also believe that parents out of poverty get children out of poverty and help break the generational cycle.

Communities In Schools of Mid-America, $3,000
CIS of Mid-America at El Dorado Middle School

CIS of Mid-America takes a holistic approach to education with our unique model of Integrated Student Supports (ISS), which means that we focus on “developing or securing and coordinating supports that target academic and non-academic barriers to achievement” (Moore & Emig, 2014).

Our school-based Site Coordinator works with school staff and leadership to identify school-level risk factors as well as individual students who are most at-risk of dropping out of school. The Site Coordinator provides whole-school programming designed to be widely accessible to all students and focusing on improving the overall school climate. In addition, the Site Coordinator works with a caseload of students on academic, behavior, attendance, and/or social/emotional learning goals. This is done both one-to-one as well as in a group setting with other caseload students with a common need. It is our goal for these students to not only be successful in middle school but enter ninth grade prepared for high school.

CIS of Mid-America is in its fifth year of providing ISS at El Dorado Middle School. In that time, we have reached nearly 2,000 students and provided intensive case-management support to more than 400 students.

Families and Communities Together, Inc., $3,000
Growing Family Connections

Growing Family Connections will provide parent education classes using the evidence-based Conscious Discipline© program by Dr. Becky Bailey. The classes will be offered to parents, grandparents, educators, childcare providers, etc. in Marion County free of charge with childcare provided. Conscious Discipline is specifically designed to provide parents with the conscious awareness and skills needed to create safe, loving, and problem-solving homes. Building the parent/child relationship is an important focus. Participants will be provided with activities to build connections with their children as well as positive discipline techniques.

This project specifically connects teaching parent skills, applying children’s behavioral research, and strengthening family relationships. Families and Communities Together, Inc. (FACT) has adopted the Strengthening Families Model as a focus for the organization. FACT continues to promote the five key protective factors for family success in all programs. The evidence-based Conscious Discipline© program by Dr. Becky Bailey ties perfectly with our program focus and the Strengthening Families Model. This grant will be used to provide parent education classes using concepts from the Conscious Discipline© program. The Growing Family Connections project will incorporate 7 two-hour classes, one per month at varying locations throughout the county in order to give all close, easy access at one point or another. Free childcare will be provided while parents attend the meeting, with children joining their parents at the end of the class for a family activity.

Heartspring, $3,000
Financial Assistance Program for Children with Special Needs in Butler, Harvey, Elk and Marion Counties and Valley Center

The number of American children with developmental disabilities “increased significantly” in recent years, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). One in six children (17.8%) has at least one developmental disability. One in 59 children has been identified with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to CDC estimates, costing the nation more than $90 billion per year. Early intervention is key. The CDC states, “Early identification and intervention can have a significant impact on a child’s ability to learn new skills, as well as reduce the need for costly interventions over time.”

For some children served at Heartspring, therapies are only needed for a short time, to help them increase skill development to an age appropriate level. Many children served at Heartspring benefit from more than one type of therapy, multiple times per week. However, not all insurance companies consistently cover the costs, potentially causing difficulty for families to keep up financially. Therapy costs for a child receiving three therapies per week at Pediatrics Services are approximately $1,140 per month, or almost $14,000 per year. Autism behavioral services and therapies cost up to $60,000 a year, on average.

The Heartspring Financial Assistance Program helps families ensure their children receive the services they need now in order to reach their potential, regardless of their ability to pay. Last year alone, Heartspring created hope and opportunity for 1,014 children and families with special needs. Of this total, 538 children/families served received $1,470,796 in free and reduced fee services.

Kansas Big Brothers, Big Sisters, $817
BBBS Background Checks

It is our goal to match 25 new volunteers with Harvey County youth facing adversity in 2020. To that end, we respectfully request your consideration of a grant in support of the cost of running Federal, State and Local background checks. Each volunteer background check costs $32.70 and includes KBI, NCIC, SRS Child Abuse and Neglect Registry, DMV, & both national and state Registries of Sexual Offenders. Total for 25 new volunteers in 2020 to cover background checks would be $817.50.

Child safety is paramount to our program and these background checks are mandatory as a part of our affiliation with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Mirror, Inc., $3,000

STAND offers high school students from all backgrounds the opportunity to be active participants in their community and school to create positive change. Through their involvement with STAND, youth are given opportunities and skills to reduce substance abuse use, promote positive mental health, and create significant change in their community.

Prairie View, Inc., $2,795
In-school psycho-social rehabilitation program

Prairie View currently works together with a number of different school districts to provide psycho-social rehabilitation to students. Administrators and teachers identify students that have more acute social needs and would benefit from professional counseling and support. Prairie View’s community based services team members would provide training to these students during the school day for the remainder of the school calendar year to help them learn necessary skills to manage stressful situations at school and at home. The demographic student population has typically been such that private funding, counseling and therapy is not a possibility and as a result needs are not met, or have to be picked up by the school district. This particular project would focus on groups in the Peabody and Sedgwick school districts. Both of these school districts have been proactive in wanting to collaborate and help meet the social and emotional needs of all students, and certainly those that appear to be struggling.

Sunshine Children’s Advocacy & Rights Foundation, $3,000
Sunshine Children’s Home

The Sunshine Children’s Home works with law enforcement and juvenile justice in Butler County to provide temporary emergency shelter for children that are removed from their home due to abuse and neglect. We continue to see more children and even tougher cases involving children. We are the only resource of its kind in Butler County, and we never know who we are going to be serving on a daily basis. We serve every child that walks through our door. Our home can serve up to 15 children at any given time. Our home was built to serve 100 kids per year, and we are consistently serving over 650 per year the past two years. These children come to us in a very raw and fragile state, often confused, angry, sad, and every other emotion you might equate from being taken from the only life you have ever known. These children oftentimes come to us hungry, tired and numb. Many haven’t eaten consistently and some have never slept in a bed. We want these children to feel that someone cares for them and their well-being. We want them to be a child for the first time in their lives. We want them to know that living and seeing violence isn’t the only way. We want to provide them shelter, but also hope for a better future and an end of the cycle of abuse.

Wichita’s Littlest Heroes, $1,818
Community Resource Counselor for Parents of Children with Special Healthcare Needs in Rural Kansas

A Community Resource Counselor (CRC) will assist parents who need facilitated access to relevant and timely resources in their community to support their children and youth who have special healthcare needs (CYSHCN). Finding these resources is challenging enough in large cities like Wichita that have a concentration of service providers. In smaller towns and rural communities, knowing your options is even more difficult. In addition to scarcity of resources in rural communities, other factors known to be barriers to accessing health services include well-documented social determinants of health such as parents’ educational attainment, employment/income, stable housing, and internet access.

Primarily, our CRC will provide navigation and outreach services to families through phone conversations, internet, and in-person visits. Our commitment to personal visits distinguishes Wichita’s Littlest Heroes (WLH) from other service providers. Our CRC is available for in-home visits for parents who need to stay home with their Hero, to conduct needs assessments and resource navigation as well as providing informative resource packages customized for each family’s needs. Our CRC is also available to meet at schools (with teachers and other education professionals, in addition to parents), at the parents’ workplace, and with social workers. For educational presentations of general information, our CRC organizes workshops for groups of any size.

Our CRC will also conduct outreach to grassroots organizations in rural communities to raise awareness of WLH services. Collaborations with these service organizations will allow us to build upon established, trusted relationships that Hero families already rely on for reliable information.