Did you know that we at Grace Church are part of an ever-widening "Circle of Care" that is transforming communities in Boston one young person at a time? Through our continued participation in the B-SAFE summer youth program, we are helping to provide a program that keeps young people safe while enjoying summer learning with enrichment and recreation activities. Ellen Sheehy introduced our speakers: Steve Armandt, Site Director at Saint Mary 's, and Betsy Walsh, B-SAFE Partner Organizer ,who gave us the program's big and small pictures.
Betsy Walsh described her work organizing 55+ church volunteer groups for St. Stephen's Youth Programs, which have been providing year-round, out-of-school programming for youth K-12+ since 2000. Many come from new immigrant households, public housing, and all are impacted by poverty and the surrounding violence. Between B-READY, the after-school component of the program, B-SAFE, the summer enrichment program, S2POT, the part- time work program and programming for teens, along with the Intergenerational Community Organizing Program, St. Stephen's has successfully developed a partnership with families, schools and neighborhood service providers to create its Circle of Care.
Steve Armandt, is the new Site Director at Saint Mary's in Dorchester, our B-SAFE partner. Steve grew up near St. Stephen's, aware of the poverty, drugs and violence in the neighborhood, and he knows firsthand the importance of a program like B-SAFE. On a typical day at St. Mary's, the doors open for breakfast at 8:30 a.m.; from 9 a.m. to noon, there is a combination of academic and creative arts; and after lunch, park and recreational offerings (like steel pan drumming) until closing at 4:30.
Grace's week this summer is from July 18 to July 21. We'll be making and serving lunches, and on Friday of that week, helping to provide activities for the all-day program at Larz Anderson Park. There's a sign-up list on the bulletin board and you can help by donating books or money as well.