At the end of July 2022, we said goodbye to one of our most beloved community projects—the Positive Family Connections program. In 2020, we began a partnership with King County’s Best Starts for Kids initiative to co-create intergenerational programs with youth and families at High Point and Croft Place Townhomes. More specifically, DNDA staff members worked with participating families to launch projects and activities that fostered stronger social connections between parents and children, their peers, and their respective communities.
Our Positive Family Connection program started at the onset of the pandemic, causing us to almost entirely re-configure how to implement the program without in-person meetings, outdoor retreats, and shared family events as we had originally planned. However, the intention to foster positive family connections remained strong. So, with a quick pivot, the program set its goal to foster stronger social connections between parents and teens and support households during the pandemic.
At High Point, parents overwhelmingly advocated for educational support for their children. In response, DNDA launched an online afterschool tutoring program from scratch in the fall of 2020. Growing tremendously, it offered over 90 virtual sessions in one academic year to 16 active students. Furthermore, it helped many of our participating students make or maintain honor roll status! Other family-requested programs included driving school, improved internet service, a back-to-school drive, and resiliency-building workshops. DNDA also started a teen enrichment program called the Dream, Believe, and Achieve project. This project aims to foster positive youth development, growth, and health. Fifteen High Point teens have met every other weekend since the summer of 2021 at a neighborhood park for culturally responsive workshops. These workshops augment activities that promote character building, engage youths’ creative capacities, and enhance health & wellness. Thanks to additional funding, DNDA has been able to continue this specific program.
At Croft Place Townhomes, program staff and participating families met weekly. These meetings provided families a space to voice shared concerns and ideate workshops and resources for their community. With family feedback, DNDA hosted mental health workshops that helped caretakers navigate daily stressors only heightened by the pandemic. DNDA also hosted financial literacy workshops and public health presentations in response to families’ communicated needs and learning interests. Lastly, we distributed PPE materials, financial stipends, and school supplies to improve access to vital resources.
In conclusion, we would like to say a big thank you to King County’s Best Starts for Kids initiative and to the amazing residents at High Point and Croft Townhomes! Although this grant-supported program may have concluded, we remain committed to helping youth and families learn, grow, and thrive.