We offer education programs from cradle to career, including preschools, after-school resources, public-school partnerships, and camps.
Early childhood education is often identified as a critical community need. Our preschool program works to make sure kids are ready for kindergarten. We partner with Lighthouse Child and Family Development Center to offer quality care and education with a focus on strengthening families through community collaboration. Our preschools are child-and-family development centers dedicated to providing quality early childhood education for children from newborns to 5 years old. State subsidies and scholarships help pay for early childhood education when parents can’t afford it.
Our early childhood program is dedicated to providing a safe, supportive, and developmentally appropriate environment for young children. We provide a warm, nurturing setting that encourages children to learn through hands-on, interactive exploration. Our creative, play-based curriculum provides a child-centered, teacher-guided curriculum, in which children are encouraged to construct their own knowledge. Our lead teachers have degrees in child development and/or education, and they partner with parents to help meet the individual needs of each child.
Caring for the Whole Family
Each town with a Life360 Community Services preschool has a family support coordinator who takes a holistic approach to help the entire family. The family support coordinator helps identify a variety of problems that might affect a family’s ability to succeed, including reliable transportation, adequate housing, or even interpersonal problems. They help find solutions every step of the way. This is a great opportunity for our preschool students to learn their ABCs, but they also learn how to overcome difficulties by observing how our staff works together with the parents to improve the family dynamics. These interactions help prepare children to navigate through life successfully.
Our after-school program focuses on youth entrepreneurship. It teaches kids the basics of economics and about saving money. We also teach them when it’s appropriate to take healthy risks, and how to possibly launch a business of their own someday. This type of business training can help transform the dilapidated storefronts of a rural downtown back into a thriving community hub. We can inspire some of these young people to grow up, start their own businesses, and refurbish some of those downtown areas. This revival nurtures social capital that benefits everyone. It builds community connections and a network of people that support each other through difficult times.
Working alongside the school system
Asset-based community development is when we identify what assets are already in a town, and shape our programs around those existing resources. We found in Plato, Missouri, that they have a very high enrollment of kids with special learning needs, and only one staff member to help them all. Thankfully, one of our staff members is also an educator. We want to come alongside the public school to supplement what they’re doing, see what their assets are, what already exists, and how we can help take it to the next level.
Camp Battles the “Summer Slump”
Many at-risk youth cannot attend summer school or other local summer programs because of behavioral, financial, or family reasons. These students can lose educational momentum over the summer months, resulting in what educators call “summer learning loss” or the “summer slump.” Life360 Community Services offers a high-energy, fast-paced summer day camp for kids ages 5 to 12. Every week includes swimming, field trips, storytelling, science experiments, music, and much more. We give them an opportunity to experience an action-packed summer while making great strides academically. The positive impact is obvious. In 2017, 92% of our students qualified for state subsidy, and 40% had no other summer program options. Even with these barriers, 100% of the students avoided summer learning loss, and 75% advanced one full grade level in reading.