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What Is It?

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Katelyn Gosnell

on 10 December 2013

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Transcript of What Is It?

The Cabbage Patch
Our Role
"Homework helpers" in education program
Quiz children- emphasis on spelling and math
Play games
Check homework
Supervise computer lab
Lived Experience
Ages 8-16
• Black or African American – 83%
• White – 9%
• Two or more races – 7%
• Some other race – 1%
50% female, 50% male
• In Family Services our clients are approximately 95% female.

Fun after homework
Computer lab
Art room
Story time
Recreational activities
Dance class
Work out facility
Game room
Snack time
What Is It?
Non-profit Christian organization
Helps 1,000- 1,200 at-risk children, youth, and their families
Services geared toward maximizing economic, educational, and social potential
Fosters self-esteem and responsibility
Fun Fact
In 2010, the Cabbage Patch celebrated it's 100th year of helping local families.
Free & Reduced School Lunch

• 85% of kids who attend our Recreation program receive Free Lunch at school (130% or less of poverty)
• 8% of the kids receive Reduced Lunch at school (185% or less of poverty)
• 7% of the children pay for their lunch at school.
What Works Well
- Reward-based activities
- Children are expected to do their homework and encouraged to get good grades
- After doing homework, children may go to play areas or to reading room or may even be allowed to play games in the computer lab
- Staff
- Full-time staff keeps familiar faces in the mix and helps to keep routines established.
- Staff engage generally pretty positively with the children
-The system of responsibility and good behavior for both the parents and children
- EX. Being dropped off and picked up on time or you can't come back
- The food pantry program- by giving these families food, they are allowing them to have one less thing to worry about and have the chance to focus on something like education
Help from "homework helpers"
Snack after completion
Full-time staff mixed with part-time volunteers
Consistent, caring adults
New perspectives
Young people as role models
Alternative to troubling activities
Safe place
Many resources
Ways to Improve
- Textbooks or handouts on different subject areas might help.
-Many children come for help without the aid of either
- More up-to-date resources
-Encyclopedias and atlases
- Attention and Outreach
-The Cabbage Patch gets a lot of donations, but reaching further into the community is always possible.
-Louisville has approx 250k people, Cabbage patch reached 1-1.2k children and families per year
- Getting textbooks from the schools would greatly improve the education program
-It may already be in the works, but having more strong male figures on the staff would be beneficial for all the kids as well as the program itself
More training on interaction with children
Reaching out to community for help
Teacher involvement with volunteers throughout
More uniform process for children
Needs of the Population
 Low incomes and poor access to jobs that pay a living wage
 Inadequate housing
 Food scarcity
 Lack of education
For the Population
These families live in neighborhoods that have...
-High unemployment rates
-High levels of crime
-Poor access to basic needs & stores
-Lack of education- 25% of parents don't have a high school diploma
For the Cabbage Patch
-Funding, funding, funding!!
-They experience some staff turn over, although much of the staff is devoted
Why This Population is Important
Strengths of the Population
Resiliency from facing adversity
Trusting with time
Loveable and easy to volunteer with
Choosing to be there
Needed for Meaningful Change
-Fundraising: for education supplies as well as college scholarships
-Resources: finding more resources for these families to use & getting more food to give out to families
-Volunteers: more long-term volunteers- more routine and not so much drop in when convenient

- (Perhaps beating a dead horse) Funding, Funding, Funding!
-Cabbage Patch Expenditures slightly over income.
- Stability
- Lives already unstable, having more "safe place" areas and more concrete relations with people
- Volunteers not on set schedules
- Children not on set schedules
- Resources
- Being able to point out where important community resources are would be invaluable.
- Clothing Drives
- Food Kitchens/Food Pantries
- Shelters
- Community Workshops
- In a hierarchy of needs, existential problems unlikely to be at root of problems.

Cabbage Patch
Caring and compassionate individuals
Link to resources
Full-time mental health counselor on staff
Links to resources!
Future of our world
Cannot stand up for themselves
Greatest chance of someone taking advantage
All populations are important
Under served
- Poverty and instability are major predictors of mental health problems.
- Poverty not a choice
- Fewer opportunities for children in this group
- Dangerous neighbourhoods
- Extra-curricular activities cost money if even provided
- Internet access is not a given, information access not a given
- Dominoes
- Peer groups are the most influential groups in a young adolescents' life, generally
- When adolescents don't have hope for future, the negative behaviours and attitudes can spread

Why is the Cabbage Patch Important?
Safe place
Resources for under served
Emphasizes respect and manners
Positive relationships and role modeling
Motivation for education
Encouragement for a better future
- Just as the mission statement suggested, I experienced The Cabbage Patch as a "safe place"

- Lots of activities beyond the scope of our volunteering area with arts, gardening, cooking, sports, workouts, and games/movies.

- The Highlight: Becoming aware that some of the children don't usually accept people into their circles and being asked to sit by them/play with them/be with them. (Hour looking at it, 10-15 minutes doing anecdote)

- The Lowlight: Spending the first few weeks trying to figure out what the boundaries were with the children and being able to turn that into productive and meaningful time with them. (Reading Room and 3 boys anecdote)

-This population is the future.
-These kids have so much potential, especially at this young age
-They are at an age where they can still be decided about college and how they want to live their life- the Cabbage Patch can encourage them to dream big.
- It’s important to give them the resources they need to have the opportunity to be great and do great things.

As a teacher
-I felt unprepared at times
-Role of cheerleader
-Struggled with effectively teaching the information
-Wished I would be able to help more of them

I learned
-I started to understand what it might look like to have education not be your first priority as a kid
-Other needs such as food and safety need to be met first

What now
-I'm going to try and stick with the volunteer, I may have the opportunity to work mostly with one kid who is behind.
Thrown into volunteering
Quickly formed relationships
Little time to get to know children
Full-time employees over-worked
Encourage them to finish homework
Self-confidence and excitement after completion
Full transcript