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How to Be Present With Our Youth

Did you know that there has been a 37% increase in teenagers reporting a major depressive episode since 2007? Did you know that teenage suicide  reached its highest peak in 40 years in 2015 amongst both boys and girls? Did you know that after Sandy Hook, more than 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings? This data includes mass shootings, suicides, and after school hour acts of violence on school property.

On February 14, our nation experienced yet again a horrendous act of violence taking the lives of 17 individuals, many of which were the youth of our nation. TPastor Rob touched on this recent tragedy that befell our country. During his announcements, he made a very important statement saying that “thoughts are prayers” are simply not enough.  We couldn’t agree more!

In reply to Pastor Rob’s call, we IMPLORE you to get involved. And here’s some ways you can do so!

How You Can Make An Impact with Our Youth in Carlisle

Volunteer in the Public School:

  • Lunch Bunch: Connect with a local teacher and come in to the school to volunteer (as often as you would like) to read to a small group of students while they eat lunch. This gives you an opportunity to build relationships with students while also exposing them to literature. 
  • Classroom Volunteer: Connect with a local teacher and help in their classroom (as often as you would like). The more consistent, the better! 
  • After School Club: Parents are always looking for fun and safe activities for their kids after school. Connect with a local teacher who can stay to help you run the club and send information to families about signing their child up (this does not have to be educationally focused).

Community Organizations:

  • St. Paul Open Gym on Saturdays: This program is specifically hosted at St. Paul every Saturday from 12 pm – 4 pm. We open our youth room space in the lower level to community kids so that they have a safe and welcoming environment to come play, engage with each other, and build relationships with members of our church. Our goal is to simply provide a caring and nurturing space where they feel comfortable. Consider taking 4 hours of your time once a month to help with this program and build relationships with our community youth! Contact Moses Kavishe, Holly Hoffman, Greg & Laura Guenther, Heidi Kauffman, or Dave & Holly Cleck for more information! 
  • Color Carlisle: Located in our very own church, Color Carlisle strives to generate an ongoing proactive approach to maintaining a positive and connected community that focuses on healthy, sustainable, and safe living spaces that celebrate the diversity in Carlisle’s population, both racially and socioeconomically. Color Carlisle directly supports the engagement of youth in the community through all of their projects. They believe the youth are Carlisle’s future and through each project, they allow them to grow into leaders, taking pride and ownership of their community and the public works of art they are creating. They hope through the development and creation of mural works and other various public art projects, they are able to create safe and welcoming environments for families and children for current and future generations. Contact Greg Guenther to get involved today! 
  • Hope Station: The Hope Station Opportunity Area, located in the borough of Carlisle, is a non-profit entity designed to enhance the quality of life, health, safety, and economic opportunities for the people who live in the neighborhood it comprises. 
  • Carlisle Sports Programs: Did you know there was a shortage of volunteers to run Carlisle’s youth sports programs this year? In fact, some youth stepped into the roles of head coaches so that our elementary and middle school kids could play on a team. Coaching can be one of the best ways to develop mentor based relationships with youth! If you have the skill and talent, perhaps it’s time to share with others. Contact Laura Guenther if you want to be a coach! 
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters: Our mission is to provide children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported one-to-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever. By partnering with parents/guardians, volunteers and others in the community we are accountable for each child in our program achieving higher aspirations, greater confidence, educational success, and better relationships while avoiding risk-taking behaviors.
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