Blog

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“Who knows our open motto?”, my UT campus tour guide asked slyly. It seemed as if she didn’t expect us to know the answer and her expectations were met as we all quizzically looked at one another, mumbling uncertain “hook ‘ems?” under our breath.

“It’s actually, 'what starts here changes the world’. Here at the University of Texas, we don’t want our accomplishments to be limited to the 40 acres. We want to make an impact.”

Our tour guide proceeded to list off the accomplishments of past Longhorns. She detailed the ways that UT grads have made progress in medicine, technology, business and more. Of course, all of their successes started during their time on this campus, walking these same streets, sitting in these same classrooms.

I often wonder how they were able to do so much when I feel like I’m barely able to survive finals week. While juggling studying, responsibilities, internships and relationships, my main instinct is survival mode. How am I supposed to change the world when I have tests to take, essays to write, and group projects to...

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Earlier this semester, SBSK gained the newest member of our crew, Tonya Moore, and she is absolutely incredible! Her past experiences serving the youth and her steadfast relationship with Christ are beyond inspiring, and she has fit into our organization beautifully.

Tonya and her family moved to Austin a few months ago from Omaha, Nebraska. Back in Omaha, she worked for another youth nonprofit for more than 11 years, during which time she served in a variety of roles with children of all ages, including elementary, middle, and high schoolers. When she arrived in Austin, Tonya knew she wanted to continue serving the youth, and God led her straight to us.

“When I came here, I was looking for something that would still keep me working with the youth, and that’s how I found Side by Side. I just looked online for non-profit groups serving kiddos, and it popped up! And it was faith-based. My faith is important.”

When asked about the largest differences between SBSK and her previous job, Tonya spoke a lot about transitioning from a secular work...

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We've been dreaming of providing East Austin students with scholarships for a long time. We’re excited to announce that Side by Side Kids will launch its first-ever Summer Scholars program this year to help 60 students reach their highest academic potential and beat summer slide.

Here's how it works:

With your help, we will award 60 SBSK students with FULL scholarships to attend 4 weeks of summer programming. To receive the award, students must apply. The program will focus on our core values: faith development, academic enrichment, character formation, and empowerment. We'll kick off the program with an award luncheon for students, families, and supporters. Every week, we'll send emails with impacts, testimonies, and prayer requests so you can follow along as we explore topics like life skills, literacy, math, technology, science, and social studies. At the end of the 4 weeks, families and supporters are welcome to join the graduation ceremony to celebrate all of the students' hard...

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On Thursday, April 6th, 2017 Side by Side Kids held their anticipated second annual Topgolf fundraiser. Thanks to generous donors, a high of $40,000 was raised! This will provide continued quality afterschool education for 190 east Austin students in Side by Side Kids. Additionally, this will help Side by Side Kids move into 2 new schools this fall. A few thanks are in order.

Thank you to our board and the following team leaders:

  • Tollie Bernard
  • Bill Daniel
  • Diane Pollard
  • Mike Shannon
  • Jim Offerdahl
  • Michael Watt
  • Rick Russell

Thank you to the following sponsors:

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22 years ago, Redeemer Presbyterian Church founded a small mercy ministry called Community New Start. Its mission was to serve East Austin’s St. John’s community. A few years passed and this ministry became an official nonprofit that sought to care for kids in that same community. Instead of Community New Start, it would now be known as Side by Side Kids.

As we look ahead to new beginnings, we can’t help but look back and see how far we’ve come since our founding in 1996. Things are coming full circle during this expansion process, and we will be reconnecting with our founding church, while also building connections with a new church in order to bring Side by Side Kids to another new campus.

God has recently opened doors at the Lee Lewis Campbell Elementary Media and Performing Arts Institute, and we are excited to announce that our program will be expanding to this campus in the fall! ...

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Meet Amanda and David, two of the many members of the Side By Side Kids staff alumni network! When they each became Crew Leaders at T.A. Brown, neither could have guessed all that God would have in store for them during their time there. Not only did Amanda and David serve countless hours as Crew Leaders, interns, and summer volunteers, but they also began to date each other - and have now been together for almost three years! We asked Amanda and David to recount some of their experiences as SBSK staff:

What roles did you each have at SBSK?

Amanda: I began working as the 3rd grade Crew Leader at T.A. Brown in January of 2014. That summer, I served as a volunteer during SBSK's summer camp and then returned as the 2nd grade Crew Leader in the fall. I stayed with these same kiddos for the whole school year and then had the wonderful opportunity to finish my time at SBSK by working as a summer intern. I finished my time in August of 2015, so in total I worked with SBSK for...

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Your mid-semester progress report is back, and we are thrilled to share what God has been doing at Side by Side Kids.

So far, this semester has been incredible. We had the opportunity to serve 189 students at 4 schools (J.J. Pickle, Webb, Mollie Barrington, and T.A. Brown), we were blessed with 29 Crew Leaders, 3 Assistant Site Coordinators and 4 Site Coordinators who were passionate about serving their students, and we had 4 interns and 52 volunteers assisting us on and off campus.

We've been constantly amazed by the passion and talent of the people God has provided for our ministry- people like you who are dedicated to empowering and loving our SBSK students.

As the semester continues, we would greatly appreciate your prayers for:

  • a strong finish to the semester
  • continued energy for our staff
  • our students in their...
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For over two decades, Side by Side Kids has enjoyed several long relationships with many church partners. We are truly blessed to serve an amazing community in East Austin with the help of these various congregations.

As we look to the future, we are fortunate to walk side by side with members of All Saints Presbyterian Church. A year ago, All Saints Presbyterian Church opened their new campus in Southwest Austin. This year, Josh Eby, Associate Pastor from All Saints, has been partnering with Side by Side Kids in the hopes of making afterschool programs available to children who live in the immediate vicinity of the church and attend Oak Hill Elementary.

In February, All Saints started reaching out to a small community located just a few blocks from their church. This neighborhood is home to many of the children that attend Oak Hill Elementary. Pastor Eby and members of the church have been walking the neighborhood and inviting their neighbors to come visit the church. Recently, an amazing neighborhood party took place in March on their church grounds...

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Meet David. He's been with Side by Side Kids for over two years, and during this time he's worn many hats. From Crew Leader to Development Intern to Social Media Intern to Afterschool Program Intern, he's done it all!

Think an SBSK internship might be in your future? Watch the video below to see what it's like!

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When searching Google for volunteer opportunities, Jessie knew she wanted to find a program that impacted kids. As an aspiring teacher, Jessie "wanted to observe and interact with kids in a classroom environment" so when she found Side by Side Kids, she knew she had to apply.

"Side by Side Kids stood out to me because it not only helps students to excel in school, but it also focuses on teaching them about Jesus!"

Jessie used her volunteer opportunity with Side by Side Kids to get a feel for what teaching would be like. She chose to work with the 2nd and 3rd-grade classes at T.A. Brown because she was interested in teaching at that grade level post-graduation. Luckily, Jessie found that she didn't just enjoy this age group, but she looked forward to going back to volunteer with them every week!

After falling in love with volunteering at Side by Side Kids for a semester, Jessie decided to apply for a position as a Crew Leader. Since she wanted to...

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