Let's back up: Did you know we are trusting God to expand our program into 7 elementary schools by 2020? We actually began expanding last fall across the street from our support center to Webb Primary Elementary! After an incredible first year of expansion, we feel called by God and ready to love more kids in East Austin. This September, Side by Side Kids will launch into our fourth afterschool program at (drum roll please)... Molly Barrington Elementary!
"We had our eyes set on Barrington originally because they are the school from which our Webb students overflow. Barrington is a huge school—just a little bit smaller than J.J. Pickle—and extra students are bussed from Barrington to Webb daily. We thought it would feel natural to be on both ends of the bus route." -Kelsey Storm, Afterschool Program Director
There is currently a lack of afterschool programming at Barrington. The main service offered is about an hour of afterschool care/tutoring led by actual AISD teachers (sacrificing their time). No one goes all the way through “afterschool hours” like we do. According to the AISD website, Barrington has 627 students, 94.6% of which are economically disadvantaged. It’s obvious that there will easily be at least 30 kids who can benefit from our afterschool programming that helps 95% advance to the next grade level.
Barrington is also part of the family of schools that feed into Reagan High School like our other existing schools. Really, expanding to Barrington means taking in more of our St. Johns family. On their website you can see a lot of the same values and goals as those of SBSK like character development and empowerment.
"One of the best things about Barrington is how receptive their staff and administration have been. They offered an office up to us right away to use for space, helped facilitate us setting up our snack time, are helping us register kids, and so on. Everyone is excited about this new partnership and ready for us to get going! They even asked us to send daytime volunteers their way to tutor the kids during the regular school day. They are really looking for all the help and support they can get - and we are happy to provide that!" -Kelsey Storm, Afterschool Program Director
"As we prepare to serve Barrington, it's important to also acknowledge the early support of 5 key persons who helped SBSK secure this new school. We appreciate the efforts of Polly Rickard who helped introduce Jeff Johnson of Austin Bridge Builders Alliance (ABBA) and Carole Merten, a special volunteer from Hyde Park Baptist and The Quarries Church. We also want to thank Veronica Sharp of TA Brown and Dr. Dolores Godinez, formerly of Webb Primary. We are grateful for your service and help in extending God's kingdom." -Sly Guzman, CEO
Thank you to each and every one of you who helped make this happen - every prayer, donation and volunteer hour that was put in before has laid a strong foundation for our ministry to expand to Barrington. Will you join us in both celebration and prayer for Barrington? We will be sure to keep you updated this fall when we kick-off!