7/1/22 to 6/30/23
We are a nonprofit specializing in academic and therapeutic services for children five and under.
Step Up Ventura provides children experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness the opportunity to flourish by preparing them for kindergarten.
Help break the cycle of homelessness by preparing children for kindergarten readiness.
"Step Up Ventura assists our unhoused young children, 5 and younger, to be on a path to success emotionally, socially, and cognitively. Your support makes a difference for a lifetime.”
—Judy Alexandre, Board President
August 1, 2023
As president of Step Up Ventura’s board of directors, I speak for all of us in saying, “Thank you.” Without YOU, vulnerable preschool-aged children would be lacking the critical help they need. YOUR donation impacted over 50 children and their families this past year. Again, THANK YOU.
This fiscal year, an incredible team of staff, MSW interns and volunteers brought children mental health services and academic support, all because of your efforts. Through powerful, one-on-one connections, young children discovered the fascinating and fun world of books while advancing their language skills. They also resolved traumas, leading to more cooperation and improved social skills. YOU made calmer, safer and more learning-focused classrooms possible. THANK YOU.
But the demand for services in Ventura County is growing! To meet this demand, we have set a goal of raising $55,000 to expand mental health services by the end of August of this year. Once again, YOUR help is needed to reach this goal. Please donate funds designated for these services and help assure the children of Ventura County continued educational success. We want to launch a strong beginning to our 2023-2024 fiscal year and YOUR continued support from you will make this happen.
With much gratitude,
Judy Alexandre, President
P.S. Volunteers are paramount to Step Up Ventura’s success. Donating time and skills is another way to put your love and concern for children experiencing the trauma of homelessness and unstable housing into action. To explore a chance to serve, please contact our volunteer coordinator, email@example.com or me at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are a variety of things you can do to help change the lives of children who need you.
"We are committed to serving Ventura County's most vulnerable youth."
CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES WERE SERVED!
The primary focus of program services was the direct contact with 45 children on site at the Easterseals Preschool and Child Development Center in east Ventura. The workers performing the services were the Program Director, a Masters in Social Work intern from a local university social work program, two volunteer one-on-one readers and a volunteer retired special education preschool autism specialist.
TEACHERS RECEIVED CONSULTATION
After a concentrated effort to train many of the teachers at the preschool, follow up consultations resulted in teachers honing their skills and creating classrooms that helped children make strides in all areas of development. On-going coaching with the teaching staff was done on an as-needed basis to increase the teacher’s ability to use the information covered in the trainings. Teachers participated in a total of 76 hours of consultations and 312 hours of coaching.
The volunteers and board members of Step Up Ventura poured their hearts and souls into our work. This unwavering commitment to our mission translates into enormous impact. Their dedication to providing essential mental health, academic support, and behavioral services to unhoused or at-risk of homelessness preschool-aged children was crucial and much appreciated.
Step Up Ventura is almost totally run by volunteers. Not only does that make us unique and strong, but we understand the importance of your time and we will make you feel like a valued part of our community. Please consider volunteering youre time. We are very much in need of your time and talent.
ONE-ON-ONE MENTAL AND BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SESSIONS PROVIDED
Weekly one-on-one mental health services for 23 children were conducted resulting in 2,300 individual sessions and a total of 1,150 hours for the year. These individual sessions were extremely beneficial for children who exhibited trauma-related behaviors and emotions caused by unstable housing and homelessness, making learning difficult for themselves and their classmates. The sessions helped children appropriately express their difficult feelings, resolve conflicts with peers and self-manage their behaviors, leading to cooperation and school success.
Eighteen food distributions of food donated by local farmers and community residents were made possible by volunteers picking up food at distribution sites and delivering it to Easterseals for families and classroom food support.
A special thank you to our outstanding volunteer, Kipp! Your ongoing dedication to Sep Up Ventura and the Food Distribution Program is genuinely appreciated.
Drawing by Kipp
297 READING HOURS
The Pre-literacy Reading program had 26 potential volunteers take a 3-hour training in how to read to young children for maximum benefit. The trainings were led by 2 volunteer trainers who gave 6 training sessions since October 2021. Paperwork and state licensing requirements to be a classroom volunteer have created a barrier to many potential readers becoming volunteers. To date, 5 reading volunteers have given a total of 203 hours to 34 children identified as delayed in language and in greatest need for the one-on-one reading program.
Intermittent donations of toys, books, clothing and hygiene supplies were also made available to families 5 times in the year.
IN ADDITION, 93 FAMILIES WERE SERVED
During the winter holiday time, every child from infants through pre-kindergarten received an age appropriate book to take home for the winter break. The books gave parents the resources to explore the wonders of reading with their children and help them build essential language skills.
While the majority of funding is dedicated to our program team, Step Up Ventura hired administrative staff to create and develop standard operating procedures allowing our Program Director and Board Members to focus on their special areas of expertise. We also invested in a more automated and comprehensive fund development program.
Management & General
Total Program Services