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ARCHS Announces Partnership with Microsoft to Promote Digital Learning for High School Students

microsoftgraphic
ARCHS is awarding state-funded, no cost access into an IT e-learning system for Microsoft products to more than a dozen selected high schools from local, under-resourced school districts.  These area high schools will receive online curriculum and industry-recognized certifications that assist students in developing digital skills ranging from fundamental technology to preparation for career/college roles in computer science. 

In addition, ARCHS’ funding of the IT e-learning system will enable educators’ success by providing them professional development resources and train-the-trainer sessions needed to keep their technical skills current.  Without ARCHS’ support, the high cost of Microsoft certification exams is often a barrier to students from low-income families, even if the high school can afford to purchase the student curriculum and educator resources/training.

ARCHS will track the use of resources, trainings, and number/types of certificates earned by students in order to identify any needed improvements during the two-year, $250,000 program that will begin August 2017.

State economists estimate Missouri has 5,000 open jobs requiring some form of Microsoft skills certification.  The new state partnership between Microsoft Imagine Academy (MIA, formerly IT Academy), Missouri Department of Social Services, and federal TANF block grants is similar to other states that also have used MIA to deploy the high school program leading to in-demand occupations.

Locally, the partnership between ARCHS, Microsoft US Public Sector/Education – South Central Region, Northwest Council for Computer Education (NCCE), En Pointe Technologies, and area high schools/districts seeks to bridge the STEM skills gap between the region’s career/college-bound young adults, high demand STEM labor markets, and improved economic/social circumstances.

ARCHS' Partnership with Purina® Encourages Social/Emotional Learning


During the 2016-2017 school year, an ARCHS' community partnership with Purina® has introduced Mutt-i-grees® to theAfter School for All Partnership for St. Louis (ASAP). Over the past year, the staffs of ASAP's 30 after school program sites have participated in Mutt-i-grees® trainings, with many locations implementing the curricula in fun and innovative ways.


Mutt-i-grees®seeks to build calm, confident, and caring children. Its innovative PreK-12 social/emotional learning curriculum highlights the unique characteristics of shelter pets (mutts) to teach essential skills for academic and life success.

The project is designed for use in various classroom settings, character education, after school programs, and libraries. More than 4,000 schools in over 40 states are using the curriculum, often in conjunction with bullying prevention and efforts to enhance school climate. Lesson plans align with the National Health Education Standards and Common Core State Standards.

Locally, Purina® provides professional development from North Shore Animal League of New York, grade-level lesson plans, pre-post evaluation by Yale University's School of the 21st Century, animal visits by local assistance/therapy pet organizations, and library resources. At the end of this school year, many ASAP sites were visited by dogs from CHAMP.

Photo: A CHAMP assistance dog visits the ASAP after school program at Mann Elementary School. Photo by Diane Page.

2017 Missouri KIDS COUNT® Indicators Update

CAD FACT Team
As part of this year's Child Advocacy Day, Missouri KIDS COUNT® released the annual county rankings of child well-being. The county rankings this year are based on six indicators – poverty, food insecurity, preventable hospitalizations, child asthma ER visits, births to teens, and graduation rates. Several hundred child advocates attended the release event on April 6, 2017 in Jefferson City. Pictured above: Child care advocates representing Missouri's 20 community partnerships under the direction of the Family and Community Trust (FACT).

Trends and notable findings for 2017 include:

•Poverty generally is declining, but poverty density is increasing. More children are living in high poverty areas in Missouri, more children are homeless, and more children are uninsured.

•Births to teens, graduation rates and teen unintentional injuries are improving.

•Hospitalizations for children ages 1-19 have increased for both mental/behavioral and substance abuse diagnoses.

•Race Disparities – teen birth rates for Black/African American teens was 1.5 times that of Whites; child asthma ER rates for Black/African American children is more than 8 times that for Whites; the preventable hospitalizations and low birth weight rates for Blacks/African Americans are more than twice as high as for Whites.

FACT is a nonprofit organization serving as the Annie E. Casey sponsored KIDS COUNT® organization in Missouri. ARCHS serves as FACT’s KIDS COUNT® representative in the St. Louis region. 

Download Missouri's 2017 indicator update

ARCHS Featured by Social Solutions

ARCHS Case Study Apricot 1
In March 2017, ARCHS was prominently featured in a six page case study by Social Solutions. The profile highlights ARCHS' innovative use of Social Solutions’ Apricot Software™ to enhance ARCHS' outcomes management strategy for the 35 organizations and programs that ARCHS funds and supports.

ARCHS’ staff uses Apricot Software™ on a daily basis to keep track of more than 3,000 program dashboard data points at 380 community locations.

Download Social Solutions' case study of ARCHS

Kids Vision is Spot On

SPOT
Did you know that Kids Vision for Life - St. Louis (KVFL) has gone high tech? KVFL now uses The Spot Vision Screener, a handheld portable device that quickly and easily detects vision issues. This state-of-the-art equipment helps KVFL accurately screen students -- even squirmy preschoolers who don’t yet know the alphabet.

KVFL purchased two Spots through funding from The Saigh Foundation and a family foundation that wishes to remain anonymous. Additional recent funding from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Healthy Vision Association means that KVFL is on pace this school year to screen more than 37,000 students from low-income families and provide more than 5,000 free custom-fit eyeglasses in 14 local school districts.

KVFL’s school-based impact has expanded by a factor of more than 50 (more than 5,000%) since its inaugural year in 2009, when KVFL served one urban core school district with vision screenings for 700 students and provided 80 eyeglasses. This spectacular growth, including the purchase of KVFL’s own mobile clinic van, is made possible by a “visionary” partnership with ARCHS, Crown Vision Center, Essilor Vision Foundation, University of Missouri - St. Louis College of Optometry, and a blend of funder organizations, individual donors, and volunteers. As always, KVFL remains committed to providing its comprehensive vision services at no cost to the students or their families.