Building Circles of Care That Transform Communities, 
One Young Person At A Time
Thanks for helping our students keep learning and growing all year long!
Best wishes for a safe, joyful, and healthy New Year!


About Us
Since 2000, St. Stephen’s Youth Programs has been providing young people from some of Boston's most disadvantaged communities with year-round, out-of-school time academic enrichment. We offer after-school and summer programming at churches in the South End and Lower Roxbury. We also run stand-alone summer programming at four church-hosted sites in Dorchester, Mattapan, and Chelsea. Throughout the year, our programs offer teens quality employment as tutors and mentors for younger students. In total we serve about 800 young people in grades K-12 each year. |Pictured: above B-READY staff, left B-SAFE 2014 staff.|


MLK Day of Action 
In partnership with City Year and the B-PEACE For Jorge Campaign, St. Stephen's Youth Programs hosted The 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Action at the South End's Blackstone Innovation School. More than one hundred and seventy volunteers from twenty-four organizations joined us to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and celebrate our partnership with the school. In what has become an annual tradition over the past five years, volunteers came together to ensure that the condition of the building's classrooms, hallways, and library compliment the school's academically rigorous and supportive environment. 

This year, two new partner organizations joined us: the Boston Public Schools facilities team; and Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) which runs an after-school program at the school. We all spent the morning working on painting walls and murals, creating a
timeline depicting the history of immigration in this county, and doing lots of cleaning.  
  
After lunch, Lower Roxbury School And Community Organizer, Sarah O'Connor and our teens hosted a workshop on the role of young people in community organizing. Teen facilitators encouraged the forty-five participants to consider: why youth leaders are essential to the process; and how race and power play a role. The workshop culminated in the teens having participants act out scenarios where community organizing could be a useful tool.
 
The day was a big success and we appreciate everyone who came out to show their support for the Blackstone, and our partnership there. For more information about the partnership and how you can get involved, please contact Meg McDermott.


EBSCO System Unveiled
On Wednesday December 10th, partners and staff of the Blackstone Innovation School celebrated a virtual ribbon-cutting at the unveiling of EBSCO, one of the most sophisticated academic databases in the nation.  Blackstone students, faculty and administrators now have access to this incredible resource which provides millions of documents, articles and tools that are geared for students from kindergarten through eighth grade. Blackstone Principal Danielle Morrissey and other Blackstone staff spoke about the value of this tool as the school prepares students to be civic leaders and life-long learners. This gift of a permanent subscription to EBSCO was made possible thanks to the school's flourishing partnership with St. Stephen's

One of St. Stephen's key contributions to the school was the transformation of a dusty, poorly lit storage space with out-of-date books and encyclopedias into a state-of-the-art library. After more than a decade without a functional library, the Blackstone now has one of the best libraries in any BPS elementary school. The library has a collection of 10,000+ relevant books and an online and searchable catalog that allows teachers to use the library for lesson planning. A dedicated team of volunteers welcome students five days a week for read-alouds and book loaning to students. For many of the students, this is their first experience being able to take out books. New volumes and resources are added to the library on a regular basis, thanks to the generosity of this team who come from Parish of the Epiphany in Winchester, Friends of the Blackstone, and the Simmons Graduate School of Library Science.

While great progress has been made to the school's library, there was still room for improvement, especially in its
nonfiction collection. Now, thanks to EBSCO Information Services, s
tudents and teachers have access to a millions of reliable academic journals, magazines and other nonfiction resources at the click of a button. The database also will enhance the resources available to teachers, allowing them to find specific materials to supplement lesson plans and project assignments. The Blackstone's EBSCO package is specially designed with student-friendly search engines to teach young scholars how to navigate the online world of information with success and integrity.  With this new resource, Blackstone teachers have a new and important tool to prepare students to be global citizens who are ready for a 21st-century job market. 

By Brittany Marcum & Liz Steinhauser for My South End |Read the entire article.|



Climate Change: Teens Demand Action
On September 21st, 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City to call for action on climate change. Among them, were teen Community Organizers from St. Stephen's Youth Programs. It was the largest action on climate change to date |photos|. The Rev. Tim Crellin our Executive Director praised the teens' positive attitude: "I am so proud of our team -- the teens were amazing. It was a long day but we were part of something really important

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SSYP
Advisory Board

Johanna Acevedo   
Curtis Almquist
Jay Borden
Luke Burns
Candice Caines
Chris Cato
Walker Coppedge
Timothy Crellin 
Lee Englert
Diane Gipson 
John Kania
Constance Liu
Kate Malin
Stuart Mathews
Michael Melendez
Jim Napier
Mildred Plaza
Cam Roberts
Kathy Ruiz
Jane Tierney
Betsy Walsh
Chris Wilmerding
Amy Whitcomb Slemmer 
Shawna Young 


          
Did You Know?
We evaluate our students’ numeracy and literacy skills twice per year and use industry-accepted approaches for conducting comprehensive program evaluations. |Read our most recent report|.

Our students are less likely to be held back and more likely to
graduate from high school than Boston Public School peers who do not attend our programming.

Last year our second graders' numeracy scores improved 145% over the course of the school year. 

In 2014, 100% of our seniors graduated from high school (79% did so with a well-formulated plan for their post-graduation year).