Thank you Dave and Alice Burba for the fantastic donation of educational materials to the Guadalupe Lab. They run a wonderful group called “songs for teachers” and have produced some great material like the books / CDs below. They use songs to help kids learn reading, writing, math, etc. They are in Spanish and English. We have enough to give each of our children a set and the kids LOVE them! Thank you Dave and Alice!
There are two new events starting in Guadalupe. Miss Rose has a nutritional class scheduled weekly in October for some of the parents she works with. We are partnered with a program out of U of A to provide the education in Guadalupe. Also, Miss Marina is working on launching a new moms club partnered with First things First. Pray!
This week the Maricopa County Sheriff Department paid us a visit at the Guadalupe Learning Lab. Deputies Martinez and Gaytan came by to talk with the kids, hang out, and generally get to know each other. We are working to help improve the community – police relationships in Guadalupe and the first step in this is getting to know each other as human beings. Deputies Martinez and Gaytan stayed for 3.5 hours talking to the kids and getting to know them. They brought some books for the kids to help encourage them to read. Thank you to the Maricopa County Sheriff Department for walking with us to help us heal and transform our community!
In Guadalupe, we have had a wonderful summer, that is sadly starting to draw to a close as we get ready for the start of a new school year. Over 80 kids have been through the two summer programs in the Mercado. We are getting ready to graduate 5 people from our first ever job training program (all into jobs!). We have started a constructive relationship with the Maricopa Sheriff department and the Town of Guadalupe.
We are also getting ready to say goodbye to our friends from YWAM (Youth with a Mission) that joined us as an internship after completing a 3 month community development class in Mexico. Kenneth, Elaine, Judah, Tim, Eliza and Elainne – thank you for sharing yourselves with us over these last few weeks. Thank you for the help you gave and the relationships you developed. We pray it has blessed you, for you have certainly blessed us.
God is good and in charge. And soon we start the fall tutoring – Aug 11 the Lab opens for business! We are also going to be doing another job training program in partnership with “From Gangs to Jobs”.
The summer program is growing – almost 90 kids. The Mercado is busy. Meanwhile, the Sheriff department dropped off 10 boxes of books for our reading programs (Thank you!) and the kids have been busy cleaning up the Mercado grass areas to improve the appearance and help the community. The job program continues and in the fall we are planning to launch a Community Development Center in the Mercado. God is moving
Lots of things happening in Guadalupe this week. Thanks to the Maricopa County Sheriff Department for a great meeting between the Guadalupe kids / leaders and 6 Sheriff Deputies. Very productive! Thanks to Deputy Martinez and Gaytan and their friends – we hope this is the start of a productive relationship.
Also, Miss Marina met with the Guadalupe Town Council to explain who we are, what we are doing and how they can help. They were very supportive – Way to go Miss Marina!
Thursday June 26, Miss Marina has been invited to talk to the Guadalupe Town Council. She will be sharing about the community work being done in the town and inviting them to come and join it. Please pray!
It is shaping up to be a busy summer in Guadalupe. We have two summer program being run by Miss Marina and Miss Rose – with 72 kids attending! This is a huge jump from 25 last year. Further, we kicked off a 2 month long jobs program in Guadalupe. Run by our friend Natividad Mendoza with “From Gangs to Jobs”, we have 7 people attending.
We had too many kids coming to the Guadalupe Learning Lab so Miss Marina negotiated to get us to move to a bigger room in the Mercado. The town is graciously donating space in two other rooms for our other summer program and the jobs program.
Both summer program are run 100% by the community (except for Mr Will who lives close to Guadalupe and is an honorary native). This is the people in Guadalupe doing thing to help their community
We have reached out and engaged the Sheriff department, hoping that dialogue between the deputies, children and parents will help improve the trust and the effectiveness of policing in the town.
God is crazy busy
This is a great time of year to list all the wonderful things God has been doing in our communities over 2013. We give thanks for all these and for you, who are helping make a big difference in Arizona, by walking with our friends in these communities and to helping them unleash their assets to make their dreams of transformation a reality. Thank you
Some of the wonderful things this year:
* In Guadalupe, AZNT and Living Faith Anglican welcomed two AmeriCorp workers, the latest one, Rose, from Guadalupe. Our effort there has grown to 50 children age 5 – 18, involved in reading and tutoring. This work is something being done by the Guadalupe community to help their children, with help from partners both inside and outside of Guadalupe. The space is donated by the town of Guadalupe and some of the support comes from a local Guadalupe business. Further, we launched a teen program, pairing teens, their parents and teachers and a mentor to form a team to help the teen navigate finishing high school then heading to college and / or career. We have eight people in this program, with 3 of them working on completing their GEDS. We did two community-led painting efforts in Guadalupe. We are extending our partnerships to the Pasqua Yaqui tribe and church going into 2014 and look forward to God multiplying the assets
* In Grenada Estates, Faith Bible church continues to lead seed projects, such as working to make the park a safe place for the kids to do things and to hang out in (drug dealers took it over earlier) They had a paint-a- thon and Christmas alternative in the community. Lots of asset mapping has led to the kickoff of a Block Watch! Two years ago (before neighborhood transformation started) the community wanted a Block Watch but was scared away by drug dealers. Now it is on and running! Many people from the community have started to get involved in the work and we look forward to this work expanding in 2014.
* In South Phoenix – Based on what First Pentecostal / MentorKids learned from community surveys, we’re moving forward with building a neighborhood park. We’ve received funding to complete the youth/community garden, build a full-court basketball court, and provide 4 community outreach/education events. Community members and stakeholders and excited about this park and committed to making it a success!!
* In South Phoneix – Barrio Nuevo continues its fantastic work in the community, reaching over 70 kids and their families, seeking to bring reconciliation and the love of Jesus into the community. Tutoring / mentoring and teen development are the major efforts, along with involving the community in outreach efforts like feeding the homeless. This year they added a focus on asset surveys, including working on a novell experiment with DES in south Phoenix to use asset surveys to get more community involvement with the DES work their. We will see where this goes!
* In the Palomino district this year was a massive focus on asset surveys. Over 200 were gathered from many different areas from this highly Hispanic community in N Phoenix off Cactus west of the 51 highway! Based upon community survey feedback, the community wanted to see more events in the local park. In October MentorKids USA, along with community stakeholders and churches, organized a GAIN event in the local park for approximately 700 community members. In 2014 we look forward to working with community members to build a community resource manual, provide parenting workshops, and expand ESL opportunities.
* In Mesa, Trinity Baptist is setting out to be the role model for working with local elementary schools. They are building off the years spent developing tight ties with two local elementary schools to move into asset mapping to understand the desires of the parents of the students and then encourage people from the church to come along side the parents to help them succeed. They are building used in Mesa as a role model for others to use when working with schools.
* On other areas, God has been busy. Arizona Neighborhood Transformation has been approved as a qualified organization for the Arizona Working Poor Tax CredIt! This means you can donate to AZNT and take the money (dollar for dollar, up to 250$ individual or 400$ joint) off your Arizona Income tax. We continue to apply for grants to expand the work. We hosting a workshop on Christian Aseet Based Community Development at the first annual International Wholistic Missions Conference (IWMC) earlier this year and will do the same thing this Arpil for the second annual IWMC. We are working to get something started with Faith Assembly of God church on 15th Ave / Glendale; focused on a big apartment complex nearby.
We thank out partners – Barrio Nuevo, City of Glendale, Community First Association, Faith Bible, First Pentecostal, MentorKids USA, Public Allies, Trinity, Town of Guadalupe and many others for the fellowship and the co-labor in the Kingdom field. And we thank all of you – Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Arizona Neighborhood Transformation is now qualified for the Arizona Working Poor Tax Credit. If you owe Arizona income tax, you can now donate up to $400 / family or $250 / individual each tax year and tax this same money as credit on your Arizona income tax form. In essence, you direct this money to AZNT instead of going to the state of Arizona. This works just like the school credit. Please see below for more details. We encourage you to take advantage of this great benefit from the state of Arizona and use it to support a worthy cause!