Columbia Parks and Recreation
Creating Community through People, Parks and Programs
Armory Sports Center, 701 East Ash, 2nd floor
abacton@GoColumbiaMo.com - (573) 874-6300
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"Investing in our Youth, Investing in our Future"
The City of Columbia's Career Awareness Related Experience (C.A.R.E.) program, which began in 1982, is a comprehensive program for Columbia's at-risk youth that includes:
The C.A.R.E. program’s goal is for Columbia's youth to be ready to enter the workforce and become productive, self-sufficient citizens. Communities benefit greatly when their youth are prepared to become productive adults.
Youth lacking in employment experience and life skills can lead to unemployment and underemployment, which can lead to increased crime, adolescent pregnancy, alcoholism, drug addiction, and dependence upon government assistance. Unemployed individuals are unable to contribute to public tax rolls, which lowers the community tax base. Taxpayers must then cover the costs of the resulting government assistance.
Want to Make a Difference While Getting Free Labor? Summer Work Site Partners Needed!
C.A.R.E. depends on partnerships with local businesses and agencies to provide work sites for the real-world hands-on experience its 14- to 19-year-old trainees; however, 100% of the trainees’ wages are paid by the City of Columbia through the Parks and Recreation Department. There is zero financial cost to the work site partners.
Work Site Partners are investing in our future by investing in our youth, while at the same time receiving free labor. The youth trainees gain valuable employment experience and life skills while earning a paycheck. C.A.R.E. is a win-win-win situation for the trainees, the work site partners, and the Columbia community as a whole.
Both C.A.R.E. job coaches and work site mentors provide mentoring to the trainees. C.A.R.E job coaches conduct life skills training and work site mentors oversee the work-based hands-on experience.
Do Work Site Partners HAVE to hire their C.A.R.E. trainees at the end of the eight-week program? No, there is no obligation for their continued employment; however nearly a third of our 2013 trainees were offered jobs at their work sites at the end of the summer because they developed into such reliable, valuable workers.
If your business or agency would like to be a work site partner, please contact Ron Schmidt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (573) 874-6377.
C.A.R.E. Summer ProgramC.A.R.E.’s Summer Program is its original and largest program. C.A.R.E. offers an eight-week summer program in which approximately 175 14- to 19-year-old trainees are hired at minimum wage to work up to 20 hours per week at a variety of local work sites. Summer life skills training includes:
The C.A.R.E. Gallery serves as a visual arts work site for the C.A.R.E. summer program. The Gallery coordinator functions as the job coach as well as the work site mentor.
Creative youth are given the opportunity to work as artists. Gallery trainees work with and learn from professional artists in a variety of media during this summer program. They participate in art activities designed to enhance their existing skills and knowledge. Gallery trainees learn about artistic techniques, a variety of media, and create their own artwork.The Gallery is funded in part by the Missouri Arts Council and the City’s Office of Cultural Affairs.
Important Summer 2014 Program Dates
Missouri Option Program Partnership
The C.A.R.E. program collaborates with Columbia Public Schools to provide the real-world hands-on experience, mentoring, life skills training, and tutoring components for students who are enrolled in the Missouri Option Program. Missouri Option is designed to target students who have the capabilities to complete Missouri high school graduation requirements, but for a variety of reasons lack the credits needed to graduate with their class and are at risk of leaving school with a high school diploma.
The C.A.R.E. / Missouri Option partnership increases Columbia’s graduation rate and reduces its truancy rate. Local Missouri Option Program students must be referred to the C.A.R.E. program by their cooperating Missouri Option Program teacher, and may work up to 20 hours per week and earn minimum wage until they graduate.
Missouri Option life skills training includes:
Boone County Family Resources Collaboration
C.A.R.E. also partners with Boone County Family Resources (BCFR) to provide real-world hands-on experience, mentoring, life skills training, resources for educational pursuits, resume building assistance, and individualized goal setting guidance for clients who have developmental disabilities and are at risk for unemployment and underemployment. Participants in this program also receive specialized support at the work site.
Trainees may work up to 15 hours per week and earn minimum wage. Clients must be referred to the C.A.R.E. program by BCFR, which provides the funding for the program.
Free After-School Homework Help and Tutoring
The C.A.R.E. program offers free after-school homework help and tutoring for childre, youth, and young adults Monday through Wednesday during the school year from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in the Armory Sports Center, 701 East Ash Street.
Volunteer tutors assist with:
Many of the tutors are provided by MU’s Office of Service Learning.
For more information about C.A.R.E.’s Homework Help Program, please contact Ron Schmidt at email@example.com or (573) 874-6377.