“Whole child, whole family, whole community.” Since its inception in 1997, the Third Street Community Center, one of the Sharks Foundation’s 2011-12 grant recipients, has operated on this concept to provide educational opportunities to over 2,150 underserved youth in the San Jose community. During a recent visit to the agency, Sharks Foundation board members and staff had the opportunity to witness a group of these local youth in action.
The Sharks Foundation funded the center’s purchase of new tables, chairs and teaching tools, gifting students with a more comfortable and stimulating learning environment. The new furniture is predominately utilized for the programs within the “Inspiring Young Minds and Families” initiative, which motivates children “to want to attend college, be socially responsibly and to adopt healthy behaviors.”
“Our space has literally been transformed into a very cheerful, kid friendly learning environment,” said Third Street Executive Director, Rosemary Baez. “In fact, thank to the Sharks Foundation, we were able to leverage another grant to replace our classroom floors. We ended up with a complete makeover!”
While the new kid-sized furniture made it difficult for the Sharks Foundation to sit among the children during the visit, the staff was still able to observe the After School Academic Program, in which participants are led through hands-on activities by local university students. On this particular day, the students were using their new furniture and equipment to perform a science experiment. Science, technology engineering and math are strongly advocated at Third Street, with the hope that the programming will encourage youth to pursue career opportunities in the technology sector.
Throughout the visit, Third Street staff member and volunteers were eager to the share the stories of success that have arisen from this program. With updated resources now at their fingertips, one can only expect that the children of Third Street will continue to thrive.
For more information, please visit www.3street.org.