What is Signature Mission? This fund, which is generally combined with the Mission Legacy Funds from Endowment, provides the monies for a larger than customary gift from Village Church to a community nonprofit. These funds may help start new programs, expand infrastructure and/or serve new clientele. In general, Signature Mission provides funds to help a local organization grow. It offers an authentic opportunity to encounter Jesus Christ through service work and an identifiable place to grow in relationship with God.
Every year, the Village Church Mission Committee invites selected nonprofit organizations to apply for this grant. The Mission Committee reviews each application and tours the applicant organizations as a part of the decision-making process. The recipient is announced in the fall during a Sunday services. During the succeeding year, Village Church continues to follow the program’s progress and highlight the recipient through various electronic and print publications.
Since 2008, Signature Mission grants have been awarded to the following programs:
THE 2016-2017 SIGNATURE MISSION
The Village Church Mission Committee and Village Endowment are excited to join other funders including JE Dunn Construction, Google, the Opus Impact Fund and Staples to help launch the creation of the first Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Smartlab in Kansas City. The total grant amount from Village Mission ($16,000) and Endowment ($14,000) is $30,000. Construction started in early May 2016 with renovation of the space and a launch of the program on June 1st in time for Operation Breakthrough’s summer programs.
With humble beginnings going back to 1971, Operation Breakthrough now serves 266 children from six weeks to 5 years in nationally-accredited early learning programs; 120 school-age children in before/after-school and summer programming, and the children's 215+ parents/caregivers. Eighty-seven percent of the children attending OB live below the federal poverty level and 21 percent of the families are homeless, living in shelters or staying with friends or relatives. Over 32 percent had experienced four or more adverse childhood experiences which is nearly three times the national rate.
The STEM lab that features fully integrated systems of hardware, software, furnishings, online curriculum, educational kits, manipulatives, and assessment tools. It is known to be effective at providing young learners with engaging STEM experiences from robotics, electronics, software engineering, mechanics and structures to the engineering design process. As a student-centered environment, the SmartLab is designed for personalized learning where autonomy and self-direction are encouraged and rewarded. Activities are also designed to develop critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration, communication and project management. Student progress will be assessed through daily journals, presentations and a portfolio of work.
Thank you, Village Church, for helping make this new program possible with your annual gifts. Operation Breakthrough welcomes Village Church volunteers’ help mentoring students through their STEM learning activities and project work. If you would like to know more about Operation Breakthrough’s STEM lab or would like to volunteer with the program, contact Deborah White at 913-671-2369 or email her at email@example.com
THE 2015–2016 SIGNATURE MISSION
The Mission Committee of Village Presbyterian Church selected the DeLaSalle Education Center’s PACES program expansion as the Signature Mission for 2016. Founded in 1971, DeLaSalle Education Center is an innovative charter high school offering students, ages 14 to 20, who have struggled in other schools or dropped out, an alternative to traditional school. It is the only charter high school in the state of Missouri dedicated to serving the high risk urban core.
DeLaSalle’s PACES is an onsite early childhood education program, serving infants and toddlers ages six months to three years. Since 1996, the program has served children of teen parents attending DeLaSalle by providing a safe and nurturing environment for the children, teaching teen parents effective parenting skills and allowing for opportunities for parent and child interaction. PACES is licensed by the State of Missouri and through The Family Conservancy, by Head Start, Early Head Start and the Mid-America Regional Council.
Through grants from Village Endowment and the Mission Committee totaling $30,000, the program has expanded to its fully licensed capacity and now offers the program to other charter schools and to teen parents in the Kansas City, Missouri School District.
Success of teen parents in the program is measured in multiple ways including graduation and attendance rates, growth in academic competencies and state testing. Last year, 96 percent of DeLaSalle graduates decided to pursue further education and/or seek meaningful employment. More than 73 percent of former students are currently working. Teachers evaluate children in PACES through formal developmental assessments and parent involvement.
Contact Deborah White, director of mission, at 913-671-2369 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about Signature Mission.
Director of Mission