Kids Connection

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Kids Connection 2-3 Classroom 2.jpg

Target Population

Homeless and at-risk children kindergarten through eighth grade who reside in St. Louis Park, both at our supportive housing campus and within the larger community.


Kids Connection is a program designed to close academic achievement gaps and to provide social enrichment through activities that include drug/violence prevention, mental health services, arts, music, and technology programming. Kids Connection removes barriers, providing accessibility and affordability to young students who have experienced significant trauma caused by homelessness and/or living in families that suffer from addiction, mental illness, abuse, and poverty. Over 88% of students are children of color. All program components are based on best practices and taught by licensed school teachers.

2017-2018 Program Objectives

  • 100 students (unduplicated) will enroll in Kids Connection for the 2017-2018 school year (including Perspectives’ summer program called Summer Explorers).
  • 80% of students will maintain an average school attendance rate of 90% or higher.
  • 85% of students will maintain or improve their academic performance.

2016-2017 Program Statistics

  • Unduplicated students served: 123

  • School year enrollment (2016-2017): 97

  • Summer enrollment kindergarten through 5th grade (Summer 2017): 64

  • Percentage of retention from summer program to school year: 70%

  • Average school attendance rate: 93%

  • Maintained or improved their academic performance: 90%

Associated Activities:

  • No-Fee, Out-of-School Programming: All services are provided at no cost to eligible parents.
  • Academic Assistance: Licensed teachers and trained volunteers work with children on individual lesson plans five days per week throughout the school year.
  • Special Education: Separate classroom and special education teacher on staff for special needs children.
  • Responsive Classroom Approach: Implemented to foster positive attitudes and build citizenship.
  • Mentorship by Adult Role Models: Positive interaction with nurturing adults provides role models in both the afterschool and summer programs.
  • Modeled Positive Social Behavior: Teachers and tutors mentor and role model effective conflict resolution on continual basis.
  • Recreation: A guided all-summer recreational program.
  • Enhanced Student Involvement: Students are encouraged to volunteer in senior centers and engage in area learning opportunities, e.g. music, karate, arts programs.
  • Transportation: Two-way school bus transportation for programs eliminates a major service barrier for our children.
  • Parent Involvement: Parents are involved in the Parent Advisory Committee as well as numerous events with their children, e.g. talent shows, workshops, dinners in Kids Cafe, etc. Kids Connection teachers will assist as advocates at school district parent-teacher conferences.
  • Community Involvement: Community volunteers serve as tutors, kitchen helpers, and chefs while providing ongoing mentoring to students.