Jubilee Park & Community Center Improves Lives and Strengthens Communities in Dallas
We’re excited to bring you the first in our series of ‘Featured Partners’ on the All Our Children blog. This week, we’re taking a trip–or at least a virtual one–to sunny Dallas, Texas. Read on to learn about the Jubilee Park & Community Center where parishioners of St. Michael & All Angels join 800 other local volunteers to bring revitalization and community education to the Jubilee neighborhood in Dallas. (And be sure to check out their video below!)
Jubilee Park & Community Center focuses on addressing five key areas of need in their neighborhood population: education, health, public safety, housing, and economic development. For sixteen years, Jubilee has provided critical assistance to families in southeast Dallas through its multi-facility campus which includes the Walt Humann – T. Boone Pickens Community Center, a resource center, Head Start and Early Head Start schools, a senior housing complex, and a three acre park. The majority of families Jubilee engages are working poor, with over 40% living below the federal poverty level.
The Jubilee Park & Community Center believes in education for the whole community, and therefore offers a number of different services in order to diversely combat education inequality and poverty. They offer classes for any and all ages: such as Head Start programs for early learners (ages 3-5) and computer literacy programs for adults and seniors. Jubilee also strives to tackle public health issues associated with the area’s food dessert status by providing healthy meals for all its after school and senior program participants. They also work with area food banks to make nutritious and safe food more accessible to the neighborhood.
According to Ben Leal, Jubilee’s Executive Director, one of the most pressing questions for the Center (and for any engaged in this work) is how to focus and assess the measurable output of the organization. Jubilee’s recent technology grants have helped integrate STEM education into their after school programs, but technology has also helped the Jubilee staff assess their own impact as well. And the numbers are truly inspiring! Take a look at some of the statistics below from Jubilee’s 2012-2013 fiscal year:
- Between the years 2007 and 2012, the crime rate in the Jubilee Park neighborhood dropped 64%.
- 405 students were served individually through Jubilee’s after school programs in 2012-2013, 87% of whom displayed improved reading or math scores in the same year.
- 87% of all students participating in summer reading programs displayed no grade-level learning loss, whereas students who do not participate in learning instruction often lose 2 months of learning over the summer.
Jubilee knows a thing or two about the power of strong partnerships–and brings this expertise to the All Our Children Network. Since their founding in 2007, Jubilee has partnered with various service organizations including AmeriCorps, the Dallas After School Network, Texas Discovery Garden, and Habitat for Humanity, among others. One of their most significant partners are the 320 volunteers from local Episcopal parish, St. Michael & All Angels–who make up half of Jubilee’s volunteers. St Michael’s parishioners fill roles in all capacities at Jubilee–from board members to tutors.
Jubilee truly celebrates community ownership and is a leader in fostering relationships with both individuals and larger community groups.
Members of the Jubilee and St. Michaels All Angel’s team joined All Our Children in 2012 for the initial gathering of the network. We look forward to seeing the team again at the 2014 conference and learning from their most recent successes.