Kiwanis Club of Cape Fear
The Kiwanis Club of Cape Fear nominates Fayetteville Urban Ministries (FUM) for the Legacy of Play Grant. FUM is a 43-year-old local nonprofit that serves thousands of neighbors in the Fayetteville and Cumberland County area of North Carolina through four life changing programs. These programs include Emergency Assistance (food pantry and financial assistance for families in crisis), Adult Literacy, the Nehemiah Program (home repair to low income families) and the Find-a-Friend Program (FAF). The FAF Program would benefit directly from the Legacy of Play grant for playground equipment. The FAF program addresses the individual/peer risk needs by aggressively targeting youth that have family conflict, friends who engage in problem behavior, academic failure beginning in late elementary school, dysfunctional family relationships and court involvement, FAF consists of several different components: An Interpersonal Skills component that offers weekly workshops which include, but are not limited to, workshops that help youth improve family & peer relationships, self-esteem, behavior at school and grade point average. The program also matches adult mentors/volunteers to spend individual time with youth in the community. The one on one mentors and youth spend a minimum of 8 hours together monthly and are matched for one year. The mentor serves as a positive adult role model to help guide and lead the youth on a path of success. Our “Safe Place for Youth Program” focuses on youth that are victims of bullying, cyber bullying, and violent crime. Those youth participate in activities that assist in improving self-esteem, learning how to choose positive peers and coping mechanisms. The FAF program began in 1982 as one of the first mentoring programs established by then Governor Hunt in North Carolina. Since then, it has flourished and added multiple afterschool components to keep at-risk youth fully motivated and enriched through wrap-around support services. The program helps modify youths’ behavior positively at school, home, and in the community. The FAF program was named a “Champion for Children” in 2009 by the Child Advocacy Center. Serving over 200 at-risk and court-involved youth per year, with a 96% success rate at keeping kids out of trouble and successful in school, this program truly makes an impact. The services provided by Find-a-Friend include:
• Youth Mentoring
o The Mentoring Program serves youth ages 6-17 years of age and pairs them with trained adult role models in a mentor-protégé relationship.
o FAF also facilitates group mentoring for civic organizations to work with groups of youth on projects and activities.
• Group Sessions
o Group Sessions provide educational, recreational, and cultural activities applied with life skills and character-building lessons to help youth set and achieve their short and long-term goals.
o These workshops, along with parent support workshops and training, provide wrap-around services for youth in the community.
• Interpersonal Skills & After School Workshops
o These workshops provide weekly group sessions with structure and guidance for identifying and addressing social problems and challenges with youth ages 6 – 17.
o FAF provides the tools to strengthen their social skills, modify behavior, and improve relationships at home, school, and in the community.
Over 95 percent of the children in the program qualify for the reduced or free lunch program. The Fayetteville Urban Ministries implemented Project Modernization, a program that provides modern, diverse instructional strategies, instructional techniques software, and equipment to bridge the digital literacy gaps so that the children can function effectively in school, work home or the community.
A next step in the modernization Project would be to add a playground for the younger members of the program. Most of the youth are referred by Juvenile Court, the school system, and other youth serving agencies. The program serves up to 18 years of age but most of the youth fall between the ages of 6-14 years of age and are deemed high risk as they come from dysfunctional(home, neighborhood, family etc) backgrounds. There is a suitable site available directly behind the FAF Facility. The site is now just an open area. The attached are photos that include the inside of the facility, the current multi-purpose room, the computer room. and other amenities for the children. The Fayetteville Urban Ministries is in dire need of a playground that will provide outdoor activity for the younger members in the program. Photos of the proposed site and the current facility are submitted below.