Mayor Announces Reform to Better Serve Jacksonville Youth
August 02, 2017
Demonstrating his continued commitment to strengthening and bolstering programs that align and contribute to the safety and well-being of youth and communities throughout Jacksonville, today, Mayor Lenny Curry
announced a collaborative partnership that streamlines services to Jacksonville children. At an afterschool programming open house held at Sallye Mathis Elementary School, the mayor launched the Kids Hope Alliance: The Jacksonville Partnership for Children, Youth & Families (KHA)
, a collaboration that aligns the missions and programming provided by the Jax Journey and Jacksonville Children’s Commission.
“Over the past several months, my administration has been leading and conducting comprehensive and collaborative reviews with non-profit agencies and education partners to identify opportunities to strengthen programs and reform services that embolden our city’s children to realize their dreams,” said Mayor Curry. “As mayor, I recognize that youth development is one of our most important responsibilities and greatest contributors to our community’s future. Every child in every ZIP code throughout this city deserves access to resources and opportunities that will lead him or her to a brighter future.”
The proposed legislation, to be filed today, streamlines children’s services to be overseen by the Kids Hope Alliance, that includes a CEO and seven-member board. Established as part of comprehensive reforms that position our community to meet the changing needs of local children today and to better serve Jacksonville’s at-hope youth, the Kids Hope Alliance will adopt a plan that identifies four key elements of service to be provided to local youth. They include Early Learning, Literacy and School Readiness; Juvenile Justice Intervention Programs; Out-of-school Programming; and Pre-teen and Teen Programming. Under the new policy, the Kids Hope Alliance will be required to utilize information received from the Sheriff’s office on policing and public safety initiatives, as well as develop metrics and procedures for assessing successes of programs, and provide on-going research for best practices in the field. Additionally, the agency will prioritize geographic areas throughout Jacksonville that have demonstrated greatest need for services.
Recently, the City of Jacksonville committed additional funding to afterschool programs for local youth. Given the tremendous value of afterschool offerings and other youth programming to the education, safety and well-being of children, Mayor Curry’s administration and City Council have worked with existing resources to shift budget dollars to fund nine additional high-quality afterschool sites to a total of 58 for the 2017-18 school year serving an additional 740 children.
“The reforms presented today are an effort to provide and improve access to high-quality opportunities for youth development and learning in partnership with the numerous agencies, organizations, and citizens who share and support the vision to make Jacksonville the best city in the world for a child to grow up,” said Mayor Curry.