Capital Region Cares Capital Region Cares 2017-2018 - Page 90

Leaven The T he Leaven is best known as a tutoring and mentoring program, but it also benefits residents living in at-risk neighborhoods through multiple programs. Launched in 2009, The Leaven partners with businesses, police and fire departments, local government, school administrators and teachers, church groups, civic clubs, and concerned neighbors to revitalize struggling communities. The program addresses the high school dropout rate by working with elementary school students to strengthen the educational foundation that can lead to academic success. “We provide the support necessary to get children on track academically, as well as engaged in society,” explains Mark Lillis, Executive Director. “We help with homework, reading ability, health and nutrition education and supplemental summer programs such 90 CAPITAL REGION CARES 2017 | AFTER-SCHOOL CENTERS THAT REVITALIZE NEIGHBORHOODS as partnering with financial institutions for financial literacy education.” “We arrange for college tours to inspire students from at-risk environments to look to the future and set goals,” says Lillis. “We also introduce them to fire and police officers to help build trust and rapport that we hope will last a lifetime.” Headquartered in Fairfield, The Leaven has 16 learning centers throughout Solano, Napa and San Bernardino counties with 20 to 40 students per location. The Leaven system serves about 350 students on any given day, with assistance from 150 volunteers. With the support of the entire community, The Leaven provides hope and proven success through early education intervention — and inspires neighborhoods to rise up and take on their challenges together. And it works – statistics from neighborhoods with MYLEAVEN.COM a Leaven learning center show lower crime rates and higher school scores. So what’s next? “We’re interested in expanding to Sacramento. We can launch a learning center for an initial $30,000 investment, and $20,000 to operate it yearly thereafter. We welcome business partners to help bring about real ch ange, stability and opportunity in at-risk neighborhoods,” concludes Lillis. PROFILE SPONSORED BY