At Urban Vision, we believe that education is vital to lasting change, both for individuals and for our community as a whole. With 28+ different languages spoken in our diverse neighborhood, English is both a foundation and a barrier to learning. Our neighbors also struggle with poverty, food insecurity, high unemployment, and low literacy.
Urban Vision strives to bridge educational gaps in our community, helping our neighbors achieve their highest potentials, within a safe and structured learning environment. Our educational programs focus on three main age groups:
Early Childhood – On Your Mark works to prepare 3- 4- and 5-year-olds in our community to succeed in school. Many children beginning Kindergarten in our local elementary schools have never experienced this type of structured, group-focused, English-speaking environment before. By teaching these little ones the essentials (like ABC’s, 123’s, basic English, and how to behave in a classroom), On Your Mark gives them a solid foundation to ensure success in school right from the start.
Elementary, Middle, & High School – S.O.S. (Set On Success) After-School Enrichment is Urban Vision’s after-school academic and life skills program for K-12th graders. Every day after school, students receive a healthy meal and structured gym time, followed by a personalized schedule of homework help, one-on-one tutoring in problem areas, specialized classes to meet their interests (like Readers’ Theatre, Comic Book Club, Chapter Book Club, and Open Library), and sports and arts electives. Teens in 6th-12th grade enroll in the S.O.S. Leadership Academy, which goes beyond educational focus and helps teens develop positive, change-minded worldviews while taking an active role in leading their younger classmates.
Adults – To minister to adults in our community by helping them to overcome language barriers, UV partners with Christ Community Chapel’s Crossings ministry to provide the Crossings Ministry, a program that teaches English as a Foreign Language to many parents and adults in our community. Volunteers help these neighbors learn to speak, read, and write English, but also engage in conversation with them, seeking to overcome cultural, religious, and relational barriers as well as language.
The UV Economy– UV also strives to teach financial responsibility to our participants, and our UV Economy allows us the opportunity to do so. Participants in many UV programs earn “UV Dollars” which can then be saved, monitored online, and even invested – before being spent on real items at our Dignity Stores. This also allows us to help participants meet their own holistic needs in a dignified and empowering way.