(Chan) This past November I had a meeting with Corey Gephart (CEO) and Patricia Bing (Family Resource Center Director) of St. Luke’s Community House. I thought it was an introductory meeting to discuss our different programs since we serve in the same general area, but Corey began by saying, “would PTM be willing to serve the youth currently enrolled in Youth Encouragement Services (YES)?” She explained that YES is shifting their focus to two sites in other areas of Nashville and that would leave 75 K-12th graders without an afterschool program. As the CEO of St. Luke’s she wanted to see those 75 youth continue to have access to educational and spiritual development opportunities.
The timing of this opportunity was perfect for PTM. Our board approved a strategic plan in 2014 that prescribed building a multi-purpose building to house programs which have expanded and growing the number of students that PTM is serving to 275 by 2017. With the addition of the site at St. Luke’s Community House (four minutes from PTM’s Wilson Center), PTM will now have access to a building that is large enough to have all of our students together in the same place for special events and opportunities. We no longer have the same need for a new or larger building (preventing the need for a million dollar + capital campaign). Also, we will add 75 students to PTM. The students at St. Luke’s Community House will now have mentors, participate in PTM Life and Springbreak in the Marketplace, and take part in many field trips over the course of the year—all while meeting daily for afterschool or summer programming.
After getting to know the staff at St. Luke’s and their mission for serving families in the 37209 zip code (which includes the Historic Preston Taylor Homes), I have grown in my excitement about this partnership and am looking forward to June 6th when students will begin at “Community House” under PTM leadership.
(Corey) When I learned that St. Luke’s Community House would need a new partner for afterschool and summer programs, I immediately thought of Preston Taylor Ministries. They were already serving West Nashville, shared our mission values and leveraged volunteers as much as we did. Luckily, our Family Resource Director and I had already set up a meeting with Chan. I think we surprised him by coming right out and asking him if PTM would like to become our partner!
St. Luke’s campus hosts many partnerships and several organizations have exclusive access to particular areas. The afterschool partner utilizes the Rogers Center – a large gym with offices, kitchen, classrooms, chapel and playground – at no cost to the partner and receives monthly pass-through funding to operate under the umbrella of our Child Development Center. Because we are “place-based” and one of the only local resources for families in West Nashville, it is critical that we attract the best partners, experts in their lines of service, to operate within the St. Luke’s family.
As Chan and I continued conversations with each other and our teams, we realized how serendipitous and synergistic this partnership truly could be. Not only would we be able to engage more children and youth in the neighborhood, but we would be able to bring a more robust program, greater adult mentorship and have more afterschool days in the school year for working parents. The outcomes PTM demonstrates at other sites left no doubt in my mind that this was the partner I wanted and needed for St. Luke’s.
We are thrilled to launch our new collaboration!
*If interested in volunteering with PTM—either at Community House or one of PTM’s other summer or afterschool sites, please contact Sara Horton (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are having a summer volunteer orientation at PTM’s Wilson Center (4014 Indiana Avenue) on May 26th from 1:00-3:00. Or, for afterschool program volunteering, please sign up for our preview and orientation on August 10th from 4:00-6:00pm by contacting Sara.