Dear friends and neighbors,
Another year has flown by, can you believe it?! For all of you who have supported Goodman this past year — through gifts of time, money, services, goods and all the amazing ways you give — do you know how you’ve helped make your neighbors’ lives more joyful? More connected? More secure?
Whether you gave your first gift ever this year, or you’re an old friend of Goodman, I want you to know the answer to that question.
I love this page from a flip chart I saw hanging in one of our middle school rooms this fall. Practice the scientific method and help you get an answer to that important question. Before I close, I’ll also tell you about some of the good things in store for this next year. So please, read on.
Step 1: Ask a question
"When you give to Goodman, does it change lives?"
Step 2: Gather information
Check out these photos from the last year. See what you think!
Jim Barnard Photography
Beth Skogen Photography
M.O.D. Media Productions
Four Lakes Photo
M.O.D. Media Productions
Step 3: Form a hypothesis
Your gifts help people — youngsters to oldsters.
Step 4: Test the hypothesis
Participants in programs at Goodman tell us what they think.
- "I feel seen, valued, heard, and appreciated in the way teachers engage with our family and it has helped my child develop her English and attitude in many positive ways."
A BIPOC parent with kids in GCC programs
- "Goodman helped me with my communications skills and helped me with my growth mindset by showing me I could do things I didn’t think I could just by trying them."
A middle school student
- "When I arrived at leadership camp, I cried because I didn’t want to be there. By the end I was crying because I didn’t want to leave."
A high school student
- "Because of Goodman, our family has food to eat. And a lot less stress."
A food pantry patron
- "Goodman staff make me feel like I belong here. It’s my second home."
A BIPOC middle school student
“I made new relationships with people I didn’t think I would ever talk to. I learned how to socialize and interact and feel more comfortable around people.”
- "All children are welcomed, loved and made to feel safe. Fostering children’s social and emotional well-being is at the heart of the classroom ... ensuring children have the social and emotional skills necessary for success in preschool and throughout life. The environment is filled with pleasant conversation, laughter and a sense of productive busyness among children who are engaged in work/play."
From city accreditation report about one of our 3-year-old classrooms
- "I value Rachel’s tai chi classes more than I can say. She is so helpful. She even chased away my fear of falling as she explained how
to flex our knees and put the weight in our quads."
A senior participant
- "My accomplishment was giving my best effort in all of my work. This can be hard because I don’t like some of the activities that we do. I overcame this by thinking about how all of this is for a reason."
A Seed to Table student
- "Getting out of the house for someone who lives alone is extremely important. Feeling missed when I can’t go is worth more than money."
A senior participant
- "Goodman 'watches our kids,' but they do way more than that. They have helped raise our children, prepare them for school, provide them with friendship, opportunity, and love."
A parent with kids in afterschool and preschool
Step 5: Share your results
Conclusion: Goodman is pretty special.
I often tell people “Goodman is a unicorn” — you won’t find a place like this anywhere else. And that’s too bad, because every community would benefit from a center like ours. Our core programs for kids, teens, older adults, food are absolutely solid, and yet our staff keep finding ways to make them richer. Ways to make an even bigger impact. I’m constantly delighted by how creative, caring, competent and committed our staff are. Paired with your support? We are poised to do great things.
I’m excited for the next year — the work ahead.
We’re making progress on enabling Goodman to be a pilot provider of living wages for all our staff. As I write that, it’s uncomfortable to tell you some of our staff aren’t making a living wage — our staff wages have always been in sync with community norms, but we want to do better. And I think we’re close to making that right.
Some of our high school juniors will hit the road to tour historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) during spring break. We’re ramping up our commitment to helping little ones become readers who love reading, and helping kids who fell through the proverbial cracks discover it’s not too late. And we'll be talking with our families and parents to learn meaningful ways we can be a part of
making their lives better.
New and deeper partnerships with schools, businesses and organizations are going to enable us to support kids of all gender identities in new ways, expand programming for a growing number of older adults and enable Goodman to continue offering rich programming that help kids and adults grow into people with lots to contribute to their community. Thank you for being the good in our community. For helping us do so much last year.
I would love to see you at the center sometime!
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Letesha was joined by four local leaders to discuss justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI) work. It was an invigorating morning!