Our ‘Community Quarterback’ needs help!

From Frazier Kids Staff Reports

This year has presented all of us with unexpected challenges. Those most affected, though, are families who struggled long before COVID-19 struck. For families living in the Frazier neighborhood in the Fair Park area near downtown, where more than half of residents live below the poverty line, the pandemic-related financial and health crises have created a devastating scenario. Parents lack adequate childcare, children are at even greater risk of falling behind academically, and residents’ health continues to be in jeopardy.

Photos courtesy of Frazier Kids

To support these families, the nonprofit Frazier Revitalization is raising funds this North Texas Giving Day to provide its free, enriching afterschool program for neighborhood children and provide gardening kits to help residents access fresh fruits and vegetables.

Whether school happens in-person or virtually, Frazier Revitalization’s afterschool program, Frazier Kids, will provide free afterschool childcare in a safe setting and programming that counters the effects of childhood trauma and helps close academic and opportunity gaps. For students, Frazier Kids will advance positive learning opportunities and social-emotional health while keeping them safe.

Like Frazier’s pop-up camps this summer, which were held outside and helped Frazier children stay engaged in learning, this year’s Frazier Kids afterschool programming will remain nimble in light of changing circumstances. The program, which is anticipated to serve an average of 50 students a day, will follow social distancing guidance set by the Dallas Independent School District and programming will be held outside to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition to enrichment focused on sports, arts, STEM and literacy, the program will continue to offer meals, literacy-based tutoring and family engagement activities.

To further enrich the experience of students attending this year’s Frazier Kids afterschool program, Frazier Revitalization is planning to use donated computers as an additional resource for families to enhance literacy efforts. However, the computers need new batteries and software to make them fully functional.

Frazier Revitalization is equally invested in the health of Frazier residents and has partnered with Restorative Farms to create the Hatcher Training Farm and Community Garden. Decades of underinvestment in the community have created a food desert where residents are at greater risk for chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.

When COVID-19 struck, the collaborative quickly pivoted to produce GroBox kits, which provide everything needed to grow a victory garden with fresh fruits and vegetables. Ten percent of retail sales of the kits go directly toward providing free GroBoxes to Frazier residents, who otherwise lack access to healthy, fresh foods. Gifts to Frazier Revitalization on North Texas Giving Day will also support these continued efforts to boost residents’ access to fresh produce.

Established in 2005, Frazier Revitalization’s mission is to be a catalyst for the revitalization and transformation of the Frazier neighborhood by coordinating, supporting and assisting in economic and cultural development. Frazier Revitalization acts as a “community quarterback” in order to connect residents with community organizations, institutions and service providers that address the community’s needs.

The organization was instrumental in the 2015 opening of the Parkland Hatcher Station Health Center, which serves as a primary care clinic for the neighborhood, and has played a leading role in launching the Texas A&M College of Dentistry Clinic, scheduled to open in fall 2020 next door to the Hatcher Clinic. It has also helped to launch the Community Lawyering Center, a partnership with UNT Dallas College of Law that offers legal expertise and services, and the Frazier Out of School Network, which puts resources into the hands of partners to counter the effects of childhood trauma.

Please consider donating to Frazier Revitalization on North Texas Giving Day, Sept. 17 this year, at www.northtexasgivingday.org/frazier-revitalization. Their fundraising goal is $15,000 to support Frazier Kids, GroBox kits and other neighborhood programs. Early giving begins on Sept. 1.