Partners for HOPE Discuss El Pomar Contract


Lincoln Elementary School, Teen Center Headquarters

Lincoln Elementary School, Teen Center Headquarters


Lori Hammer, Executive Director of the Partners for HOPE Center at Lincoln School in Lamar, told Coalition members that the $100,000 check from the El Pomar Foundation has been received.  “It is really official now and with the check we’re good to go for another year of operations,” she said during the Coalition’s monthly meeting.  El Pomar is asking for a report of the program’s activities through the year, a requisite for future funding.  HOPE’s former funding from a JAG Grant expired this month which funded four years of the program’s activities and was not renewable.

Hammer said during last month’s meeting that El Pomar’s funding is renewable and the philanthropic group will help her find funding from other sources. Partners for HOPE is required to provide a quarterly progress report detailing the number of students being supported by HOPE, changes or evolution of the curriculum being offered, updates on any extra funding received by HOPE and data showing the impact of the program on academic and behavioral programs for the students.  Two surveys have been created for students to fill out for third through sixth grades and from middle to high school students.

Some goals they are working toward include providing a healthy lifestyle and wellness choices for the students, developing a community gathering place at the HOPE Center and increasing educational support for the students.  Hammer said, “We’re seeing more students come to us after school.  Our numbers are up to about 150 each day now.”  The Lincoln School is becoming more of a focal point for the neighborhood with their creation of a community garden, plans for a monthly distribution site for clothes and shoes for families and most recently, the new headquarters for the annual Toys for Tots project.

The annual Chili Dinner is still set for Friday, November 7 at Lincoln School.  Volunteers are being sought to help with the meal’s preparation as well as contacting local businesses to donate some of the ingredients.  There was some discussion on the silent auction, whether to have only one or two high priced items or various smaller ticket items which would be open to more bids from the public.

Hammer said plans are developing for a shoes and clothes room for the students. “I had spoken with Sherri Becker last year about starting a place for clothes distribution.  Karen Voepel, from Share the Spirit Foundation, discussed doing the same thing with shoes from her annual give-away and I got the okay from the school administration, and we’re going to begin the project,” she explained.  “Once a month on a Saturday, we’ll open the room and let families come in and go through the donated clothing at no charge,” she told Coalition members.  Hammer said they’re advice from other groups that do this to develop a smooth running project.  A recommendation was made to have a donation box on hand if some people felt like contributing to the HOPE organization.

Byron Hall discussed the on-going plans to develop a bike repair clinic at Lincoln School.  ‘We’re looking at opening a room on Fridays where the students can come in and pick out a bike and do repairs on it,” he explained.  “I think we may concentrate on tire repairs too, as most of the problems around here come from flat tires,” he added.   Hall said there is local funding to help supply tires, tubes and parts for the project.  He said a shop in Pueblo can help supply the parts as there’s no local bike shop and volunteers will assist in training the students in repairs.

By Russ Baldwin

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