ICAN is a free youth center in the East Valley that offers programming for youth, teens, families and the community. ICAN’s nationally-recognized prevention programming teaches disadvantaged youth real-life skills including goal setting, positive decision making and how to avoid the risky behaviors that are prevalent in the community ICAN serves. ICAN’s evidence-based programming equips youth to achieve personal and academic success. Parenting classes and substance abuse education complete ICAN’s programming, impacting the entire community.
During this unforeseen time, ICAN made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend all in-person programs. ICAN typically serves 200 youth daily with the afterschool program, and as a result of the pandemic, the demand is far greater with more families in need. Through the help of the United for the Valley COVID 19 Fund, ICAN was able to adapt to the growing needs, and continued to make weekly at home Kraft Kits for children. These kits include crafting items such as printed paper, glue sticks, crayons and other crafts. The goal of the Kraft Kits is to keep kids busy while continuing to instill the 5 C’s of positive youth development: competence, communication, contribution, connection and character.
After the first week of the Kraft Kits being so successful, ICAN doubled their distribution to 500 kits a week at three different locations. Thanks to community partnerships and your gifts, ICAN has continually served the community in new and innovative ways that have reached 1,800-2,000 families a week.
“It's been a stressful and worrisome time for all of us, but it has also been a time filled with such inspiration and generosity. In the midst of all of this new programming, we are still planning and preparing for the future.” – Shelby Pederson, CEO ICAN: Positive Programs for Youth
In these uncertain times, ICAN is not only providing positive and interactive activities for kids, but is contacting families every 2 weeks to provide referrals for any basic needs. Check out their video that highlights our brave partners coming together to UNITE the community as they navigate new ways to support families and spark the minds of our youth.
During these unprecedented times, we are committed to supporting urgent and emerging needs of Valley families and individuals, and the nonprofits serving them, through a new COVID-19 response fund. Your support is needed now.
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