The San Antonio Chapter of The Links, Incorporated implemented and currently operates under an umbrella program, “Achieving the Dream with eSTEAM: Conquering Obesity, Bullying and Illiteracy,” which launched in Fall 2013 at the Antioch Branch of Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio After-School Program (B&GCSA). The San Antonio Chapter saw a need to expand its reach and already-existing umbrella program, “Back to Basics” that was in place in the same community and thus, attained a partnership with B&GCSA.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of San Antonio, in partnership with Eastside Promise Neighborhood (EPN), opened the Antioch branch for summer camps and after-school care for students pre-kindergarten through 12th grade attending schools in the EPN East Side San Antonio area in Summer 2013.
While the initial eSteam program was implemented at Antioch B&GCSA, we are actively engaged in programming weekly at the Eastside Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio and The Links Read Library at Antioch Baptist Church Pre-School and Elementary School.
Historically an African-American community, East Side San Antonio is primarily African-American and Hispanic, currently 30% and 60% respectively, and faces socio-economic decline. The “Achieving the Dream with eSTEAM” program targets up to 40 male and female B&GCSA students in grades 4 through 8 and aims to address key issues impacting this community: (1) childhood obesity; (2) bullying; and (3) illiteracy. Our mission and vision for the Achieving the Dream with eSTEAM program is to reduce childhood obesity, strengthen self-esteem and broaden literacy in 4th through 8th grade participants, utilizing S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics) targets and tools.
The Achieving the Dream with eSTEAM program is designed to address the three (3) major goals of childhood obesity, bullying and illiteracy by way of the following five (5) objectives: (1) To provide education on healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, and cardiovascular health; (2) To promote an anti-bullying environment; (3) To build self-esteem; (4) To broaden literacy and (5) To increase and promote awareness and interest in S.T.E.A.M. activities and careers. All five (5) program facets contribute to the Achieving the Dream with eSTEAM program with creative and engaging weekly activities and presentations.
In conjunction with the umbrella program, Achieving the Dream with eSTEAM, facets will continue to conduct other activities in support of The Links, Incorporated programs initiatives. The National Trends and Services Facet will continue its American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) presentations throughout San Antonio. The Arts Facet launched its Signature Arts Program, “Classics Through the Ages,” in May of 2014. The Health Facet is working with the local chapter of the American Heart Association on other heart health programs and activities. International Trends and Services is supporting the schools in Liberia in the national “Education Across the Miles” program.