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Fostering Connections May 2023 Newsletter

Dear Fostering Connections Supporters,

May is Foster Care Awareness Month. Nationwide, over 390,000 children are in foster care. Up to 90% of children in care have been exposed to trauma. Here at Fostering Connections, we provide services to youth in grades Pre-K-12 and their families who have been impacted by foster care or trauma through educational programs and scholarships. Our programs meet the needs of the entire family. We are so thankful for the many foster parents who say yes to foster care and provide a safe, loving home for children who have experienced trauma.

In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month, we will be holding our annual Night of the Arts fundraiser, our largest fundraiser of the year, on May 13 to raise awareness and funds for our educational programs and enrichment scholarships. We are thankful for our sponsors, board members, and volunteers who have helped make this event possible. There is still time to purchase tickets to join us or donate a silent auction item. Read more in our monthly newsletter.

April was a busy month for us with educational programming. We launched our first Teen Talk program with surfing lessons at St. Augustine Beach. Teen Talks are quarterly events held around the region we serve to provide a space for teens in grades 6-12 to build friendships with other teens who have had similar life experiences and to give teens exposure to enriching activities they may not get to experience on an ongoing basis. It was amazing watching the teens learning to surf, growing in their confidence, and building relationships with one another. Our monthly Foster/Adoptive Family Meet Ups for our younger children at Ready Set Play and The Playful Family continue to grow. You can read a full program recap for both our Teen Talks and Foster/Adoptive Family Meet Ups in our newsletter.

This summer, we have a full calendar of programming with Career Readiness Academy sessions in Jacksonville & DeLand, a Teen Talk event at Daytona Lagoon, and Foster/Adoptive Family Meet Ups. Career Readiness Academy registration is still open for both Jacksonville and DeLand.

I am excited to announce that fostering Connections was awarded a $5,000 grant from CareSource Foundation to provide funding to develop a digital learning platform to bring Career Readiness Academy to teens across the State of Florida. We look forward to sharing more updates with our supporters.

Thank you for your continued support of the mission and programs of Fostering Connections. Not everyone is able to be a foster parent, but there is something everyone can do to support youth impacted by foster care or trauma. How can you help? I look forward to seeing you at Night of the Arts or at our events this summer!

Kind Regards,

Aubrie Simpson-Gotham

Founder & CEO

May 2023 Newsletter
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