Children, Youth and Education

Committee Accomplishments 

The Shelby County Nonprofit Committee brought together nonprofits across varied sectors to share concerns and draw attention to issues that are barriers to residents’ success. We collectively identified major issues per sector and identified ways to address a part of a systemic problem. This is a different approach. Our focus has been on narrowing a focus, coming up with a project that chips away at a big problem, that’s achievable in a year. Previous projects in this sector include:

  • Problem: Early Literacy strategies across the county were not always aligned and resources provided to students often didn’t look like the students reading them nor reflect their daily lives.
  • Strategy: The Children, Youth, and Education Committee worked with the Early Literacy Consortium and partners to align early literacy resources that culminates in a Shelby County inspired phonics book that looks like and reflects the diversity of our residents. Shelby A to Z will be distributed to thousands of early readers.
  • Problem: Youth Mental Health is an on-going problem exacerbated by the pandemic. Students often get a referral to see a mental health provider but don’t have the time, means, or transportation to see that provider.
  • Strategy: The Children, Youth, and Education Committee worked to create a new model for tele-health services through a pilot program so that kids who need mental health support don’t have to travel to get it. 10 tele-health suites have been created in schools and family resource centers where the needs are greatest, connecting students virtually, on site, with mental health providers through University of Memphis’ SMART CENTER. 

Participating Nonprofits