STEP Inc. and the Community Alliance for Progressive Positive Action - CAPPA - are two of the shining stars among human services organizations in our region.
But like all of those organizations, they struggle to meet programming needs and services on shoestring budgets.
That's why we are excited by the announcement that the two organizations are joining forces.
The partnership is designed to expand and enhance after-school programming for income-eligible students. STEP will be providing fiscal and planning expertise while CAPPA is providing after-school programming for children from kindergarten to ninth grade.
Without the pooling of resources, the future of the programming the two organizations provide could have been in jeopardy. Together, there is hope that more children may be reached with their programming.
For decades, STEP has been focused on early learning pathways. CAPPA will strengthen that offering with its comprehensive after-school programming, which includes academics four afternoons a week and performing arts on Friday.
The program has 62 participants, with a waiting list for 20 more. It is curriculum-driven, meets Pennsylvania education standards and has proven outcomes.
The goals of the programming are to avoid the pitfalls that lead to school dropouts and, often, problems with the juvenile justice system.
The partnership comes at a time when the future of The Center on Campbell Street is up in the air due to pending sale of the building by the Lycoming Housing Authority. In a perfect, future world, the success of CAPPA and STEP and the availability of The Center facility could all be merged into expanding learning programs for low-income and at-risk youths in the community.