This fall marks the fourth year that Divisadero's SF Skate Club, headed by skateboarder Shawn Connolly and his wife, educator Thuy Nguyen, will run Eduskate, its after-school program for middle-school students.
This month, the couple are seeking some funds to help cover the program's costs, including staffing, supplies, food, and the Skate Club van. They've launched an Indiegogo campaign, which hopes to raise $10,000 by October 20th. Here's the fundraising video for the project:
Connolly, who's been working with youth since 2007, told us that this summer's program was the busiest to date. The fall program, which kicked off on September 6th, serves middle schoolers every Monday through Friday from 3:30pm to 6:30pm. They're able to get help with their homework, and participate in enrichment activities put on by SF Skate Club.
This fall, Connolly is launching a photography program for students with a handful of analog cameras donated by community members, and a music program taught by Ted Maider, who's a doorman at The Independent, across the street. (If you'd like to donate any materials for these programs, just swing by the shop during business hours.)
And of course, there's plenty of skateboarding. On Tuesdays, the students do a half session at the park at Waller and Stanyan, and every Friday, Connolly and crew take them to an area skatepark.
Connolly told us that his fourth year is particularly interesting, as it's the first time a crop of eighth graders has aged out. Some of the older students have returned as volunteers, or in some cases, as employees through MYEEP, a youth employment program that's run through the Mayor's Office.
"We have a whole new crew of eager faces joining us this year, and some solid student crew members stepping up in the ranks who will help our newcomers feel welcome and share our unique style, traditions and focus on community, along the power of having a healthy body that pushes down the street as well as a mind that is open to learn new things," said Connolly. "We never limit ourselves on the skateboard, and we never limit ourselves to the opportunities to grow as life-long learners."
Enrollment in Eduskate is first come, first served, with a cap of 20 students. There are still spaces available, so if you know a middle-schooler who might benefit from the program, contact Connolly or Nguyen via phone at (415) 572-2064 or through their website.
There's a sliding-scale fee to participate, which ranges from free to $5 per student per day. Nguyen told us that no student will be turned away for financial reasons, and that they are open to in-kind donations, if that better fits a family's needs.
If you'd like to learn more about SF Skate Club and all it has to offer, or donate some of your time, swing by tomorrow (Saturday) for a big back and front yard clean-up at the hub. It goes from 10am to 6pm, and there will be food, refreshments and music.
Update: And check out this fundraiser, schedule for Oct. 6th:
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