Submitted by Dave O’Keeffe, CISL Director
Springbrook is an area in Lakewood, near McChord Gate at the end of Bridgeport Way, that is marked by high-density, low-income housing and large numbers of diverse families living in poverty. Over the past two years, several organizations have partnered to build trust, safety and access to community resources in the neighborhood.
- Lakewood First Lions Club “adopted” Springbrook Park last year and has poured in thousands of dollars to provide daily summer activities for kids (led by City of Lakewood Recreation staff), and events such as an annual Easter Egg Hunt (Caring for Kids made sure kids got a lot more than eggs!), Halloween Party, and Summer Family Barbeques.
- Caring for Kids responds to referrals from schools and agencies to provide families with clothing, food, school supplies and medical/dental/vision resources. The Caring for Kids van is a common sight in Springbrook!
- St. Leo’s Food Connection provides a mobile food truck that parks every Saturday next to CenterForce. While families wait their turn in line, volunteers give away clothing, household items and information on community resources. Diane Formoso calls this weekly gathering a “community building event”.
- Communities In Schools of Lakewood (CISL) partners with local schools to provide mentor and after-school programs for Springbrook students in grades 3-10.
- Comcast provides most of the funding for a unique CISL program called “Growing Up Is Fun!” Since there are many young parents in Springbrook who are isolated and lack resources for preschool/day care, Diane Formoso has developed colorful bags for parents that contain learning resources—in English and Spanish—that help parents prepare their children for Kindergarten.
- CenterForce allows CISL to use their building to host “Growing Up Is Fun!” family events that include free dinner, parent break-out sessions in Spanish and English, and resource tables where parents can talk to reps from Community Health Care, Centro Latino, Caring for Kids, PC Library and Pierce College.
- Crime and gang activity are decreasing in Springbrook due to “community policing” strategies developed by the Lakewood Police Dept.
These are just a few of the reasons “Springbrook is in the Air”. By supporting the above agencies and organizations you help to keep it that way!