Archive for May, 2012

Friday Fun in Downtown South Bend

We are truly lucky to have a myriad of things to do in downtown South Bend, from Coveleski Stadium to South Bend Civic Theatre … and everything in-between. But we’re even more fortunate to have a group that organizes a monthly themed activity. How many communities can boast of such a thing? Seriously, how cool is that?!

This Friday is a First Friday, so don’t miss the fun downtown. From DTSB’s All Things Sustainable to the Sunburst activities, there will be plenty for the whole family to see and do. So grab your kids or a friend and get out the door Friday. For more info, check out DTSB’s website:

Raise your hand if you’ve participated in DTSB’s First Fridays before. Or if you’re planning to join in this Friday. Hope to see you there!

May 31, 2012 at 8:15 am 1 comment

Neighborhood Clean Up Planned in South East

Live, work, play or pray in or near the South East area? If so, join your neighbors at Broadway Christian Parish (1412 S Carroll St) at 8am on Saturday, June 2. Clean up will occur between Caroll & High and Broadway & Indiana Ave. The South Bend Police Department and Code Enforcement will give instructions before the group heads into the neighborhood. A light breakfast will be provided as well. What a great opportunity to give back to your neighbors. Kudos to Johnny McKinstry, Neighborhood Leadership Academy classmate, for organizing this!

Let us know if you’re planning on helping or know of other service opportunities like this.

May 30, 2012 at 8:41 am Leave a comment

Community Input on Vacant Properties

As you will recall,  Mayor Buttigieg established the Vacant & Abandoned Housing Task Force in February. Now is your chance to speak to this group, as they want to gather community input on Thursday, May 31. The meeting will be held at Muessel Primary Center (1021 Blaine St) from 5:30 to 7:30pm.

What a great opportunity to collaborate with this task force to find solutions to some of the problems in South Bend. Plan to attend and tell your neighbors! If you cannot attend, post ideas here that we can share at this meeting.

May 29, 2012 at 2:48 pm 3 comments

Clothing Giveaway

Know a family in need of clothing and/or household items? Direct them to the ReThreads Clothing Giveaway on May 26 from 8am until 2pm at Apostolic Temple Church located at 2221 S. Ironwood Dr., South Bend, IN 46613 • (574) 289-3150

Know of other upcoming events similar to this? Please let us know!

May 24, 2012 at 9:42 pm Leave a comment

Building a Better South Bend with The Weekend Project

What’s “The Weekend Project?” I’m glad you asked. The Weekend Project is a collaborative effort where neighborhood associations, neighbors, business owners, houses of worship and organizations within each neighborhood in South Bend come together to work on at least one property in their neighborhood. Won’t that be amazing? To have everyone out in their neighborhoods on the same weekend, making South Bend a better place.

While the date hasn’t been set yet, there is still work to do now to make this happen. Here are things to get you started:
1. Contact your neighborhood association.
2. Walk or drive around your neighborhood to look for properties in need of attention.
3. Talk to your neighbors.
4. Talk to businesses, houses of worship and other organizations in your neighborhood.

Some ideas for these projects:
1. Find a homeowner (elderly or otherwise in need) that needs assistance
2. Clean up yards of vacant or abandoned homes
3. Plant a community garden in an open space /vacant lot (with permission from homeowner)
4. Clean up a local park or other common space
5. Remove or paint over graffiti

I encourage you to find time this week to talk to your neighbors about this idea. The more volunteers involved, the larger the impact. Also, share this blog with your neighborhood association. Let’s make this inaugural event a huge success.

Please post other ideas here. Then stay in touch as we’ll continue to make announcements as we move forward.

May 22, 2012 at 11:57 am 2 comments

What Can I Do To Help?

Admittedly, my first thought when I saw South Bend’s IREAD results was, “Great, another negative for the South Bend schools.”  State-wide, 84% of our students passed IREAD (Indiana Reading Evaluation And Determination). In South Bend, 72% passed.

IREAD measures basic reading for 3rd graders, to ensure that students can read proficiently before moving to 4th grade. While testing for those students on top of their class sometimes seems like a waste of time, these tests are geared to help the lower performing students. By identifying those that need assistance, and by providing remediation, we can begin to close the achievement gap. As we all know, the foundation laid now will affect students’ future success.

So while you may be thinking something along these lines “well, I hope the schools figure out how to help the students,” I would encourage you to instead think about solutions. What comes to mind? Are there ways that you can help? That others can help?

We all know how important education is to the future of South Bend, so let’s not play the blame game. Let’s instead direct that energy to establish tutoring programs, to volunteer to read with students, to volunteer in the classroom, and all those other great ideas that are swarming around in your head (please share those here!).

To get involved with the reading program at SBCSC, go to their website:

Looking for reading help, try this free website:

May 16, 2012 at 11:24 pm 5 comments

Slip Slidin’ Away

Have you heard the term “summer slide?” It’s when students forget what they’ve learned during the summer months. Are you concerned about the children that fall behind at school, who are then at a higher risk to struggle with employment? Have you considered the social consequences connected to these issues? One program on the southside of South Bend is addressing this issue for those in grades Kindergarten to 4th grade.

Nestled between Miami and South Michigan Streets, for eight weeks during the summer, is an inspiring program for children called RECESS. In an effort to negate the summer slide, the organizers from Living Stones Church launched this program in 2011. RECESS is free to the families that live in Miami Hills Apartments and to those that attend Monroe School. As the organizers have stated, this program fills “the gap for at-risk children by providing a fun, safe, educational and enriching environment.”

This year’s RECESS runs from June 18th until August 10th. They will be serving breakfast and lunch. There will be age appropriate activities, weekly field trips and, most importantly, unconditional love. As Director Meredith Waltman has stated, “It’s so much more than a day camp. It’s an opportunity for us to connect with our neighbors in a way that can truly impact our community.”

Registration is now open for RECESSS, so be sure to spread the word.

To get involved:

Kudos to past and future volunteers for sacrificing your time for the future of our youth. And thanks to the staff and donors from Living Stones Church for making God’s work a reality.

May 11, 2012 at 8:33 am 3 comments

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