February 5, 2018
Dear Potential Mars Hill Youth Center Donor,
I write this letter to hopefully express to you how important things like the Mars Hill Youth Center could potentially be for our community. As in any community one of the biggest things our parents are looking for is safe and structured opportunities for their children. At Stout Field we provide these types of opportunities. From the hours of 7:15 am – 2:30 pm our school meets the needs of around 825 students Monday through Friday. We also create opportunities for many students from 2:30 pm – 4 pm in after school activities. Many hours are given by teachers to make this happen.
Our school serves a population of students in which 85% qualify for free or reduced lunch. We provide free breakfast, free lunch and even have a grant to provide a healthy snack in the day. We facilitate a food pantry two times a month thanks to a partnership with the Gleaners and the Indianapolis Star. We even send home back sacks with food for families on weekends. We have a partnership that allows us to have a shoe closet and advocate for donations to provide coats for our students. Although all these things are wonderful our students are still left with gaps in both need and structure.
One of the reasons a Mars Hill Youth center would be so impactful is that it would provide opportunities for students after school hours and on the weekends. This is something that our community doesn’t have and desperately needs. Opportunities for students to have a safe place to interact and providing structured opportunities would make a dramatic impact on our students.
The other awesome thing a fully funded Mars Hill Youth center could accomplish is a strong message to our community that “Community Matters”. Many of our students’ parents have had tough experiences with school in the past. Our goal is to make that different for this generation of students. We believe Mars Hill Youth center desires the same things. The strong community message that facilities like this provide to a community can be life changing for those involved.
Regardless of the outcome of the youth center our school will continue to work in the lives of our youth. We also will continue to advocate for outstanding partnerships and resources that might be able to add increased value to our amazing community. Our students are worth it and we are grateful to have the opportunity to serve them. I hope you might consider joining us in this work!
Principal Stout Field Elementary
To whom it may concern:
My name is Andrew Aspaas and I am the Athletic Director at Lynhurst 7th and 8th Grade Center. I have been in this position for the past 6 and half years. Previously to being the Athletic Director at Lynhurst, I was a math teacher and a coach at both Ben Davis High
School and at Lynhurst. I also grew up on the corner of Cole St and Gadsden St and lived there with my parents for 23 years. So coming back to be the Athletic Director at Lynhust is somewhat of a homecoming for me.
However, what I have noticed in my time as a kid growing up in Mars Hill vs. my time as an Athletic Director is the limited amount of opportunities there are for youth to get involved in any kind of sports. This has become very clear to me, as when students try
out for our athletic teams. The majority of them have never played the sport because they have not had the opportunity to do so. It is not because they do not want to play, but they have not been given the opportunity or they do not have the means to get to the place that is offering those opportunities. Many times this is the case because our families are not able to travel on a regular basis to get their kid to the north side of the district for practices and games. It would be extremely powerful if we had programs here in Mars Hill that would provide those opportunities to our children in this community.
My hope for this community is to see our children be able to have the same opportunities I had growing up as a kid. The ability to join a baseball team or a basketball team right here in their own backyard would be extremely powerful not only for the children in the community but also for the community itself.
Andrew J. Aspaas, CAA
Certified Athletic Administrator
Lynhurst 7th & 8th Grade Center
2805 S. Lynhurst Drive
Indianapolis, Indiana 46241
PHONE: (317) 988-8100 FAX: (317) 988-8245