Providing for opportunities for all youth in Takoma Park to develop to their full potential is a priority community concern for Takoma Park and Long Branch. CHEER has facilitated this priority by convening the Takoma Park Youth Collaborative and acting as fiscal agent for Lunch and Learn.
The Youth Collaborative was formed in 2014 as a consequence of a community wide process examining what can be done to help young people make successful transitions to adulthood. The Youth collaborative conducted the Who wants to Work challenge to teach young people, which teaches employment readiness skills to youth ages 16 to 21, and the Youth Entrepreneur Program, which takes youth ages 14 to 21 through the process of building and implementing a business idea.
Lunch and Learn is a food and summer enrichment program for school aged children who qualify for Free and Reduced Meals program in Montgomery County public schools, and consequently cannot afford summer camp programs. In addition to providing free breakfast and lunch during the summer, children get instruction in math and reading, trips to the pool and get to participate in sports activities, chess club, and arts and crafts activities, and other fun adventures. Without this program these children would have very limited access to organized summer activities or regular access to food.