Coming Together

Sprout Family Services 2015 Report

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Greetings Champions of Sprout!

A message from the Board President

It’s the end of the calendar year with more and more darkness surrounding us, however through my eyes Sprout remains a shining beacon in our community any time of year. Yes, we have faced a shrinking budget this year and are staring into a forecasted state economic shortfall too. And that’s why “Coming Together” is so crucial as we live and breathe our mission of promoting healthy development of children and families.


As we peer into the future, we know that forming partnerships with other nonprofits and the private sector is key for our sustainability, efficiency, outreach, and contributions to the vitality of families and children. And so our incredible Staff and committed Board of Directors are proactively seeking ways to partner with others whether that is sharing space, administrative costs, or enhancing programs with others for children. Perhaps you want to join in and share ideas and energy how we can support children and families in our communities even better through partnerships? Please let me know. “Coming Together” in the coming year will allow Sprout and its partners to light the way and lift the well being of children and families in all of our communities!


Thank you for your ongoing support of Sprout.


Susie Amundson

Sprout BOD President

A Message from the Executive Director

Donald Winnicott, the English psychologist, in 1947 said that, "There is no such thing as a baby, there is a baby and someone." You see, babies can not exist without their caretaker. Their caretaker is also how babies establish the view of their world. Will they feel a sense of security, know that when things get tough, they have the support of their caregiver?


2015 marked a tough year for Sprout and other non-profits in Alaska. Our state is in a fiscal crisis and we began to feel the effects through the potential of funding cuts. In times like this, it is very easy to feel the anxiety that comes with fewer resources while families remain in need.


I am so proud to work for an agency that is clear in our mission: to promote the healthy development of children and families. Instead of asking the question, "how will we do more with less?" our staff and board decided to come together. We chose to ask the question, "how can we do the best for families with what we have?" You see, just like Winnicott, there is no such thing as an agency, only an agency mission and the support of our funders, donors, and our community.


Throughout this report, you will see the work that Sprout has accomplished over the past year. You will see a list of donors who have joined us to meet our mission. You will see some program highlights, special events and the many ways that we have come together.


Jillian Lush

Executive Director

A poem by Gary Snyder, For the Children:

For the Children


The rising hills, the slopes of statistics lie before us.


The steep climb of everything, going up, up,

as we all go down.


In the next century or the one beyond that, they say,

are valleys, pastures,

we can meet there in peace if we make it.


To climb these coming crests one word to you,

to you and your children:


stay together

learn the flowers

go light.

Programs and Services

Program Highlight: Infant Learning Program

The Sprout Infant Learning Program (ILP) assures that early intervention services are available for families with infants and toddlers (birth to age three) with special needs or those at risk for developing a delay in development. In FY2015 the Sprout ILP was able to provide a milieu of child development services to children in the community:


  • 51 Developmental Evaluations
  • 143 visits with Occupational Therapy
  • 67 visits with Physical Therapy
  • 200 visits with Speech Therapy
  • 119 visits with Specialized Instruction
  • 64 children referred
  • 60 children enrolled

Water Play!

Below: Having a blast with the water table at the Sprout Neighborhood Block-Party that 57 parents and children attended!
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Program Highlight: Families Together Program

In 2015 the Sprout Families Together Program, FTP provided intensive family preservation services to families referred by the Alaska Office of Children’s Services, in which one or more children are in imminent danger of being placed in out-of-home care. Intensive services by the Sprout Family Support Provider included the following:



  • 10 Families enrolled
  • 206 Family Training/Support
  • 88 Family Service Coordination
  • 87 Direct Transportation Provided
  • 20 Referral/Intake
  • 13 Collaboration with Community Services
  • 10 Family Team Meetings

Program Highlight: Imagination Library

In 2015 Sprout's Imagination Library had 363 children receiving one free book in the mail each month! In addition, Sprout hosted 8 "First Friday Field Trips" at various locations around town. Each event had special books to go along with the theme for families with children 0 - 5 to enjoy. Events were hosted at Bishops Beach, Homer City Animal Shelter, Islands and Oceans, Far Out Cafe, Seldovia Village Tribe dental office, Calvin & Coyle trail, and Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies. (pictured right is Nancy Radtke, Sprout Master of Social Work Intern reading "We're Going on a Bear Hunt" to a crowd of Sprout families at Bishops Beach.)



This year Sprout hosted the “Alice in Winter Wonderland” float during the winter carnival parade. Sprout staff and families dressed as characters going to the tea party. Artwork was generously loaned by Aleda Yourdin. We handed out almost 300 books to children in the crowd (pictured below).

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Financial Highlights

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We couldn't do it without you!

Many thank-yous to our donors, funders and friends!

Susie Amundson/OT Kids*

Lela Benson

David and Kara Clemens

Carla Cope

Leland Curtis

Jessie Dabney

David Derry

Julie Engebretsen

Alison Flack

Ross & Jen Fonkert

Allison & Malcolm Gaylord

Haejin Han

Michael Hiller

Michael & Cheryl Illg

David & Jeanette Johnson

Jessica Lawmaster

Porter Lawrence

Linda Lekness*

Jillian Lush

Julie McCarron

Gretchen McCullough

Conor McManamin

Maureen Moore*

Amanda Neals*

Karen Northrup

Jackie Norvell

Carolyn Norton*

Odin Onion

Kasey Panhuise

Julia Person

Olympia Piedra*
Becky Pfeil/Timeless Toys

Rachel Romberg

Paul & Tina Seaton

Miranda Weiss & Bob Shavelson

Mel Strydom & Nadya Klingel

Elizabeth Trowbridge

Crystal Wallace

Hollie Wynne

Sharon Whytal

Tom Zitzmann

Alaska Communications
Alaska Community Foundation

Alaska Department of Education and Early Development

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services

Alaska USA Federal Credit Union
American Seafoods
Best Beginnings
Brookes Publishing Company

First National Bank of Alaska

The Foraker Group

The Grog Shop

Homer Emblem Club #350

Homer Kachemak Bay Rotary Club

The Homer Foundation

Kenai Peninsula United Way

The Rasmuson Foundation

Seldovia Village Tribe




*Indicates past or present Board Members


The above list represents donors from FY2015 (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015). Although every effort was made to ensure accuracy, we acknowledge that errors may have been made. If we have omitted, misplaced or misspelled your name, please contact Sprout at (907)235-6044.

Sprout Board of Directors

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Left to Right: Randall White, Treasurer; Maureen Moore, Vice President; Jillian Lush, Executive Director; Carolyn Norton, Member; Linda Lekness, Member; Amanda Campbell, Secretary; Susie Amundson, President

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Left to Right: Margie Scholl, Playgroup Leader; Jenifer Dickson, Sprout Intern; Jeanne Anderson, Occupational Therapist; Tara Hagge, Intake Specialist; Karen Shemet, Family Support Specialist; Jeffrey vonRekowski, Speech Language Pathologist; Jillian Lush, Executive Director; Jackie Eisenberg, Families Together Manager; Carrie Plant, Rural Developmental Specialist; Audrey Morris, Administrative Manager; Jill Zank, Early Learning Manager. (Not pictured: Frankie Saxton-Opatz, Family Support Specialist; Colleen James, Family Support Specialist; Beth Buenting, MASST Office Assistant; Lisa Asselin Martin, Outreach Specialist; Pauline Benson, Office Cleaner; Nancy Radtke, MSW Intern; Ingrid Harrald, MSW Intern; Emily Bailey, BS Intern.)
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We're an official Pick. Click. Give. Organization!

The program was created by the Alaska State Legislature in 2008 and allows Alaskans filing for their PFD online to donate all or part of it to eligible charitable and educational organizations. The program is available to Alaskans who file online for their PFD. The online application has a list of eligible organizations, including SPROUT and people will be able to choose to contribute. Remember us when you file for your PFD!


http://pickclickgive.org

Sprout Family Services

Mission Statement: To Promote the Healthy Development of Children and Families