The Good News Bears (GNB) of the Upstate DLI sought to find an interested community partner to assist adults who may be underemployed or unemployed. GNB plans to design practical, relevant sessions to support adults interested in preparing for job interviews, connecting with community resources, and receiving educational support on a variety of topics.

The Good News Bears will partner with Jesse S. Bobo Elementary School (JBES) in Spartanburg School District 6.  JBES has a population of 480 students, 89% of which qualify for free or reduced meals. The 89% free and reduced lunch rate matched the goal of The Good News Bears to increase employment opportunities and educational exposure.  The purpose-driven first year principal, Mr. Thomas Webster, took advantage of this potential partnership. JBES distributed a survey to its families in May 2013 to seek interest of families. Areas on the survey included: continuing education, including preparing for the GED; medical support; legal support; employment tips; opportunities for pre-school aged children; and parenting support. The GNB and JBES will partner to provide families with interactive evenings known as BEARS (Being Engaged And Reaching for the Stars) using various community resources to lead sessions with topics chosen by the families. Families who attend will also be provided a meal free of charge.

GNB plans to implement the family support sessions during the 2013-2014 school year. The group hopes this project will better connect community resources with JBES and become a sustaining, life-changing project.