The STEP with Links (Striving to Enhance Potential) Program was conceived and piloted in 1983 by the Lynchburg Chapter of The Links, Inc. In 1987, the program was renamed The Pauline F. Maloney STEP with Links Program in honor of the founder of STEP with Links, Inc., whose life’s work was dedicated to helping students become leaders throughout our nation. The program continues today with a curriculum to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The Pauline F. Maloney STEP with Links Program strives to develop qualities in young people that help them to achieve happy, successful and productive adult lives. The program identifies and cultivates bright, talented multi-cultural sixth graders—girls and boys—and offers activities that enhance their leadership potential. A director works with the students in cooperation with the Lynchburg City Schools.
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The purpose of The Pauline F. Maloney STEP with Links Program is to enhance leadership potential. Programs are designed to meet individual and group needs of the participants.
The STEP with Links Program is designed to:
- build self esteem
- develop and promote parental participation in the program and in the schools
- encourage and support academic achievement
- provide a variety of cultural and recreational experiences
- promote character-building activities
- assist in career exploration and learning
Questions and Answers
How much will it cost to enroll my child? There are no enrollment fees.
How long does the program last? The program runs concurrently with school schedules. The students meet one day each week immediately after school for approximately two hours. Other special meeting times and program activities are planned and scheduled to achieve the program objectives.
What activities will my child participate in and how are these activities selected? Members of the Lynchburg Chapter of The Links, Inc. and the STEP with Links director develop program activities that support the program objectives, including workshops and seminars on topics such as inclusiveness, health/nutrition education, etiquette, money management, time management, study skills and current events. Students also attend plays, concerts, dance recitals, picnics, participate in art and clay workshops and community service projects.
Specific activities have included:
- trips to the Virginia General Assembly
- visits to area colleges, museums and historical sites throughout the state
- performances at the Lynchburg Academy of Fine Arts
- ropes courses for team building
Does my child have to attend all of the activities? The children are expected to be committed to the program and attend all activities. Absences are permitted for illness, emergencies and school-related athletic teams.
How will my child get home after school and program activities? The Lynchburg City Schools provides transportation for the STEP with Links Program participants immediately after school. Parents are asked to assist with transportation for special program activities.
Founded in 1946, The Links, Inc. is an organization of professional women of color with 270 chapters located in 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. For more than 60 years the organization has been committed to educational, cultural and civic activities. Members of The Links, Inc. are recognized nationally for their chain of friendship and purposeful service.
The Lynchburg Chapter of The Links, Inc. has been actively involved with community youth since its charter in 1950. Through the years, the chapter has planned and implemented programs and projects that improve the quality of life in our community and fulfills the national organization’s commitment to service in the community.
STEP with Links, Inc. is a non-profit corporation chartered in 1984. It is responsible for raising funds for the STEP with Links Program. The Board members are individuals and business representatives of our community who generously contribute to help make this program possible.
Funding for the STEP with Links Program is provided by individual and corporate gifts. The program’s primary benefactors are the Genworth Foundation, the Lynchburg Chapter of The Links, Inc. and the Lynchburg City Schools. Lynchburg City Schools also serves as the fiscal agent for the program.
For additional information, contact:
The Pauline E. Maloney STEP with Links Program
Charleta Mason, Director
Linkhorne Middle School
2525 Linkhorne Drive
Lynchburg, VA 24503