SPARC exists to Strengthen after-school Programs through Advocacy, Resources and Collaboration.
Fort Worth SPARC began as a collaboration with the City of Fort Worth in 2012. Now housed at Tarrant County United Way and working with all 19 local independent school districts, after-school providers and community leaders covering all of Tarrant County's 903 square miles. Each partnership with SPARC is formed to advocate for exceptional after-school programs and to serve as a resource for parents and providers.
Our job is to provide and project quality training, ensuring equity and excellence in OST programming. The goal is to build a network of providers for all ages of our 250,000 youth encompassing Tarrant County. The end result will create a stronger citizenry for decades to come. Our belief is that a collaborative OST network will drive the evolution of a Better Tarrant County into an Optimal Tarrant County!
OST programs include before and after school, summer, weekend and holiday programs, which are known to promote academic improvement, social development and mental health.
With funding from The Wallace Foundation, Sid Richardson Foundation, Amon Carter Foundation, The Ryan Foundation, The Molyneaux Foundation and individual donors, Fort Worth SPARC energizes and strengthens OST programs through:
Advocacy – advocate for funding and developing exceptional OST programs in greater Fort Worth.
Resources – serve as a resource for parents seeking OST programs and helping providers with professional development.
Collaboration – build partnerships with key stakeholders, parents and organizations.
SPARC will accomplish this through three initiatives:
Equity and Excellence in Out-of-School Time programming
Training and professional development - SPARC Signature Speaker Series
Governing body - A Board of 9 diverse Tarrant County leaders.
All Children will have equitable access to excellent quality after-school programs that promote intellectual, creative and healthy development leading to engaged and productive citizens.
To strengthen after-school programs through Advocacy, Resources and Collaboration in the highest acuity of need students within Tarrant County.
We have a children-centered focus
We strategically deliver resources to our highest acuity of need students
We are a small organization designed to pivot rapidly to triage and assess serious challenges in our high needs youth.
We are committed to data-driven decision-making
We are committed to continuous quality improvement
We are committed to a diverse set of stakeholders
We continuously engage our stakeholders
We seek ongoing support from stakeholders and providers
To advance the safest and highest-quality service in after-school programs
To advocate for those we serve with honesty and mutual respect
To ensure quality programming through continuous learning and shared knowledge
To honor diversity and inclusiveness
To uphold the highest level of stewardship with our funds and resources
To be open, ethical and transparent in how we serve and operate
To be supportive and cooperative in all collaborations and partnerships
STAFF & BOARD
The innovative and dedicated professionals at SPARC come from a variety of backgrounds, but all share a passion for serving the children, youth and families of Fort Worth.
Tobi Jackson is a veteran of diverse academic and corporate environments, this dynamic and energetic outcomes-driven leader brings a unique blend of technical and interpersonal abilities to the team. As a respected community leader, she is solutions oriented, with absolute strengths in leadership, team development, crisis management/stabilization and analysis.
During her professional career, she has served the spectrum in education, from K-12 to adult, as a faculty member, administrator and volunteer in public, private and corporate arenas. A strong advocate for youth with over three decades of community service, Jackson holds a B.A. in Education from the University of Texas at Arlington and a Master of Science in Physiology from the University of North Texas.
The Fort Worth SPARC nine member Board of Directors was established to represent the organization’s best interests within the community, to ensure Fort Worth SPARC is on track to meet goals and to develop policies in support of those goals with an end goal of serving A L L children.
Kathleen Powderly, MD President
Pediatrician - Private Practice
Pablo Calderon Vice President
Extensive experience working with non-profit, governmental agencies and citizen groups.
Molly Hyry, Treasurer
Educator and Community Leader
Vicki Ray, Secretary
Biotech and Pharmaceutical Professional, Community Volunteer
Nationally accaimed collegiate baton twirling coach
John Gales, Jr.
Business Owner, Entrepreneur, Event Coordinator, Motivational Speaker, Recording Artist
Workforce Solutions, Workforce Collaboration Manager
Fatherhood and Community Collaborator
North Texas Commission - VP Governmental Affairs
Mary Emily Pardue
Occupational Therapist, Community Volunteer