By Katie Sobiech
The Summit Education Initiative (SEI) hopes to reach kids in school, and outside of the school building, through teachers, after-school activity leaders, and parents.
Over the past year they have begun building a firm foundation by reaching out to form relationships with local schools.
“We’re most proud that we’ve been able to engage almost every school district in the county and lots of non-public schools. Our goal is (to reach) all the kids in the county. We don’t really care where they go to school. Our charge is to work with the schools who are working with the kids, regardless of where they go,” Derran Wimer, Executive Director at SEI, said.
Though it’s a slow build, it’s a process that will be worth it as it gains momentum.
And this is at no cost to the schools.
“Which leaves people astonished,” Wimer said.
“We’re getting more and more schools engaged as we move forward,” he continued.
Tying into Community
The beauty of this is that they plan to reach kids everywhere – in school and beyond – reaching into after school youth programs, activities and groups as well.
“We’re building partnerships with all of the other organizations that are supporting youth. Boys and Girls Club, the Scouts…whatever those organizations might be, we’re trying to engage them so that when the kids are working on homework (they’ll know how to help them),” Wimer said.
“We’re trying to engage more and more the community organizations that work with children and youth to help them understand what is meant by ‘kindergarten ready’, or being able to read at the 3rd grade level, so they can really, truly make an impact on them,” Wimer explained.
“Kindergarten ready means the kids know their capital and lowercase leaders,” Wimer said as an example of the kind of things that this entails.
“If they can do those things then they’ll score at a level that has them ready to be successful,” he continued.
Everyone has an Impact
And you don’t have to be a college graduate, or teacher, to make an educational difference in a child’s life.
“You can be a mom, an uncle, Sunday school teacher, the Boys and Girls Club person…,” Wimer said.
“You can work with kids on these things – recognizing letters, being able to name them, rhyming words. It makes a huge difference,” he continued.
SEI inspires everyone to make a difference in a child’s life, when it comes to learning and growing educationally.
For more information on the growth of this program or to incorporate them into your school system, or group that reaches youth, please visit: http://www.seisummit.org/