Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Edison State Students Empowered by After School Program

Edison State student volunteer Jim Kildow of Greenville helps
three students with their reading skills.
“Empowering Darke County Youth is an incredibly valuable program that is bettering this county one child at a time,” said Edison State spring communications student Allie Davidson. Davidson, who worked nearly 50 hours in the program, is one of 23 Edison State Darke County spring students who volunteered in Empowering Darke County Youth’s After School Program.

Darke County Campus students have continued their service to the community through volunteer efforts with Empowering’s academic support program. Working with students from kindergarten through sixth grade, many of whom are struggling academically, has been an eye-opening experience for the majority of the volunteers. They’ve learned that while they were there to help with academics, there was sometimes more to it than that.

Clint Morgan said on his first day volunteering he was scared out of his mind. “I had no idea what to do,” said Morgan. However, within 10 minutes he knew he was doing the right thing. “Sitting down and talking to these kids was amazing … some pulled on my heart on the first day.” He helped them get their work done and then joined in their play. “They just wanted attention,” added Morgan.

Faith Wilker volunteered in the fall, and again in the spring, noting she has grown considerably from the experience. “The After School Program has led me to become an individual and has helped me learn more about myself,” Wilker added.

Hannah Meyers worked 48 hours in the program this spring, noting her work helped her to realize how important it was to be involved in the community. “Empowering gives these kids a chance to reach their full potential,” Meyers said. “It is a very valuable program to the students, and to the community.”

Like Wilker and Meyers, Jim Kildow and Cydney Adams have worked with the children from the beginning of the program in September. Kildow has accumulated 195 hours; Adams 161.

“The program to me feels absolutely critical,” Kildow said last fall. “I know we have made a difference in the lives of these kids… I’ve always wanted to make a difference in the world,” added Kildow. “Finally, I am.”

During the fall semester, 44 Edison State students spent 1,000 hours working with students from the Empowering After School Program. During the spring, 23 Edison State students worked 649 hours with the children. This summer, it is anticipated that, once again, Edison State students will be helping out with Empowering’s new Summer Reading Program.



“I am extremely proud of our students who have volunteered their time to work with these kids,” said Chad Beanblossom, Edison State Darke County Campus Executive Dean. “The amount of service learning hours accumulated by our students is outstanding, and I look forward to the continued growth in service to our community.”

The Edison State student population is invaluable to the program, but so is the community’s adult population. Empowering Darke County Youth is in need of adult volunteers who can give one or two hours a week to the children who are the future of the community. Interested adults should contact Edison State’s Darke County Campus by calling 937-548-5546.

“This is a chance to experience what 67 Edison State students have experienced,” said Bob Robinson, Program Coordinator and Communications Instructor. “It’s a good feeling; good for the child, good for the community, and according to one student, good for the soul.”

It is the mission of Empowering Darke County Youth to provide After School and Summer Tutoring programs to assist students in the areas of language arts and math with the goal of Strong Students for a Strong Community.

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