2 schools, 339 students and 8 staff members… Those are just a few of the many numbers that help tell the story of Kids on Course. As we near the end of our three year pilot we’ve been reviewing data, budgets, hours and scores. It seems for many aspects of our work, there’s a way to count it, measure it and evaluate it. So here are some numbers that jumped out at me:

6 First Graders getting PREP 1 through KOC

Kids on Course is probably best known for before and after-school enrichment programming for kids in 2nd-4th grades at Harrison and Van Buren. But that’s just one element of our program. This year we piloted a tutoring program that targets 1st graders who demonstrate a need for more intensive reading support. AmeriCorps members at each school, Satin and Tyler, work for 30 minutes each day with each child. Right now they are working with six kids, with plans to expand it ten times for next school year. That means going from 6 to 60 students!

$43,400 Summer KOC University Budget

Last summer Kids on Course tried something new. We offered a four-week half-day summer camp that was heavy on academics and light on planning time. The result was a big success- kids who attended our camp had better math and reading scores when they started the school year and we all had a blast! We also only spent about $13,722 and impacted 39 kids. This summer we’re going BIG. We have a budget of $43,400 and will impact a projected 110 kids. This summer camp even has a new name: KOC University. We’re going for six weeks and inviting kids entering 2nd – 5th grade at Harrison and Van Buren who have a demonstrated academic need. This FREE camp is unlike anything else out there, with numbers to prove it.

118 Kids who wouldn’t have extra-curricular experiences without KOC

Kids who are involved in extra-curricular activities in High School get better grades and have better attitudes about school (cite: Positive Effects of Extra Curricular Activities on Students, April 2011 by Erin Massoni). We are positioning future high school students to join, try out, and lead the sports, clubs and teams they’ll have access to later. We talked to our families and learned that without Kids on Course, 118 of our kids wouldn’t have any access to organized activities outside of KOC.

3 Committed Partners

Kids on Course is made possible thanks to three organizations: the Zach Johnson Foundation, the United Way of East Central Iowa and the Cedar Rapids Community School District. The Zach Johnson Foundation started Kids on Course with an idea and provides the money for its annual budget: $350,000. KOC is a program of the United Way of East Central Iowa and employs all staff. My office is at United Way, and I rely on the experts in that organization to help answer tough questions and help with community connections. The CRCSD allows Kids on Course to operate within its buildings, shares its deep knowledge regarding what works with kids, and allows KOC to support all kids at the schools, not just those who sign up for after-school enrichments.

Of course there are aspects of Kids on Course that we can’t assign a digit to, nor would we want to. The number of smiles and fist bumps I get when I visit the schools each week are countless. The times Jaimen, David, Claudia and Hannah advocate for a child who just needs a boost exceed the thousands. For all the moments we get to share with families as they support their kids’ passions, dreams and hope. Those are the best times of all.

 

The following photos are from a poms performance led by Beth Malicki at Harrison Elementary:

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