What would you do with $100,000?

That’s quite a jackpot and inspires dreams of tropical vacations, paying off all debt, maybe even buying a new car. But when we at Kids on Course learned we could get that kind of money, we knew every cent would go toward…tutoring!

That’s right: tutoring. It includes certified teachers to deliver a proven curriculum, transportation home so kids without a ride home can still stay after school and healthy snacks so they’ll have the energy to keep their brains going. We’ll provide all this, at no charge to families. The money isn’t from the Zach Johnson Foundation, where we get the rest of our funding for Kids on Course. It’s actually a grant through No Child Left Behind, approved by the Iowa Department of Education, and passed through the local school district.  It’s called a Supplemental Educational Services grant, and we’re official providers for the 2014-2015 school year.

Kids on Course is probably best known for the enrichment opportunities we provide. Exploring dance, athletics, art and STEM activities are central to our work, but it’s only one facet of what we do. We support student learning through a free six-week summer camp called KOC University, we help meet the mental health needs of students through our $20,000 group therapy supplement, and we create stronger connections between parents and schools through Family Clubs and the new conference program, APTT. And now we’ll be able to further provide academic support by matching highly skilled teachers with students who are ready to further their learning.

As always, Kids on Course builds on the exceptional teachers and staff at Harrison and Van Buren Elementary Schools within the Cedar Rapids Community School District. We’re lucky to work within these buildings and watch some of the best educators in the state share their love of learning with children they adore. But sometimes kids need a little extra time to master a skill, and that’s where this tutoring program will help.

We believe this $100,000 will create more good than any vacation or car. It will open doors for about 100 children expected to join the Kids on Course Further Learning Program in the first year.

We’re excited about this opportunity and can’t wait to start the next school year. Look for more information in the first month of school!