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May 6, 2015
United Way of Larimer County knows that education is the key to success for a child in school, work, and life. Educational attainment is a primary predictor in breaking the cycle of poverty and creating a future filled with promise and opportunity. We spend a lot of time talking about what it takes to make kids successful in school, but something that is not often mentioned is what happens after the bell rings.
Our Community Impact Partners are working together to provide opportunities for Larimer County youth after school is day is over. Activities include everything from counseling services to homework help and tutoring. These opportunities all vary depending on the communities they serve and the children with which they work, but they all have one thing in common - they are committed to providing a safe place that ensures supervision, a nutritious meal, and the care and support of positive mentors.
What we learned when we brought our partners together is that the diversity of their programs contains hidden benefits. Many of the organizations that provide after-school help are volunteer driven and were seeking more technical assistance in how to deal with challenging behaviors. The majority of their kids were doing really well, but a few were causing disruptions that threw the entire classroom off track. In an effort to continue moving students to success, while giving others the more targeted help they needed, our partners requested a specialized training.
This training would typically cost both a lot of time and money, but we were able to conduct it during our ongoing Partner meetings at no cost. CSU Campus Corps faculty, Toni Zimmermann, conducted the training on how to manage challenging behaviors that gave all of our Partners the tools and resources to effectively meet the needs of their students. The availability of this training means that organizations and their volunteers are better equipped to work with their students by providing a more comprehensive set of services. By doing this, they reduce the need to refer students to other programs outside of their organization, which gives the child a better opportunity to succeed.
This training is just one of the many ways that United Way and their partners are committed to working together to provide the services needed to reverse the growing poverty trend in Larimer County and builda stronger tomorrow. A problem that had the potential to negatively impact an individual, a classroom, and an organization was instead an opportunity to share ideas, think bigger, and problem-solve for the long-term. When you convene like-minded individuals that share a common vision for making our community work for everyone, the results are incredible.
Copyright 2015 United Way of Larimer County