The final touches are being put on the plans, volunteers are signing up to help, the website continues to be updated, and the student registration form is live for the 2014 version of Summer of SUCCESS!

Backing up just a bit… in the summer of 2007, a Math Academy was going to be provided for Coleman students who needed a little extra attention on math skills and we asked permission to invite current and additional volunteers to do some reading, arts/crafts and recreation in small groups with students (as we do during the school year). We had a delightful time with the students and volunteers who chose to participate so we did it again the next couple of years. We had to skip the last two summers but this year we’re back and we are adding a “virtual” summer of SUCCESS this year for middle schoolers who can’t make it to any of the camps or who want to keep going on some things after camp.

Students will definitely strengthen their reading, math, writing and study skills at each of the camps this summer, but those will be a by-product of the fun things we plan to do, not the focus. Our goal is to use things like cooking, gardening, recreation, board games, technology, etc., to help kids build a toolkit of non-cognitive skills they can use far into the future in hopes they will be well-prepared for anything a Wichita employer might challenge them with down the road.

Joni Hawks, the wonderful long-time tutoring/mentoring program coordinator at Brooks, will run the program and I will be helping with planning, recruiting and training volunteers and maintaining the website and Facebook Group.

The wonderful folks who have offered to help so far this year are Susan Elder (returning from K-State), Bill Spece (substitute teacher at a Christian school in Great Bend), Mary Pantle (future middle level teacher from WSU), Kit Limpiado (WSU Pre-Med student and member of the Asian-American Student Conference), Haley Wimberly (accountant), Kate Henson (returning for the summer from Wheaton College) and Priyanka Botny (current Brooks volunteer).

Our Facebook Group has been established and we would be delighted to have a community of volunteers, parents and supporters following our activities, posting notes of encouragement, etc. We will also be posting here on the website, so feel free to click the “follow” button. 🙂

– Judith Wencel

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