E.N.G.A.G.E. “Everyone Needs To Get a Great Education!”
E.N.G.A.G.E. was established in August, 2016 with a grant from the Shirley E. Nolan Foundation. Kristen attended a conference on homelessness in Utah and learned that if a child fails 3rd grade, he/she is destined to repeat the homelessness cycle. Kelley Wixted was hired to implement this program, which aids mothers to assist their children in the area of education.
How it works: Our mothers attend study hall and classes with their children, and together they work on organizational issues and establish a routine centered around academic discipline. The mothers are taught the importance of monitoring their children’s grades and communicating with teachers to receive information on grade progress via EDLINE (a Learning Community Management System that many schools use for school and class organization. It provides district, school and classroom level website support for administrators, parents, teachers and students from kindergarten through 12th grade.) Information from the Brevard Public School district for “students in transition” is also relayed during class time and the mothers are are familiarized with services available. In addition to study hall/class time, tutors are also provided for the children on an “as needed” basis. The tutors not only help with academics, but also serve as mentors and support for the children within the school system.
Kelley attends meetings in the local schools accompanying mothers to parent-teacher conferences and Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. The primary goals are: 1) to have the children properly assessed and appropriately placed within the classroom, and 2) to assist our mothers to feel comfortable and confident with the academic process and utilize tools to advocate for their children. This year our mothers have been attending many school events, conferences, concerts and even volunteering in the classroom!
Most importantly, E.N.G.A.G.E. is working! We have had several children advance in the classroom and two of our students eared “Most Improved Awards”. Jeremiah is one of those students. He came to us in late August in the 3rd grade. His reading level was identified at “low 1st grade” and he was significantly behind in math. Early in the school year we were advised that he was in danger of grade retention and were fearful of the statistic mentioned above. After many months of working with a tutor, special help in the classroom, good communication between mothers and teachers/administrators, and academic discipline and organization at home, Jeremiah rose up 2 whole years with his reading level and improved significantly in math. As a result, he is moving on to the 4th grade! We are very proud of Jeremiah!!