Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Making our MARC

I know I have posted about the MARC (McKenzie's Academic Resource Center) before- our little seed of an idea for an on-site tutoring center in a community of 1000 mobile homes that lies on the border of our school boundary.  But I was reminded once again tonight about how a little idea and a small group of committed people can change the world.

Two years ago our Leadership Team had this small idea for improving the outcomes for some of our at-risk students.  We met with the owners of the mobile home site and asked for a small space and soon a few very dedicated teachers began tutoring some of our neediest students after school.   As I sat in the Recognition and Appreciation Dinner tonight, I was surrounded by Girls, Inc who  furnishes counseling to families; Beaches Resource who matches families with resources; Second Harvest that now comes through the mobile home park once a month dropping free food; Beach United Methodist Church volunteers that put on a faith based program every Saturday for the children that includes games, praise and worship, and lunch: Angie, who facilitates a preschool program and lunch that has just mushroomed; a second language teacher who volunteers her time at night to teach adults English as a second language; and a slew of teachers from Chets Creek who volunteer their time every single week to tutor along with some retired teachers - all of this now hosted and funded by the McKenzie Wilson Foundation.  All of this from just a little seed of an idea!

How fortunate we are to the McKenzie Wilson Foundation that funds the activities at the MARC.  The Wilson's lost their beautiful teenage daughter to a sudden illness.  Instead of having her death ruin their lives, they decided instead to dedicate funds to doing something special in her honor.  Funds for the MARC is just one of the many projects that they selected.  It makes a profound impact on me that they would allow their beautifully-spirited daughter's name to adorn our little Center.

I am just so proud of the school and teachers that I work with.  One of our teacher assistants now runs the Tutoring Center and our Behavior Interventionist's salary is being paid by the McKenzie Wilson Foundation to the school system as she works as a liaison between the programs.  My little group of four faithful Kindergarten teachers, who make sure the Center is manned on Mondays for our Kindergarten tutoring day, average about 12 kindergartners each week.   They are some of our neediest students and we can see each week how the extra tutoring is making a difference.  I just feel blessed to work at a school with a Principal that allows her teachers to dream and then steps outside- of-the-box to make those dreams a reality.  We believe that dreams really can come true!  Blessed indeed!

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