Every quarter Kearns Junior High School rewards students passing all their classes with a field trip or other enrichment day. On Friday, October 26, the school wanted to send the passing students to the Hogle Zoo. However, the zoo requires one adult chaperone per five students. With well over three hundred students, there was no real chance the school could get enough volunteers. Fortunately, there are organizations like United Way of Salt Lake who have folks looking for opportunities to serve.
Without the help of the United Way of Salt Lake volunteers, the school would never have been able to assemble the necessary number of chaperones. With their help, we had a really great day. It was a cold day. For many of the students the experience was improved because the animals were much more active than in the heat of the summer. Being able to meet the zoo’s requirement also helped because the students were very well behaved in the smaller groups. None of the volunteers expressed any concerns and all seemed very positive about the situation. Best of all it showed the students how many people felt they were important. The example set for them was amazing.
Thanks so much to all the volunteers who made this great experience possible!
**Kearns Jr. High is a United Way of Salt Lake Community Learning Center.**
As one of the staff photographers, I often have a fellow staff member stop by my desk and ask me to tag along with them on a tour or event to shoot a few pictures. It happens all the time so often I’m not exactly sure where I’m going and know very little about what is happening. I just show up with my camera! This morning I had the chance to join Mayor Peter Corroon as he toured Kearn’s Jr. High. It was great to be able to see a fantastic collective impact partnership in action!
The Mobile Health Clinic was in the parking lot, seeing to the physical needs of children and their families. Inside the school there was a station was set up for eye exams. And in the Community Learning Center there was an English class in session for parents. It was clearly evident that United Way Neighborhood Centers are the hubs of the communities they serve, creating a web of support surrounding entire families.
When we peeked in on the English skills class, Mayor Corroon was greeted so warmly from every parent in the classroom. When he got up to speak, the entire room was shocked as he addressed the parents in their native language of Spanish. I wish you all could have seen the joy on their face to see that the Mayor was taking the time to learn their language, and understood the difficulty each of them faced in the journey to integrate into American culture. Several parents had written him letters and read them to him in order to practice their English. It was truly a touching moment.
I couldn’t help but think how many people and partners were making this moment possible. People often ask me what we do at United Way of Salt Lake. Well, this is what we do. We bring people together. We bring partners together in spaces like schools so that parents can get education and health assistance. We ask companies and volunteers to get involved in order to help kids succeed in school. There are lots of fancy words and deep philosophies that could explain this all, but simply put… we bring people together, so that our communities can be a great place for kids and families. And ultimately, isn’t that what we all want!
I really encourage you to join us, there is space for everyone! Whatever your skill or passion, we need you to help us make this community a better place. And you know, together we really can do more than any one person or organization can do alone!
Last week employees from Swire Coca-Cola took a tour of the Community Learning Center at Kearns Junior High. The tour is a part of Swire Coca-Cola’s 2011 month long workplace giving campaign. Following a discussion on education during which guests discussed, among other things, United Way’s role in the CLC initiative and the issues many of the low-income families in Kearns face guests were taken around the KJH campus. During the tour guests were able to see the myriad programs offered to parents and students at KJH. They witnessed a parent group as well as the facilities for adult ESL, GED, and computer literacy classes. Guests also were able to view the “Chill Room” where the CLC holds the after-school program and recreation programs for KJH students. A huge thank you to all those at Swire Coca-Cola for their continued support to make our community a better place for all of us! If you are interested in seeing any of the CLC or Welcome Center sites in person please contact Brian Guyer at email@example.com or 801-736-7715.