Empowering Darke County Youth
School Program impacts students, volunteers and the community
The Greenville school bus pulls up in front of Edison State Community
College Darke County Campus. The door opens and, one-by-one,
kindergarten through fourth grade students climb off and head inside.
Volunteers are waiting for them.
Some days there will be 25-30 students, others nearly 40. Students from
South School or other districts are brought to campus by parents.
Ten weeks into Empowering Darke County Youth’s After School Program
(ASP) enrollment remains relatively stable at 57 students. Since some
arrive daily while others are only there one to four days a week,
program “reach” is based upon “contact hours.” Each arrival on campus,
whether for one hour or two, counts as one contact hour. At the end of
ten weeks, the ASP had recorded 1,439 contact hours.
For the first hour or so, students receive help with homework,
one-on-one tutoring where needed, doing math and word problems or
reading. When all homework or other required work is done, students
watch a movie, draw or color. Snacks are provided daily.
Volunteers have noted the successes of their efforts. Some ASP students
resisted working in the beginning, but most have become accustomed to
the schedule and what is expected of them.
As one Edison volunteer, Courtney Toops, put it, “if you can get some
of these kids to sit long enough to read a book out loud and interact
with you, you can accomplish anything.”
Edison volunteers Seth Phillippi and Jim Kildow noted some of the
“There was this kindergartner that didn’t want to go over his alphabet
with flash cards,” Phillippi said. “I laid all the cards out and asked
him who can find the letter the fastest. After that he was all for
finding his letters. He even wanted me to make flash cards for him to
Kildow noted the practical side of his Edison Fundamentals of
Communication class. “How do you explain 4 plus 5 to a kid who thinks 4
plus 5 equals 45?” he asked. “A lot of effort goes into being brief,
clear and earning respect. This is communications on the most
elementary level. If you're not a good communicator, you won't get
through to them. They won't get work done. You either evolve good
communications skills, or you fail to help them.”
Many students saw the success of their efforts through first quarter
report cards… most showing progress, some on Merit or Honor rolls,
others proudly toting A’s and B’s.
Edison volunteer Jacob Bradfield feels a sense of accomplishment
working with the children. “I have seen growth not only in their school
work but also in their behavior,” he said. “The kids’ faces light up
when they get an answer right and this makes them more determined to
While most volunteers saw the immediate value of the program, Edison
volunteer Scout Meyer envisioned something more.
“I feel this program benefits the community as well as the families in
it,” she said. “These children are the future and in order to function
as members of the community they need to learn what they can now.
“I think this program is great and effective in what it does for
everyone in it and in the surrounding communities,” she added. “I hope
this program grows and influences more and more areas around the world,
helping to educate children everywhere. While it is still pretty small
now, I think it has huge potential to make a difference in everyone’s
The After School Program is in need of volunteers, donations and
fundraising support. Contact Empowering Darke County Youth at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call Edison at 937-548-5546.
See a full set of photos at Community
Events Photo Gallery
Download the attached flyer summarizing Empowering Darke County Youth programs