[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The after school Peace Program is celebrating its five-year anniversary by upgrading to official childcare status, allowing them to more effectively reach the local children and focus on improving their lives.
For the last five years, the Kirksville PEACE Program — Proactive, Educational Assistance in a Caring Environment – has assisted in the Devlin area located to the south of Kirksville. The program provides supplemental tutoring for local children.
Larissa Sullivan, one of the program’s coordinators says it was exciting to get that next level of childcare status.
“It was a long process, but it benefited us because it’s created a dialogue with the parents,” Sullivan says.
Kids ages of 5 to 14 frequently visit the PEACE center, conveniently situated in one of the buildings owned by the Devlin complex, Sullivan says. The program works with fifteen to twenty kids daily about a variety of subjects, she says.
Nate Fajkus, director of the PEACE Program, says the group wanted to give the children a place where they could further their education.
“We want to give kids a safe learning environment and a healthy culture to encourage growth in all areas both educational and social,” Fajkus says. “We do that by homework tutoring and feeding them healthy snacks, give them some good habits … and fun activities to help develop their social skills.”
Fajkus says many kids have been visiting the PEACE Program for as long as four years, displaying measurable improvements.
“Kids that were getting B’s or C’s are getting A’s and B’s, and their teachers are giving them praise,” Fajkus says. “Not only are they doing better, they like doing better. They drive themselves.”
Fajkus says the Devlin complex is open to families making an income under a certain level. After the application process is complete, he says families are encouraged to sign their children up for the PEACE Program, which helps their younger kids to do better in school and allows them to pay more attention to their older children.
“There’s plenty of need there,” Marshall Goodenow says, a local area youth pastor who works with many of the Devlin area children. “One of them is the need for stability, and steady caregiving.”
For the last five years, the PEACE Program has provided just that, and continues to strive to improve the lives of the children in the Devlin area. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_gallery interval=”3″ images=”7333,7332,7331,7329,7328″ img_size=”full”][/vc_column][/vc_row]