Empowering Darke County Youth completes 3rd year of operation


GREENVILLE – Although the school year is not quite half over, the end of the calendar year completes the third year of operation for Empowering Darke County Youth.

The Empowering Board, its volunteers, its tutors – and especially its kids – thanked everyone that has stepped forward and helped EDCY help children succeed.

Edison State Community College, Darke County Campus, opened its doors to Empowering students for the first After School Program in the fall of 2016. The college still hosts, along with Greenville Public Library, the Empowering Summer Tutoring Programs. Edison State provides administrative support, and its students are the primary source of volunteers for Empowering programs.

The Greenville City School District saw value in Empowering efforts to help its students. The ASP moved to the new elementary and middle school building in the fall of 2017. The move closed a communication gap between Greenville staff and program tutors. It also opened the program up to Middle School students.

“Greenville teachers and staff are talented and dedicated,” Empowering Program Coordinator Bob Robinson said. “As a substitute teacher, I’ve seen the efforts they go into to address the different needs of a wide variety of student learning levels. They have specialists to support special needs. And they have welcomed and supported Empowering as an additional educational opportunity for those who need it. It is truly a team effort and they have made us feel like part of the team. I can’t thank our teachers and staff enough for what they do … day in and day out.”

“Greenville City Schools is extremely appreciative of working with the Empowering Darke County Youth Intervention Program,” Greenville Superintendent Doug Fries said. “We would like to thank all the parents, community members and Edison State students for their willingness to tutor many of our students in grades K-8 after school at our new facility.”

Chad Beanblossom, Edison State vice president regional campuses, said the Empowering After School Program provides Edison State students with valuable volunteer experience.

“This partnership is a win-win for the college and the community in general,” he said.

The Empowering programs could not happen without the financial support of so many. Empowering has been a United Way Partner since December 2016. Major contributors since 2016 have included Greenville Eagles 2177, Bistro Off Broadway, Lydia Schaurer Memorial Fund, Ketrow Foundation, Wayne HealthCare Foundation, Harry D. Stephens Memorial, Darke County Foundation, Tribute Funeral Homes, Dave Knapp Ford Lincoln, Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville National Bank, Second National Bank, Ramco Electric Motors, Rapid Printing, our friends in the media, Greenville Rotary, Kiwanis of Greenville, Ed Ault CPA, Lambda Chi Omega Society, First Presbyterian Church, MJS Plastics, Mark and Cindy Libert, Rolling 50s Car Club, Scott Zumbrink, Al and Lyn Bliss and more. For a complete list of sponsors and donors, go to http://www.countynewsonline.org/empowering2.html.

Fries concurred, saying the district is equally thankful for the community businesses and individuals that have provided financial support to allow the program to exist.

“We are happy to partner with Edison State and the Greenville Public Library to provide facilities for this intervention,” he said. “A special thank you also to Mr. Robinson for his coordination and passion for the after school Empowering Darke County Youth Program.”

Empowering recently wrapped up its fall semester with its third annual Christmas party for students and caregivers. After 57 days of tutoring, the program has worked with 129 students, kindergarten through eighth grade, for nearly 2,500 contact hours. According to parents who have provided feedback, 90 percent of ASP students have shown improvement and have a better attitude toward their education. Parents have reported six students made Merit Roll and three made Honor Roll, many for the first time.

Since its inception in March 2016, Empowering has worked 10,143 contact hours with 458 students from four school districts.