• Kearney Firehouse

KEC Capital Campaign

The Kearney Enrichment Council (KEC) is expanding its reach by spearheading a local community initiative. Our idea is simple: create a collaborative space that has the flexibility to reach a variety of people. With your help, we will be able to create an environment where children and families can learn and explore different opportunities. Together we can support the Kearney School District (KSD), parents, and adults in our community. We start with KSD students using the center for real-world learning and career readiness. The building will house technology, collaborative spaces, and career development equipment for students to explore a variety of future paths. After the school day, we will welcome middle school and junior high students to dive into STEAM-based learning. Spark Studios, our afterschool program, has been around for seven years and is ready to be expanded into a five-day-a-week model to support our parents. Finally, after we conclude our afterschool activities, we will use the space for adults looking to further enrich their education. These community classes will cover a wide range of courses including business, recreational, foreign language, and more. These opportunities will allow our community to have a resource for continuing education. Each of these three concepts flows together under one idea that adds a new community amenity.

Our purpose is simple; to make education accessible for anyone. To accomplish this, we will create an environment where everyone is welcome. First, we are preparing students for the workforce. Through client connect projects, internships, and mentorships, The Spark Academy will offer students the opportunity to gain essential soft skills, technical skills, and industry-recognized credentials for students to step into the future straight out of high school. Not only do we want to equip students with real job experience, but we educate them on various opportunities that are outside the traditional college route and provide them with a network of support to help them continue their success. In addition to our KSD partnership, we will expand our current Spark Studios programming. This afterschool program will offer a STEAM-based, student-centered curriculum at The Spark Academy. With our students enjoying the programming currently, we want to extend the program to five days a week. Our program allows us to build more relationships with our students and provides a critical resource to parents. Finally, in the evening we want to offer continuing education and enrichment classes. In this format, we will have paid professionals come in and demonstrate a skill to participants. This allows individuals to understand new career fields without having to pivot from their day job. These classes allow community members who did not have the opportunity for real-world learning experiences to form their own by stepping back into the classroom to learn crucial skills about different industries. Each of these ideas points back to the purpose of this building. The Spark Academy will be a prominent educational space for citizens of Kearney and beyond. We hope to inspire students, adults, and seniors into new interests that they can use daily.

To support and donate to our cause please go to our Donate page to help make this a reality in our community!

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