Enrichment Operation is the non-profit I created last fall with the mission, 'working to inspire and educate through consistent exposure to enrichment opportunities.' The key to everything we do is the word 'consistent.'
This non-profit is my attempt to allow the opportunity to consistently do the things I simply couldn't do as a classroom teacher. Each day I will be available in the cafeteria during breakfast and lunch, building relationships with hundreds of children. They will hear how happy I am to see them at school. I will notice that child who looks lost when trying to find a table they feel welcome at and I will sit with them. In this moment, that student will know they are safe and cared about. Throughout the day I will filter in and out of classrooms, providing social, emotional and academic supports. I will walk that vulnerable child to their reading intervention teacher, being another voice consistently telling them they are going to change the world. When a child is melting down, screaming for help, I will be there to say "let's go grab a drink of water." We will talk and listen, we will process and we will reenter the classroom as friends and equals. The entire class will see the impact of kindness and empathy. Expectations placed on both our teachers and students today are unrealistic. Because of this, many are giving up.
Yes, my dreams are big and my expectation is that many of them will be attained. I dream of a system where students consistently have opportunities to engage with the community they live in. Reality is, many of Moorhead's youth aren't being taken fishing or camping, they aren't learning how to read and follow a recipe, feeling how powerful it is to make a meal and share with those close to them. This list of dream 'enrichment opportunities' goes on and on. The reality is, when kids report to school next week I will be there as a consistent mentor, friend and ally. It's an honor and privilege to serve this community in that role.
Funded by Cass Clay (September 2019)