The Northeast Industrial Association (NEIA) held their monthly meeting Tuesday, November 27th at Frontier School of Innovation for a tour of the campus and a presentation on opportunities for local businesses to get involved with the school.
Founded in the 1940s, the organization develops and promotes the welfare of the Northeast Industrial Area and represents over 75 local businesses. For more than 70 years, the NEIA has served as the chief promoter of infrastructure and economic development. Members of the NEIA include two banks, five hotels, six real estate agencies, seven manufacturers, and many more.
The guest speaker at this month’s event was Jennifer Watson, Director of Communications & Outreach for Frontier Schools. She gave NEIA members an overview of Frontier Schools and their Mentor Program.
With over 1,600 students currently enrolled, Frontier Schools is the largest charter school system in Kansas City and the second largest in Missouri.
Across their three campuses, 45 percent of the student body are English Language learners, 90 percent come from families below the poverty level, and all students receive free breakfast, lunch, and bus service.
Frontier Schools are tuition-free and offers special focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), gifted classes, home visit programs, college prep classes, and has a 100 percent college acceptance rate.
During the tour, members of NEIA were able to see the school’s new gymnasium, which broke ground October 2016.
Elizabeth Gude, Frontier’s Assistant Principal, led the tour of the school, allowing NEIA members to see the teachers in action in the classrooms. Student artwork decorated the hallways, from hand-drawn posters advertising upcoming events, lists of what students are thankful for, and a globe that illustrated what part of the world students are from.
Amber Noutoua with Communities In Schools, a non-profit organization that empowers students to stay in school, also spoke to NEIA members, giving an overview of the organization and highlighting community volunteer opportunities.
Noutoua said Communities in Schools is the number one dropout prevention program in the United States. Working directly with the students, the organization offers several volunteer opportunities, including homework/tutoring help, mentoring, and one-time event help.
“We have a curriculum ready for volunteers and lots of fun activities for students to do,” said Noutoua. “The number one biggest feat we have is to get kids to stay after school, so we want to make it exciting for them. These volunteers are effectively making a big difference in the lives of students.”
Homework help is a once-a-month commitment. Volunteers work directly with students between 4th and 8th grade in small groups to help with homework, tutor, and reinforce basic skills. Volunteers assist with math, language arts, social studies and science subjects, and help with reinforcement activities.
Mentoring is a weekly commitment and volunteers work with underserved youth to provide extra support through a caring adult relationship. Volunteers serve as role models and help students understand how education will help them reach their personal goals.
Frontier schools has several upcoming events, including a Multicultural Festival, Career Fair, KC STEM Fest, and the Million Father March.
To learn more about the NEIA or want to become a member, please visit their website at kcneia.org.
To learn more about Frontier Schools, how to enroll your student, or become involved, visit kcfsi.org.