The Association of Religious Communities is collaborating with the Danbury Public School District on a program called K.I.D.S.--Kindergarteners In Danbury Schools. ARC is helping to meet the need for volunteer mentors and now serves 250 students annually. The program was launched two years ago by Charlie Schott.
A pilot program ran for three years at the Morris Street School where over 13 volunteers have been building on successful models. Currently, KIDS has over 35 volunteers.
In the past, IBM has donated over $9,000 to support the KIDS program. Schott, a retired IBM Executive, has been working on expanding this program.
The mentoring program matches volunteers with kindergarten students in Title One (low-income) schools who will help the students improve their alphabet, reading, and math skills through classroom projects and educational games. At the discretion of the teacher, students are mentored individually, in pairs or in small group. Volunteers donate two hours a week from October through June. The KIDS Initiative seeks to connect a caring adult with a child in need of academic support.