The concept for the Mount Horeb Community Education Center, or MHCEC, initially came about by way of observing parent responses to decisions that were being made around how to implement school for Mount Horeb Area School District (MHASD) students. The COVID-19 pandemic was significantly impacting the course of the upcoming 2020-2021 school year. Parents were expressing concern about being able to adequately support their children in the virtual learning environment. Working parents were worried about what they were going to do about leaving their children to go to work. Yet others lamented the loss of the social and physical benefits that their children will be lacking without in person school.
A local resident with some experience with community centers and youth programming had an idea. The idea was discussed between four local citizens to begin with – an MHASD administrator, a business owner, an MHASD school teacher and the resident. A plan was formed to pursue the idea of supporting working families of student youth during the upcoming school year. Together the four original people developed the Family Survey for Student Out of School Time to formally collect an assessment of needs and start planning a response.
The Family Survey sent out in early July 2020. Approximately 450 families to date have completed the survey, representing just under 800 students. Five areas of need were identified after analyzing the survey results:
- Virtual Learning Support
- Social Emotional Connection
- Physical Activity and Wellness
- Mental Health Supports
- Nutrition Insecurity
The survey also yielded a generous list of parents interested in serving the community by participating as Board Members for the newly forming non-profit.
Kimberly Anderson, Board President
Ed Jones, Vice President
Christine Kuzdas, Chairperson
Jack Medford, Treasurer
Angie Chovanec, Member at Large
Jim Myers, Member at Large
Jon Bauer, Member at Large