I have a dream!
Every year in January our community, state and nation pauses to reflect on the words and actions of Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a visionary, to say the least, as his infamous speech shared his hopes and dreams that humankind could band together to provide a greater good for ALL.
I, Nicole King, also have a dream and I am reaching out to my friends, family and community to see if you would be willing to join me in my journey.
As a teacher in the Ottumwa School District for the past 28 years, I have dedicated my life to doing all that I can to serve children and families in our community. I was born and raised in Ottumwa and love being a member of a team of educators and staff in our district who equally and selflessly give all they have to give. Recently I began to think about how I could continue to serve the needs of students and families even after the school day was done.
That is where my “dream” of Main Street Schoolhouse began. There is a building on East Main Street that is a dream location for the project. I know at first glance it may look like a hopeless cause, but I am trying to be a visionary and my dream is to transform this building into a place where students could gather after school hours for help with homework, access to learning resources, opportunities for tutorials, as well as a safe place for fellowship. I am at the very early stages of my dream and have been working with an attorney to establish myself as a non-profit, and with an architect to get a feel for just how much it would cost to make my dream become a reality.
I have a wonderful group who has volunteered to serve on my first Board of Directors for my non-profit and we have had an opportunity for a few meetings. A special thanks goes out to Dawn Sievertsen, Becky Zesiger, Kathy Schuitema, Daryl Stangl, David Eaton and Linda King for helping me with these initial steps and agreeing to serve on the Board. Our next step is to begin my fundraising efforts. It seems so overwhelming with so much money that needs to be raised, but I know that every worthwhile project begins with a first step! These last several weeks/months of this pandemic have also shown me that we have students and families who would benefit from a central location for resources and academic support. I have started this journey by investing $12,000 of my own money to purchase the property.
Knowing this is not a mission I can accomplish on my own, I now need to reach out to others who might be willing to contribute to my dream. It is hard for me to ask for financial support from people as I know we all have commitments of our own, but your support will allow me to move to the next phase of my project which is to begin the renovations.
I would WELCOME any words of encouragement, suggestions for consideration and any monetary donations you might be willing and able to share. I would also ask that you please SHARE this posting so that I can get the word out to as many people as possible.
This project is going to be an ongoing effort for several years and will require support from my “village” at every step of the way. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to read and SHARE this post, and considering ways you might be able to support me on this journey!!