Posted on August 30, 2019
By Caleb Slinkard
Since December of 2011, the Eagle Foundation has been working in El Dorado to provide holistic mentoring and tutoring services for local children. On Sept. 5, the organization will celebrate its new learning center with an open house from 3:30-6 p.m. at 411 N. Murphy Ave. in El Dorado.
“It is very exciting,” founder and president Jennifer Wylie said. “Our desire is to build mutually beneficial partnerships with other organizations working with students. Our work is inclusive — we work with children and teenagers — and we really want to reach at-risk children. We want to make sure we don’t duplicate services: so we’ve worked to identify needs and meet them.”
Wylie described the new learning center as a place where children can come for academic tutoring by individuals who are also trained to mentor children and support their emotional, social and spiritual needs.
“We’re a nonprofit organization looking to fill the gaps for students,” she said. “It’s a holistic approach. We’ve been doing tutoring for a while, and we had a learning center location donated to us in December. It’s a home that’s been in the community for a long time, and we’ve been working to restore it since then.”
The house was built in the 1950s by Curtis A. and Polly Kinard and housed their business, KinArk Oil Company, for several years before they gave the house to their son Curtis and his wife Sarah in 1967. The home was “as a place of love and security for the Kinards, their children, grandchildren, extended family, and wonderful friends for over 50 years,” according to the Eagle Foundation’s website.
“We want to communicate hope,” Wylie said. “The house is in an old neighborhood, one that’s declining, and by restoring it and bringing the home back to life. We’re hoping it’s an anchor of light in the community and a bright spot for young people; a spot that conveys the value of young people. I think it’s inspiring, and we want to continue helping our community grow from within. Cooperating and collaborating is where the strength is going to be in the future.”
The Eagle Foundation received a VIP grant from the SHARE Foundation in 2018 and 2019. Wylie said the organization is also hoping to work with other nonprofits to provide mentorship training.
“Our tutors are trained to go beyond their tutor role to address the needs of the whole child,” she said. “We may have a student who comes to work on geometry, but he’s had a really bad day: maybe some conflict at school. Our tutors recognize that need and talk him through conflict resolution, provide encouragement, are there as an advocate. That’s where our focus is.”
For more information on the Eagle Foundation, visit eaglearkansas.org.
Caleb Slinkard can be reached at email@example.com.