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Unique Approach to Supporting At-Risk Youth Builds on Success

Terracon Foundation Supports Founding of Family Enrichment Center of Davenport

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Kathy Toft, who has lived in the Quad City area 38 years, and others in her community wanted to create a unique program focused on supporting the underserved Goose Creek Heights neighborhood of north Davenport, population approximately 1,600.

They desired to create a safe and self-funded setting with free programming that could serve every member of the household – children, young adults, and caregivers. From this dream came the development of the nonprofit Family Enrichment Center of Davenport (FEC).

“Our goal from the beginning was to create a continuous system of support,” said Kevin Kellums, FEC executive director. “By offering relevant programming for the whole family, including the Head Start program, afterschool tutoring and parenting classes, we hoped to produce a momentum shift that would change the neighborhood norms away from destructive patterns and toward constructive goals.”

To help make this dream a reality, Kathy Toft, a senior administrative professional in Terracon’s Bettendorf office, has provided volunteer hours, spearheaded fundraisers, and championed the FEC by applying for annual grants through the Terracon Foundation.

“It’s nice to work for a company like Terracon that shows support for its employees’ passions and enables us to help others in our local communities,” said Toft. “If we could raise enough funds to establish the FEC, we thought it could be a resource and support to families. We had a vision and followed it through. With more than 700 kids in the neighborhood, the opportunities are there to make a real difference.”

To date, the Terracon Foundation has donated $4,500 to the FEC.

Expanding Programs, Enduring Support

In 2013, construction began on the building that would house the nonprofit. Terracon engineering and technical staff volunteered and offered services by observing the construction site conditions, performing materials testing, and monitoring placement of support structures.

Once the facility was completed, enrollment for Head Start and Early Head Start programs began as well as afterschool programs throughout the year reaching as many as 40 children. Today, there are 18 Head Start students and eight Early Head Start students. While there is no charge for the programs, families are asked to “pay it forward” by volunteering in the community.

Along with providing engineering expertise, Terracon employees have participated in many fundraisers to support the FEC. Golf tournaments and toffee sales, along with personal donations, show continued support for the organization.

The $2,500 the FEC recently received via Toft’s Terracon Foundation request will be used to establish an after-school tutoring program expected to enroll up to 15 students. In addition, the organization has developed a partnership with Iowa State University’s Extension Center which provides the curriculum for two parenting sessions designed to equip caregivers with child-rearing skills and resources.

About the Terracon Foundation

The Terracon Foundation was established with a goal to reach out and become a real part of the lives of employees and the communities where they live and work. Employees complete applications which are then reviewed and decided upon by a volunteer board of professionals.

Twice a year, the Terracon Foundation awards grants to community organizations and universities, and once a year presents funds for scholarships supporting dependents of employees and also awards a national partner grant. To date, the Foundation has donated more than $1 million to organizations nationwide. For more information about other organizations the Foundation has supported, visit www.terracon.com/foundation.

About Terracon

Terracon is an employee-owned engineering consulting firm with more than 3,500 employees providing environmental, facilities, geotechnical, and materials services from more than 130 offices with services available in all 50 states. Terracon currently ranks 32nd on Engineering News-Record’s list of Top 500 Design Firms. For additional information about Terracon, visit www.terracon.com.

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