Kieve-Wavus Education, Inc. and Lincoln Academy are partnering this winter to augment the positive work being already being done with youth in Lincoln County by having two Kieve-Wavus employees serve as on-site educators at LA.
Kieve-Wavus Education, Inc., a nonprofit organization based in Nobleboro that serves more than ten thousand students annually, works to “empower people to contribute positively to society by promoting the values of kindness, respect for others and environmental stewardship through year-round programs [and] camps for youth and adults.” Its mission is a natural fit with Lincoln Academy’s goal of “providing a learning environment in which all students can achieve their highest potential,” and dedication to “creating lifelong learners who understand their complex relationship to the broader world.”
As part of the partnership, two Kieve-Wavus educators, Mims and Tyler Pace (a married couple currently expecting their first child), have been placed in Lincoln Academy in January, February, and March of 2017. Their work within the school focus on offering a combination of formal and informal opportunities for student growth. Formally, the Paces have partnered with the freshman advisor groups to augment understanding of social and emotional intelligence. They accomplish this using a series of quick, fun, and intentionally structured games to discuss concepts like grit, resilience and self-awareness.
Serving as on-site educators is a change from the couple’s typical work at Kieve-Wavus, explained Tyler Pace. “Most of the work we’ve done with students at Kieve-Wavus doesn’t take place in a traditional classroom. A typical day at the Leadership School is spent outside, playing, sometimes high up in trees attached to ropes. There aren’t any chalkboards. I had wondered what it would be like to take this kind of approach to education into an amazing place like Lincoln Academy, because it’s admittedly a different kind of setting than what Kieve-Wavus is used to. At Lincoln Academy I found a place remarkably similar to Kieve-Wavus, not so much in how they look or in terms of overarching curriculum, but in the dedication both organizations have to young people and to the communities of this region. We’re truly excited to see what this partnership can achieve.”
The Kieve educators have also worked with LA Dean of Students Jake Abbott to create the Sophomore Leadership program, designed to raise the leadership aspirations of participants by offering team challenges and lively conversations around relevant topics. Mims and Tyler are also working with Lincoln Academy’s Magnet and Alternative Education programs, as well as programs in the ATEC building and the Freshman Mentors program.
“Tyler and Mims are such positive influences on everyone,” said Lincoln Academy sophomore Alexandria Fabiano, who has worked with the educators on the Sophomore Leadership Program. “Tyler is outgoing, opportunistic, and a great listener. Mims is empathetic, sincere, and ambitious. It is alway a privilege to be working and learning with these two.”
Informally, Mims and Tyler are also working with the Residential Life staff to add experiential learning to the robust program already offered to LA’s boarding students. In February and March, students from Lincoln Academy have visited the Kieve campus to practice their skills on the world-class indoor climbing wall. Later this spring students will work with the Kieve educators on a language exchange program to enhance their non-native linguistic abilities through cooperative games that diminish the anxiety of learning a new language.
LA’s Freshman Mentor program, which organizes upperclass students to help ninth graders transition from middle to high school, has benefitted from the mentoring of Tyler and Mims. Aaron Gonzalez-Verdaguer, an LA senior from Spain who is a student leader of the program, said, “Mims and Tyler have had an immense impact on our Freshmen mentoring program. Not just because of what they do, which is a lot, but also for how passionate they are about it. Being surrounded by people like them, people that really care about what they do, helps me to keep doing what I do. It reminds me that there is always at least someone that is willing to help you at any time, someone that is willing to sacrifice their free time in order to make another person smile. This is how they have helped the freshmen mentoring program, by maintaining day after day their passion for their jobs…. They are the kind of people that are willing to do anything in order to help someone, people that inspire our group to be better and to keep improving our program week after week, and leading by example.”
In a school where most staff members carry a full-time teaching load, having trained educators on site to support leadership and personal growth initiatives is an unusual asset, and no one feels the positive impact more than Dean of Students Jake Abbott, who works closely with the pair in most of their programming. “Tyler and Mims have been a huge asset to the Lincoln Academy community,” says Abbott. “They are always ready to jump into a conversation with a student, help brainstorm potential solutions to problems, and have been wonderfully interactive with the Freshmen class in advisory groups. This important connection with Kieve-Wavus is something that Lincoln Academy and our students have benefited greatly from. I anticipate much more good stuff to come!”
The Paces’ on-site work at Lincoln Academy will continue until the end of March.