Kim Kancler is sharing her love of teaching with students who need summer enrichment or extra academic help through her new business, Helping Hands Learning Center LLC.
She encourages parents of students entering kindergarten through fifth grade to keep children learning throughout the summer.
"It's not only for kids who need assistance with tutoring, but for anybody who wants to not lose skills over the summer," Kancler said. "I taught for 10 years. I'm qualified to intervene."
PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
Kim Kancler, a teacher in Bettsville, works with students at Helping Hands Learning Center, a program designed to help children retain what they’ve learned over the summer
She earned two degrees in education from Bowling Green State University and is a kindergarten teacher for Bettsville Local School District.
She also worked at a tutoring company for a while.
"There were things I liked about it and thing I didn't," she said.
Helping Hands Learning Center
Summer hours are 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday and Wednesday and 6-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday. Closed Friday through Sunday.
The business is at 73 Siesta Drive.
To contact Kancler, call (419) 618-7482 or e-mail info@helpinghands
She's using that knowledge to make her center child-oriented with one-on-one sessions and small groups of children with similar needs.
She doesn't charge a data or consultation fee to assess a child's needs, as commercial tutoring businesses often do.
According to studies, Kancler said students show an average of a two-month learning loss through the summer.
"A lot of what I'm trying get across is it's the quality of time, not the quantity of time," she said. "I really try to make things fun."
According to the National Summer Learning Association, she said students who do not engage in summer educational activities typically score lower on standardized tests at the end of summer vacation than they do on the same test at the beginning of the summer.
Kancler and her husband, Mike, transformed the basement of their Siesta Drive home into a learning center, but it is not a child care center.
Kim is a Tiffin native and Mike graduated from Tiffin University with a business degree and has lived in Tiffin since 1993. They have two young daughters.
They are combining Mike's business abilities and her teaching abilities to provide the service in Tiffin because people have to travel to Findlay or Bowling Green for something similar.
"We just decided at the end of April to do this, that we really want to go for it and establish it," she said.
She painted a large tree and colorful flowers on the walls. There's a story area with books, a table with kid-sized chairs and a puppet area.
Kancler said she knows how difficult it is for teachers to give individual attention to students who need it.
"I just feel like it's a good service to offer," she said. "Being a teacher I know it's hard to get to every kid you want to get to for extra help."
She is offering Kinderkids sessions for $25 per hour for children ages 4-6 with no more than five students in the age range. The group is to focus on emergent literacy and math skills. The small student-to-teacher ratio allows for individualized instruction and gives students an opportunity to interact with peers.
She also offers individualized programs to meet specific needs.
Math and reading are the main focuses, but help in other areas is available as well.
"I'm trying to make it fun and have people involved," she said.
Prices are $30 per hour for one-on-one sessions and $25 per hour for small groups of up to five children. Two more session dates are available this summer, July 11-29 and Aug. 1-19.
She has a special offer right now in which parents who pay for five hours can a sixth hour at no cost.
"The whole premise is to be individualized," she said.