People keep asking me what I have learned in five years.  It’s hard to express, but I am going to try…

  • When you know something changes a child’s life for the better, you can shout it from the rooftops, tell everyone you meet about it, spend most of your waking hours doing it, risk your life savings on buildings, websites, brochures and supplies and never doubt your ability to make it successful.  
  • Every experience I had in life led me to this business, and I do believe it was a “God thing.”
  • My employees are as valuable as my clients.
  • Connect to students with your heart.  They are either trying their hardest or scared out of their minds. Either way, they want to read and be successful. When they know you care, they are no longer afraid to try to do the thing that is hardest for them…master reading.
  • I learn as much from my tutors and how they interpret the Wilson method as I have learned from my Wilson certification. 
  • My students have taught me to be the most patient, fun-loving person in the world.
  • Friends and family have supported me the entire way.  From helping me renovate every room in the building, to learning the Wilson Program and becoming tutors. My first two tutors were long-time friends. I could not have created Aspire without the support of friends and family.

Numbers cannot communicate the lives Aspire has changed through our services, the confidence we build in the children who come, the smiles and laughter that ring through the building, and the personal relationships we build as tutors and mentors with our families.  But here are a few numbers…

  1. Every room in the building has been renovated with the help of friends, family and staff.  Even the people who I paid were friends or family members of tutors.
  2. We expanded from three tutoring rooms to twelve!
  3. I taught 20 adults how to become Wilson tutors, and provided them Wilson training, materials and website access
  4. 30 students completed all 12 books of the Wilson program and graduated from Aspire Academy in the past 5 years
  5. During the pandemic, we tutored students online for 12 straight months and we never missed a single week of tutoring.  We used Spring Break week to convert and train.

I am so grateful to be able to train staff and tutor children to attain the most important skill they need in their educational career – the ability to read, write and spell. And, I am so happy to celebrate my fifth year doing this.  Please help Aspire celebrate our 5th Anniversary this April!  We have activities planned all month for students, we will publish Facebook posts celebrating our success (https://www.facebook.com/aspireiowa ) and please visit our homepage at www.aspireiowa.com to see the fireworks display! – Heidi Kroner, Executive Director, Aspire Academy

Thank you to my mom…she came up with the name
Aspire Academy, and I still love it!

The crew who did $10,000 worth of work for free in 3 days! No joke. I am blessed. And there were many more who deserve credit!

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