After several years of serving the community of Fountain Inn, we continued to struggle with breaking the cycle of poverty we saw in our city. We visited with the Frazee Dream center in Greenville, SC and began to get a grasp of leading the next generation to care about education, core values, family and success. We felt this would be the best way to see our community changed for the better. This lead us to create the Fountain Inn Kid Enrichment (FIKE) Center. But we didn't just want to create a church program, but to create a movement in our city.
The FIKE Center is now its own nonprofit organization that partners not only with various churches in the community, but corporate donors, other nonprofits, and schools. FIKE is broken into two main areas of service for the children of Fountain Inn- After School Care and Mentoring
Every day over 30 students attend the the FIKE after school program. These students spend time learning the core values of FIKE, doing homework, playing games, reading, and special activities. Each day the students are given a Healthy Choice meal for dinner. The students who are a part of the FIKE after school program have not only seen an increase in their standardized testing scores, but in their overall demeanors as kids who are cared for.
The lack of positive mentors for elementary aged children across the United States has created a generation that is simply wandering in the wilderness. The goal of FIKE mentors is to spend 30 minutes each week with their mentees. This can happen before school, at lunch, or other times of the day. The idea is to begin to give children who are in need of guidance, a true guide.
"Investing in a child is the best way I know to tangibly alter a future generation. Mentoring a child requires such a small investment on your part as a mentor, but you end up reaping a huge rate of return on that investment."
Robin Carter FIKE Mentor
If you would like to learn more about FIKE you can visit the FIKE CENTER website or contact the FIKE Executive Director Cindy Marlar.