Pando Launches New Student Group
Pando's newest group, the Code Crushers, has launched at Curtis Middle School. Funding for this initiative provided by the Brian David Higby Fund at the Wichita Foundation has allowed Pando to purchase 6 brand new Chromebooks, a traveling charging station, and snacks for the group members each week.
The Code Crushers is a traveling Pando program that will visit middle schools for 6 weeks, meeting once per week to explore the world of website building and coding. The idea for the group came from local web designer Marisa VanSkiver, owner of Captain Coder. While previously living abroad, she led a similar program in Europe, and since being back in the states she had been looking for an opportunity to create a similar program. After meeting Pando staff at a local event, the idea quickly evolved into the 6 week group course.
Curriculum for the group comes from Code.org, a nonprofit website focused on educating youth on coding, as well as personal experience from Marisa. Each lesson, about 40 minutes long, gives students an interactive experience to piece together visual representations of code to get familiar with the language, and then view their end work as a visual. Plans for the 2023-24 school year include traveling to other local Pando middle schools, and potentially creating a second traveling kit for elementary students.
Have a special interest and want to start your own group? Contact Daniel Morford at email@example.com
"This is my new favorite thing! So excited to work with this group, and watch these kids learn!"
Marisa VanSkiver, Captain Coder
Pando is proud to present the STAR Students of 2023! These students were nominated by their Pando Support Advocates to receive a STAR Award on May 4, 2023 at the Crown Uptown Theatre. Students were nominated because they have shown exceptional growth through improved grades, increased school attendance and even personal growth.
“At Pando, we measure success by student growth. The STAR Awards is a way for us to recognize that growth and honor kids who have worked hard to achieve their goals,” said Kenya McConico, Pando Program Director.
Fourty-four Pando students will gather at the event, along with their family, school staff and friends to
receive their award.
Here is a sneak peek at some of the nominees!
Become a STAR Awards Sponsor
Help create a special day to remember for Pando kids and one they can celebrate with family, school staff and Pando friends like you by becoming a sponsor.
Pando is seeking 22 STAR Student Sponsors at $500 to send two students from one school to attend the awards. A Box Office Sponsorship of $1,000 would double the support!
See a full list of sponsorship opportunities and secure your spot today here:
Questions? Contact Anglea Kessler, Director of Development at firstname.lastname@example.org or 316.973.5155
Sr. Director of Programs & Operations
Karen, Senior Director of Programs & Operations, has been with Pando since December 2009. She joined the organization as COO when it was known as Communities In Schools.
Karen has two children; a 28 year old son and 40 year old daughter, and one 6 year old granddaughter. In her free time she enjoys reading, watching period drama, and playing with her granddaughter.
She moved from New York to Kansas in 1983 and has worked in the nonprofit sector since then, utilizing her MA in HR Management and BA in Psychology.
Reality U™ is a one-day financial literacy simulation that travels throughout the state. Students imagine their life as a 26-year-old and are given a monthly income, credit score, and family situation based on a pre-event questionnaire and their current GPA and school attendance record. Then they visit 12 volunteer-staffed booths to experience monthly expenses and financial decisions. Some of these major life decisions include housing, transportation, utilities, insurance, and daycare expenses. As student balance their monthly incomes and expenses, some find themselves in the negative and visit the “Help, I need more money!” booth to obtain a second job. Each booth at a Reality U™ event is staffed by two or three volunteers who help guide and educate students on making informed and smart decisions.
Volunteering with Reality U™ is easy, and there are no special skills or training required. Choose to volunteer at one 75-minute session, or for the whole day at a local school. You can even gather coworkers or friends to join you! Several upcoming dates still need volunteers. Click the button to be added to our volunteer list, and we will notify you of upcoming events!
Volunteering with Reality U™ is easy:
28th Annual STAR Awards
Thursday, May 4, 2023
Crown Uptown Theatre
11:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Ticket sales start April 1st, purchase yours here.
Cooking for a Cause 2023
Mark your calendars for Wichita's premiere tasting event!
Saturday, November 4, 2023
Wichita Scottish Rite - Temple Live
Mission: Pando connects with students to help them engage and thrive in education and their future.
Programs: We partner with schools and community to provide students with mentoring, life skills, and basic needs through PandoKids™ and Reality U™.
412 S Main | Wichita, Kansas 67202