It’s always great to see CMT employees contributing their time and talents to serve the community.

Compass for Kids is a unique program that provides academic and social/emotional support to empower at-risk children in the Springfield school district. The program’s effectiveness is measured by learning outcomes achieved by children from kindergarten to sixth grade. Its success is dependent on local volunteers who participate in after school programs and Camp Compass, an event held each summer.

Christy Crites and Jen Langheim were two of the volunteers that contributed significantly to Club Compass this past school year. They participated at all five of the partner sites, teaching students about fluids and properties, including of course, an object lesson on making slime. Another CMT employee, Shannon Brady, joined Christy and Jen to help serve some of the meals.

Christy was inspired to serve after talking with Compass Director and Founder Molly Berendt, who presented the program at CMT’s Springfield Illinois office during a United Way Brown Bag last October.

“I’m so glad we were able to get involved in this program. The kids are awesome,” Christy says. “It’s truly an experience that is both fun and rewarding.”

Other long-term CMT contributors to Compass are Chris Stritzel and Alex Block, who volunteer during Camp Compass’ STEM week. Alex introduces students to architecture, while Chris does a class on the basics of engineering.

“It was daunting when they first asked me to lead this,” Alex says. “But now, five years later, I’m looking forward to working with the kids again this summer and helping them design their dream homes.”

CMT volunteers, along with others from the community, were recognized at the Compass Annual Recognition Banquet, held in May.

The Compass for Kids program is an exemplary program that United Way of Central Illinois’ supports with donations it receives from employee giving campaigns like ours at CMT. Through our time and generosity, CMT employees continue to make a difference in community.