The focus of Marion Cares goes beyond providing holiday gifts and back-to-school supplies to less fortunate Marion students, Executive Director Joe Polzin said.
Marion Cares also provides after-school programs for and students.
The organization has after-school programs focused on academic classes for elementary through middle school students, Christian-based classes and programs focused on hanging out and socializing for high school students.
Polzin is proud to say they work.
"Since Marion Cares after-school programs have started, kids (at Linn-Mar) who were behind in first grade, are in line by fourth," he said. "Kids are able to function better in classroom, able to function with teachers."
That's because the programs are focused on kids that have difficulty socializing. Polzin said those skills actually go a long way in aiding a student's academic performance.
The classes take place in three different locations and typically start at 4 or 4:30 p.m. They are hosted at three locations: Azure Apartments, Bld. 690, Apt. 8,9 and 10, the in the park clubhouse, and the .
Many of the classes are supervised or taught by teacher volunteers from Marion schools.
You can see a calendar of the events at Marion Cares' calendar page. Some of the programs are already underway, but Polzin said some don't start until October.