Fort Scott Circles program gives update, looks for coordinator

During their most recent meeting held Monday, leaders and participants in the Fort Scott Circles Program gave an update on what has been accomplished over the past few months while also looking ahead to new changes.

2-15 Circles Meeting

The two-phase program meant to provide resources and knowledge to low-income individuals who would like to improve their way of life has been in existence only over a year, but has already helped a number of people in Fort Scott. Currently, the program has six phase two participants, referred to as circle leaders, and 13 allies who partner with those leaders as mentors throughout the second phase.

“I’m excited about the group of allies that we have,” volunteer coordinator Jan Hedges said, saying they are pleased with how the first month of phase two has gone in building relationships between the allies and leaders.

Currently, the program is taking a break from the first phase of the program, which includes at least 12 weeks of training for the participants. After graduating some of the leaders of that phase prior to Christmas, those coordinating the program decided to delay starting it again until the first week of April so facilitators can take a break and also recruit more participants.

Prior to that time, the program will also recruit a new coordinator as Hedges said she has decided to step down from that role of leadership because of other responsibilities. She will continue to help facilitate phase two.

“I do need to step back a little bit,” Hedges said.

In the next two months, the program will be looking for a coordinator as well as those who might like to help facilitate the weekly meetings. They will also begin recruiting new participants as they begin phase one again in April.

Those at the meeting also discussed the possibility of taking steps to be classified as a 501(C)(3) organization, which could benefit those who donate to the program as a non-profit organization.

“I think that is something that we do need to look at moving forward,” Hedges said.

Doing so would require an upfront federal fee as well as an annual payment to the state to renew it once the application is approved.

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