A local organization is looking to continue its service to the community in 2014.
All Cultures Equal (ACE) is a charitable non-profit organization dedicated to building cultural acceptance, youth development, and equal opportunity. ACE board members and the ACE director work together and with the community to deliver classes, programs, and events that empower people to become healthy, productive, and active citizens where they live and work.
ACE's funding sources to accomplish these things come solely from financial contributions, grants, and building rent directed to All Cultures Equal.
The Middle School Choices and Challenges FEAST, Food Education Action Sustainability Team, class presents at All Cultures Equal in Webster City.
All Cultures Equal Board Officers: Treasurer – Abel Garcia, Van Diest Supply; Secretary – Mayte Calles, Farm Journal; President – Irene Sosa, First State Bank; Vice President – Kim Witting, Farm Bureau, Executive Director – Janet Toering. Other board members: Clint Everett, Jerry Sonsalla, Doug Bailey
ACE board members, the director, teachers and volunteers for ACE classes, programs, and events are reflecting on a dynamic year of growth. They want to thank all the individuals, businesses, and organizations that generously contributed funds, time, products, and expertise to work towards the ACE mission.
ACE hosted several events and worked with other groups in the community this year. In 2013, ACE:
- Hosted five public events that brought more than 400 youth and adults together in fun and meaningful cultural exchanges.
- Led community efforts to help 60 local immigrants learn English, seven to obtain their graduate equivalent degree (GED), and 35 to prepare for their citizenship tests. These classes were held in the computer lab and small conference room at ACE. The ESL teachers and computer equipment were provided by Iowa Central Community College.
- Taught garden-based learning programs with more than 400 youth at Sunset Heights Elementary School and at ACE with the Choices and Challenges after school program from Webster City Middle School. With help from school and ACE teachers and staff and RSVP volunteers, these youth managed 21 raised bed gardens at their school and the Boone River Country Community Gardens at ACE. The vegetables and fruit produced by these gardens fed hundreds of people.
- Coordinated efforts to expand the Upper Des Moines Opportunity Food Pantry and make other building improvements. UDMO rents space in the ACE building. ACE is responsible for managing the space but is not directly involved in UDMO activities.
- Was the space and place for many meetings, family events, and social gatherings in Moun Hall and the commercial kitchen.
In 2014, ACE will be growing all the programs listed above and would like to add the following:
- Friends Helping Friends classes. There have been requests for cooking, exercise, and beginning computer classes. ACE does not have the money to pay professional teachers or class leaders. However, there are lots of people in the area that could lead a session or two of these classes. ACE is looking for volunteer leaders, funding for supplies, and interested participants. ACE has the space and equipment to easily host these classes and each of these topics brings people together to exchange interests and knowledge.
- Outdoor public spaces. ACE hopes to find funding for a shelter, picnic tables, a special playground, and signage to enhance the space for multiple public uses. This will improve the outdoor classroom that goes with the existing Boone River Country Community Gardens. It will also provide a space in east Webster City for families to enjoy the outdoors.
Thanks to a $500 response from the William Morrison Trust Fund, ACE will be able to help a few more people to obtain their GEDs and U.S. Citizenship. Thanks to the approval of a request to the Hamilton, Wright, Humboldt County Decat (decategorization) Board, there will be teacher and transportation support for the 2014 summer K-12 youth programs at Sunset Heights and ACE. ACE is looking for more support to maintain the building and outdoor spaces and to provide high quality educational and outreach opportunities for all cultures.
The ACE board wants to encourage more people to get involved with ACE's efforts to strengthen Hamilton County. The Capitol Campaign is ongoing and donations are tax deductable. Checks can be written to All Cultures Equal and mailed to 1440 East Second Street, Webster City, IA 50595. Donations are also accepted at allculturesequal.org. If you would like to volunteer time, have a special skill to share, want a program for your organization, or want to pursue common goals, please call Janet Toering at 515-450-4973. For more information, please go to the allculturesequal.org website or to All Cultures Equal on Facebook.