Since 1995, Kokua has provided support, encouragement and empowerment to individuals with disabilities to live full and meaningful lives in the Olympia area. Opportunities for friendship, continuing education, and creative expression make life rich and meaningful. We believe that learning opens doors into a larger world of learning, friendship, commitment, academia and personal growth. LEAD has proven to be a powerful, transformative experience for both learners and tutors.

LEAD, now preparing for its 10th year, is a partnership with The Evergreen State College and St. Martin’s University. We match college students with adults with disabilities for one-on-one weekly tutoring sessions on campus. The interests and learning are as varied as the individuals who participate and have historically included basic literacy, math, personal finances, computer skills, language, and writing. LEAD started as a program solely for individuals who receive supported living services from Kokua, however, we have slowly opened our free program to those outside of the Kokua community. There is tremendous potential for growth and our plan is to continue to raise money and recruit tutors in order to meet the needs of the many adult learners in the community who have expressed a desire to participate. We currently provide our volunteer tutors professional training and support and many of our tutors have been a part of the program for multiple sessions. Many of our former tutors have have gone on to careers in social services, medicine, occupational therapy, teaching, and non-profit work. The LEAD program was originally launched by Kokua and The Center for Community Based Learning and Action (CCBLA) at The Evergreen State College in January 2011. Kokua expanded LEAD to St. Martin’s University in 2015 and South Puget Sound Community College in 2016. College credit and internships are possible. Tutors and learners will commit to participate from January – June.

The time commitment for tutors is as follows:

• Initial training– two 2-hour training sessions in January 2020
• Additional tutor training sessions
• Weekly tutoring sessions -Learners and tutors work together for a minimum of one hour each week. Prep time is required for each session. Tutoring begins the week of January 20th except no tutoring Monday, MLK Day.
• Weekly communication with program coordinator and written weekly assessments.
• Pre-Graduation Pizza Party for tutors and learners the Monday prior to Graduation (Location TBD, not mandatory but strongly encouraged to cultivate a sense of community).
• Graduation Ceremony* Monday, June 8th 2020 6:30-9pm.

* Held on The Evergreen State College campus

Kokua believes that inclusion benefits and enriches our entire community. Diversity promotes tolerance, understanding, and friendship. Programs such as LEAD foster strong community connections that make inclusion less of an ideal and more of a reality.
For more information about becoming a LEAD tutor or being placed on our learner waiting list, please contact:
Randi Miller, Community Programs Coordinator
360-705-4665 ext. 120