|Fundraising Coordinator/Academic Interventionist
Board of directors
Lift is a nonprofit afterschool program that focuses on literacy improvement, whole-person focus, and spiritual nurture.
|Founder, Board President, Volunteer
|Members at Large
|Carolyn Jones (volunteer)|
|Terri Collins (volunteer)||Mark Yordy|
|Dara Syswerda||Sarah McCleester|
In February 2014, Dianne Biehl and Lisa Sells met with leadership at Eastbrook Community Schools to ask what they could do to partner with the schools to make a positive difference in their community. That meeting led to further discussions with the Eastbrook South Elementary principal and staff about ways to partner with the school to support those students who needed an extra “lift” to reach their full academic potential. As a result of these conversations, on September 2, 2014, Lift was officially launched with fourteen 2nd grade students. Since 2014, the partnership with Eastbrook South has deepened, as have the number of students impacted by Lift. In each of the next two years, 2015 and 2016, another grade was added based on recommendations from teaching staff. In 2017, Lift obtained nonprofit status, and operates programming entirely on the generosity of donors. When the pandemic of 2020 closed Lift to in-person programming, Lift focused on staying connected to the families of Lift and supporting them with weekly distanced visits, deliveries of books, activities, and healthy snacks. In the fall of 2020, Lift reopened. The 2021/22 school year has proven to be a challenging time with pandemic-related learning loss for many children. The need for literacy support has never been greater, and Lift is strong and committed to the work of helping children grow.