Clinton Community School District implementing ‘Capturing Kids Hearts’

Published: Aug. 15, 2023 at 6:56 PM CDT
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CLINTON, Iowa (KWQC) - Capturing kids’ Hearts, a program that has been around since the early 1990′s that helps teachers develop relationships with their students.

Clinton Community School District has implemented this program and are one of the few districts in Eastern Iowa to do so.

Trainer Strategist Mitch Sorensen was a teacher for 32 years before becoming a National Trainer for Capturing Kids’ Hearts, a program he says more school districts want to get involved in.

“Once more schools hear about it, more teachers, more administrators hear about it, they’re calling our lines,” Sorensen said. “And they’re saying, man, we need this, we need this, our kids need this.”

This program equips professionals in K through 12 educations to implement transformational processes focused on social-emotional wellbeing, relationship-driven campus culture, and student connectedness.

“I got to watch, kindness to students taking care of each other, believing in each other,” Sorensen said. “We came more like family and what’s the great thing about this is once you develop that relational bond with those kids, those kids become more like your children, and they don’t want to disappoint you.”

A seventh grade teacher and a lead for Capturing Kids’ Hearts says one of the greatest things this program has done is allow kids to build confidence, not only in themselves but each other.

“The coolest thing I think that we’ve seen is, we see students start to feel empowered themselves, and to empower each other,” Amber Griswold, seventh grade teacher said. “So, they begin to engage a little bit more, and they have a sense of caring about each other and they care about what other people think of them.”

Other staff members in the district agree, the program is key to not only children’s success but also their own.

“It’s been a really important thing, because it’s brought us all to using the same foundational skills in creating relationships with students.” Tandi Permenter, President of Clinton Education Association said.

“Very important,” Rhea Wright, Director of Student Services, Clinton School District said. “I think that you cannot operate in this world without knowing how to interact well with others.”

Principal Dan Boyd believes it has made changes in students for the better.

“Capturing Kids’ Hearts is just an awesome program,” Boyd said. “And we were very fortunate to be able to have that in our district and I think it’s made some very positive changes and really solidified the concept of caring for each other and being able to support each other.”

Capturing kids’ Hearts was founded by Flip Flippen and started in the early 1990′s.

One of Flippen’s famous quotes was: “If you have a child’s heart…you have a child’s mind…”

In 1990 a small group of educators experienced the first Capturing Kids’ Hearts training at the Flippen’s home in College Station, Texas.