PEABODY, Kan. (KSNW) – A Kansas teacher is inspiring her students long after the school bell rings.
“It’s a calling, all my life, that I am supposed to fulfill my purpose,” said Megan Crosley.
Crosley, 29, teaches reading at Peabody-Burns Elementary School. The published author said she always felt drawn to education. When the pandemic hit, she noticed some of her students started to struggle.
“I really wanted to help my students be successful and I wanted to give them the extra support they needed outside of school,” she explained.
That’s when Crosley decided to turn The HUB Youth Center, a Peabody nonprofit organization that provides a safe and drug-free place for teens to socialize, play games, and interact, into a tutoring location as well.
“To me, for being at school and at The HUB, working with kids, it’s family,” Crosley said. “All this is family, it’s important to take care of your family.”
“I tell you, Megan is somebody who doesn’t sit still,” said teacher and community member Travis Schafer. “She is constantly looking for the next best thing whether it’s for herself, for the community or for the kids.”
On alternative weekends, Crosley also offers free tutoring about 25 miles away from The HUB at the Burns Community Center in Burns. Her efforts in the last year have led to grade improvements for students.
“I have improved a lot in my reading and in my math,” said third grader Winston Bourbon.
“She helps me at school,” said Olivia.
Crosley said she doesn’t see her actions outside of the classroom as anything special. In fact, she’s happy to do it.
“I am trying really hard to make a difference for kids so they can tell their kids, ‘hey, there are some people in my life that made a difference,'” she explained. “It’s a forever job for me.”
The HUB’s long-time impact
The HUB has a long history in Peabody. Community members have been using it as a safe, social space for decades.
“I grew up in Peabody and one of my classmates father had a vision for this and mother had a vision for this and created a volunteer board and we were able to come up with this building and then create and follow through with a place, a safe place for our students,” said Peabody resident Hannah Bourbon.
Bourbon said volunteers from the area church community recently took over the downtown building. It hosts youth groups, socials, educational functions, and more. It’s open to kids of all ages.
“So Friday, Saturday nights, it’s open to them. They can come in here watch movies and play games or anything like that,” said Schafer.
Bourbon said she has peace of a mind when her children visit.
“Anytime you have kids together in one place hanging out, sure there can always be a little riffraff, nobody is saying everyone is angles around here,” Bourbon said. “But as a parent if you know your kids are with friends at a common location it brings comfort.”
The HUB is open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 6 p.m. to midnight.