Kaiser Permanente’s JA coordinator leads long-term school partnership

Kim Klein helped establish Kaiser Permanente’s partnership with Wheeling Elementary School in 2009

The partnership began in 2009, and it’s only gotten stronger thanks to the leadership of Kim Klein.  An IT professional with Kaiser Permanente, Kim leads the company’s partnership with Wheeling Elementary School in Aurora and serves as the Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain (JA) coordinator.

“Kim is one of our standout coordinators,” said JA Director of Volunteer Engagement Jill Hrnicek. “She coordinates an average of 65 volunteers who take over Wheeling Elementary for one day each year to teach JA in every classroom. Her commitment to JA – and especially to Wheeling students – is inspiring.  The JA coordinators from our partner companies are vital to our ability to recruit volunteers and to serve a growing number of  kids.”

In addition to rallying her colleagues to volunteer, Kim also coordinates an annual silent auction among Kaiser employees to raise money for Wheeling Elementary.

“We collect items from people across the company and then auction them off,” said Kim. “The items that raise the most money are the ones with a personal touch – an employee’s painting or photograph, or lessons or services provided by a colleague.” Each year, the silent auction raises between $1,000 and $2,300, and company employees present the check to Wheeling staff members when they volunteer for JA in a Day.

Kim doesn’t just coordinate volunteers to teach in JA classrooms, she volunteers herself. And while she has taught JA to third graders for a number of years, her heart is drawn to the kindergarten classroom. “I love sitting on the floor in a big circle and sharing stories with the kids. Their faces are amazing and they are so excited to listen and learn.”

In addition to leading Kaiser Permanente’s JA/Wheeling Elementary School partnership, Kim also organizes employee involvement in the Colfax Marathon. “We are always encouraging co-workers to get out and get healthy,” she said.

In her free time, Kim can be heard cheering on her own kids at a Parker Hawks football or basketball game or a Parker Wolfhouds Rugby match.