Meg Barrett's 34 Year Run
Meg Barrett’s 34 Year Run
The year was 1985. While Calvin and Hobbes was debuting in the comic strip section of newspapers across the country and teenagers everywhere were hooking up the new Nintendo Entertainment System to their televisions, Meg Barrett was clocking in at the Edina Community Education as a KIDS Club Program recreation leader.
Fresh from a recreation and business degree from St. Cloud State University, Meg would rush from her full-time job at the downtown YWCA to the Edina Community Center to work with Kindergartners for after-school activities. From there, Meg moved up through the program with a variety of experiences, including piloting Edina’s first elementary on-site after school care program and creating a youth ice-skating club in one of the neighborhood rinks. Now, after thirty-four years with Edina Public Schools, Meg is set to retire as the district-wide Coordinator of KIDS Club/Wise Guy after school programs.
“I am most proud of working with an amazing team of managers and staff,” Meg says, reflecting on her long tenure. “I feel Edina is very fortunate to have such a committed team constantly working toward program improvements no matter how hard it is. The relationships they develop with kids, youth and families is truly creating community.”
The KIDS Club/WISE Guys program includes hundreds of kids from all six of the district’s elementary schools. Under Meg’s leadership, the out-of-school-time program has evolved to be responsive to what families need from a program like this.
“I think after school programs will continue to be a great place for kids to learn and grow and perhaps be even more than an extension of the school day,” says Meg. “We continue to collaborate with many organizations and districts across the state to share best practices and community engagement success, which just wasn’t possible years ago.”
Those familiar with Meg won’t be surprised to learn that she plans to embrace “what’s next” with the sense of adventure and openness that has characterized her work with Edina Public Schools. “I hope to read a lot more and be really open-minded to see what the next thing is,” she says.” I want to expand who I hang out with and get to know more people beyond my own little world.”