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ABOUT US

Latitude Collaborative seeks to serve, support and equip children and families in and around the Alton community.  
The organization was founded in May of 2017 to be operated for charitable, educational and religious purposes.  

   
MISSION

Latitude Collaborative is committed to fostering the academic, social, physical and spiritual development of children by establishing a safe and nurturing community where all children are valued.  We motivate, encourage and equip children and their families, so that each individual may be empowered to positively engage with each other and their community.
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PURPOSE

The purpose of the organization is to provide a variety of educational opportunities for children and their families in the city of Alton in order to develop each individual’s capacity to thrive.  Latitude Collaborative promotes development by utilizing community assets to provide learning experiences that build on each individual’s strengths, address the individual’s diverse needs, and appeal to the individual’s unique interests.

      
CORE VALUES

Value Truth
Embrace Diversity
Engage in Inquiry
Invest in Community
Pursue Excellence
    
   
Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
    
Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely,
whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
   
Proverbs 2:6
“For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth comes knowledge and understanding.”
 
1 John 3:16-18
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brother. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth”
 
James 1:22-25
“Be doers of the word, and not hearers only”
 
1 Peter 4:10
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, 
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms”
  
Romans 12:9-13
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality."
   
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Megan Tyler​
Executive Director​​
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much"  ~ Helen Keller

Megan is married to Ben Tyler and they have two daughters, Macie (9) and Josie (7), who are homeschooled.  Megan enjoys spending time with her family and loves to travel and explore new places as she teachers her daughters.  She and her family attend The Bridge Church in Alton where she serves on the worship team and is privileged to serve the children of The Bridge, as she directs their yearly Christmas program.  Megan served as a teacher in the Alton School District for 6 years before transitioning to become an Assistant Professor of Education at Greenville College.  At the college, she has served in various roles including Director of Clinical Practice, licensure officer, advisor to elementary education candidates and she has also continually taught both undergraduate and graduate courses focusing on literacy education for the past 8 years.  Megan continues to teach part-time in the undergraduate and graduate program for the college, but more than a year ago sensed that God was leading her back to the Alton community to support local children and their families.  After much prayer and incredible support from her family, friends and many in the community, Latitude Collaborative was birthed. 
 
When discussing her desires for Latitude Collaborative, Megan shares this…
“I am excited for how God is already moving and will continue to move through Latitude.  My desire is for children and families to know true community.  I want us to understand how much we can learn from each other and recognize the need to encourage and support one another.  I want the children of this community to know that they belong, to believe they are valued, to recognize their own strengths and gifts, and to understand that they have much to offer.  I want us to grow to love each other and this community so much that we desire to give of ourselves, not out of obligation, but out of a desire to help, support and bring about positive change.  I hope that Latitude Collaborative can play a small part in helping this community to thrive”.
    
  
Board of Directors
Nick Baggio
Board Chair  

Nick is married to Sara Baggio and they have two children, Emma (10) and Eli (8), and their dog Duke (7 months).  Nick is a Territory Manager/Architectural Project Manager for Marvin Windows and Doors, Warroad Minnesota.  He and his family attend Faith Fellowship Church in Godfrey where Nick serves as a prayer team member.  Nick was born and raised in Alton with strong ties to the community.  He is highly involved through a variety of roles.  He is a Boy Scout co-leader, Athletic Director at St. Ambrose Catholic School, Committee Chairman of the Southern Springfield Catholic Athletic Conference, President of Throw-Down Thursday Ministries, and head coach for local sports programs including Mid Illinois Phenoms and Godfrey Goal Getters.  Nick enjoys playing sports, coaching, reading and anything outdoors.  He is passionate about getting closer to God and helping children grow, develop and succeed.  He chose to become a Latitude Collaborative board member because he has loved coaching kids over the years, and now has an opportunity to help them academically and in other ways.  Nick is excited about the opportunity to make a difference in the community that he loves.

Ali Tarrant
Treasurer &
Finance Chair
   
Ali is married to Travis Tarrant and they have three young children, Isabella (5), Ty (3) and Bo (4 months).  Their life is busy, but they wouldn’t have it any other way!  Together, they own Tarrant and Harman Real Estate & Auction Co. on Fosterburg Road in Alton, which has been open since 2010.  Both Ali and Travis actively sell real estate and now have a team of over 30 brokers among their three locations.  Ali enjoys spending time with her family, especially outdoors on their property where they fish, ride 4-wheelers and enjoy the outdoors.  She also likes to explore new places.  Ali and her family attend River of Life Family Church.  Ali shares that she chose to become a Board Member of Latitude Collaborative because when you give back to the kids of your community, you are pouring into the future. The future of their lives, and the community itself.  She has been praying for an opportunity to give back and to get involved and she feels like this was just perfect timing and the answer to a prayer.
    
Wendy Roady
Secretary

   Wendy is married to her husband of 24 years, Bryan Roady and they have two daughters, Jordyn (21) and Brittany (18).  Wendy has been a teacher/curriculum coordinator for the past 24 years and currently works at Alton Middle School.  She has her specialist degree in Curriculum and Instruction and most of her teaching has been at the middle school level, but she has also taught college level English.  She enjoys spending time with her family, boating, watching sports, gardening and crafting.    Wendy states that she chose to become a Latitude Collaborative board member because of her work with many troubled children and families in this community along with her love for the Lord and the knowledge of His saving grace that prompted her to become involved with this ministry.  She shared that 18 years ago, she felt God call her to bring together area churches to give youth a place and a purpose. She has always felt guilty for not being obedient to this call. When she was approached to serve and commit to Latitude, she felt as though God was giving her an even greater chance to do kingdom work.  Wendy and her family attend Westminster Presbyterian Church in Godfrey.
    
    
Matt Phelps
Board Member

   
Matt is married to Shawna Phelps and they have one daughter, Grace (11 years old). Matt is passionate about Jesus and his family.  He is committed to following his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and being an extension of His body (the church); therefore, he serves God through his passion of playing music and is on the worship team at The Bridge Church, where he and his family attend.  He and Shawna also serve as youth leaders.  Matt enjoys playing sports with friends and has also been involved with coaching his daughter’s soccer and volleyball teams for the last several years.  Matt is employed at West Star Aviation, where he has held various roles for the last 19 years.  Currently, he serves as a NDT Level II Tech.  Matt shares that the he sensed God was calling him to be a part of Latitude Collaborative and feels this is an amazing way to share the love of Jesus with the youth of this community and invest what we have been equipped with, to encourage and raise future leaders. 
    
    
    
Lacy Pfleger
Board Member

   Lacy is married to her husband Andrew and they have two children, Ezra (6) and Paige (3).  She loves spending time with her family and enjoys renovating their old home.  Lacy also enjoys gardening and long coffee talks.  Lacy received her degree in Kinesiology for Physical Education and Health, but then her career took a different turn than expected and she had the opportunity to work in a special education classroom. Instantly, she fell in love with the kids and she has been a special education teacher for the past 5 years for Region III Special Education Cooperative, teaching children with autism.  She shares that when the learning starts to click, the best part is watching their faces light up.  Lacy chose to become a board member for Latitude Collaborative because over the past couple of years, she has been searching and praying for ways to be more involved in the community.  When she was asked to be a board member, she felt it was an answer to prayer since she knew that she could commit to this and be involved.  She is excited to be a part of what God is doing through Latitude!  Lacy and her family attend The Bridge Church in Alton.
    
    
Toni Varner
Board Member

   Toni was born and raised in Alton and married her husband Mike in 1983.  They have two adult children, Robert and Jessica.  Toni and Mike worship at The Bridge Church and they lead a community group in their home every other Thursday evening.  Toni loves to garden and entertain guests.  She also is passionate about people and missions; therefore, she has been to Nicaragua three times serving on mission teams and has also served within the United States.  She feels that God blesses her greatly as she obeys and serves.  Toni has volunteered at the Oasis Women's Shelter and the Salvation Army off and on in the past few years and also participates in Faith in Action each year and was involved in the planning and implementation of the service day in its earlier years.  Toni hopes to contribute in the health and wellness area of the program and wherever else she can.  She is excited to see what God will do with this board of directors, with those who partner with Latitude, and with our community as we serve His children!