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We Start Early and Stay Late: Whatever It Takes to Empower Our Youth

We're three weeks into September, and this month has already been a whirlwind of activities, learning, and fun in our Youth Development Program.

First and foremost, a big THANK YOU to everyone who joined us for before and aftercare, which launched on September 5th! Our doors open bright and early at 7 AM and close at 6 PM, ensuring our youth are engaged and safe during those critical out-of-school hours.

We currently have 39 students participating, a number we expect to grow in the coming weeks. We’ve also handed out around ten new applications, and we’re eagerly awaiting their return so that we can welcome more families into our program. (If you know someone interested, nudge them to apply or to get their application back to us — the more the merrier!)

If you've ever wondered what happens in a day, well, a lot! In the morning, our goal is to set our children up for success at school, so we keep that time focused on creating a consistent routine that positively shapes the day ahead. And when the kids arrive in the afternoon, they’re treated to a warm meal and a snack. Then, we dive right into our activities.

Academic Enrichment Hour happens from 4-4:50 PM and includes:

  • Homework support (Because, let’s face it, everyone needs a little help sometimes!)

  • BookNook activities (BookNook's a computer-based reading tool designed to make reading a blast)

  • Math and English worksheets (not as boring as it sounds)

  • Handwriting support (We're having fun getting that penmanship up to par!)

From there, we go right into Empowerment Hour from 5-6 PM:

  • Monday: Personal Development/Spiritual Wellness

  • Tuesday: Social Emotional Learning & Interpersonal Skills

  • Wednesday: Sports Variety (Yes, including golf!)

  • Thursday: Nature Exploration/STEM (Bring on the leaf collections and robot designs!)

  • Friday: Choir/African Drums (Let’s end the week on a high note)

All of our classrooms are a safe space for children, providing a warm and welcoming learning environment. We’ve made some great enhancements to the rooms in recent months. And we've also established a Teacher Resource Room — an exciting addition that helps our teachers be the best they can be!

Before I go, just one more thing: mark your calendars, because Battle of the Bands is right around the corner — September 24th at Frawley Stadium. And our bonfire at Camp Pecometh is happening on October 21st. Two fun events that are sure to put a smile on every child's face.

That’s the latest from Youth Development! Here’s to an enriching and exciting year. We’re so eager to see what’s in store!

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