“This place is happy,” a woman visiting Patchwork told me. “I sent my children here every day, and I KNEW they were safe. Now they’re in their 30’s and 40’s.”
A whole new group of children is finding that Patchwork is a safe and caring place for them as we begin a new school year in the Arts & Smarts program. Activities began on September 2 with tutoring for grades 1-5 and leadership training for grades 6 and up. The younger children in grades 2-5 will join the fun in arts and other activities starting on Tuesday, September 16.
There is already considerable demand for tutoring. One mother stopped in to register her child a few weeks before activities began.
“Last year it made such a difference,” she said. Her child began last year getting C’s, D’s, and an F but turned those grades into A’s and B’s and a place on the honor roll. “I give Dixie, her staff, and my mother the credit for that,” she said.
To keep up with the demand, Dixie would like more tutors, particularly for the popular time slots: 3:15-4:00 and 4:00-4:45 Monday through Thursday. You can volunteer for as little as one session once a week or you can come every day! Contact Dixie if you’re interested.
Meanwhile, the Junior Leaders and Teen Volunteers have been in training to learn how to be good leaders. Many of the Junior Leaders and Teen Volunteers have been part of our Arts & Smarts programming for years, beginning as participants in grades 2-5.
Leadership Team members are expected to:
- Introduce themselves to the children and make them feel welcome
- Be a good role model and respectful of others
- Have an enthusiastic desire to work with children
- Treat the children with respect and dignity and without discrimination
- Be dependable, reliable and punctual with all the traits of a professional
- Show positive behavior and attitude
- Accept job responsibility
- Serve as a positive role model at all times
And where might these Junior Leaders end up some day? A few weeks ago we had some work done on our fire alarm system. Part way through the job, one of the workmen came into the main office and introduced himself to Shawn.
“I’m Mathew. I used to come here when I was I kid,” he said.
Sure enough. Those of us who had been around the children’s program in the 2000’s recognized a kid who had been a Bike Club participant and an “I Am A Promise” singer.
Jane Vickers thinks he may be the first child to return as an adult workman fixing the building. I don’t think he will be the last.