In June Casa Chirilagua celebrated the close of another school year with the annual Year End Celebration! At the end of our time together one volunteer commented, “The parents have always attended this event but this year I could FEEL their presence.” One parent added, “This is the best community celebration we have had yet!” These comments point to the strength and growth of parent participation over the school year. We celebrate the sense of belonging and community the parents have established among each other over the course of the year.
As we finished the school year and began reviewing the report cards of our students, we found that there was much academic progress to celebrate as well. One such celebration was that of 4th grade student Jose who progressed two reading levels over the course of the school year. At VBS last week Jose attacked Ms. Liz (our Kids Club reading room teacher) with a water gun. Ms. Liz exclaimed, “Jose, what have I ever done to you?” Without flinching he shouted, “You made me read!” Knowing his reading progress over the year, Ms. Liz took the attack with complete surrender and a smile.
While reviewing the Kids Club student surveys, Gina’s stood out among the rest. She wrote, “Before Kids Club, I didn’t know how to read. After Kids Club, I got happy.” When we asked her for a recommendation for next year she replied, “Make Kids Club never end. I want to go every day.” This is just a taste of the academic progress many students made and the joyful responses they gave regarding their experiences of Kids Club. Additionally, most students shared that Jesus loves us, He saved us and He will never leave us.
We reflect on the year with grateful hearts, giving thanks to God and celebrating the value of participation and progress. What an honor it is to be a part of this wonderful community, to see parents come alive, to celebrate academic accomplishment, and to hear children express that they know they are loved by a God who will never leave them.