Ms. Marissa Salgado, Youth Programs Director
At Kids Club, our desire is to lay the foundation for the emergence of Local Leaders. Over the last 12 years, we have been able to walk with students like Angy and Jason as they grew up from Kids Club students into Local Leaders themselves. With our entire Local Leader team being comprised of former Kids Club students, there are opportunities for each one to share their own memories of being in the program with today’s students.
A few weeks ago I was reading with Eduardo, a third grader in Kids Club for whom reading can be a struggle. As we picked out a story from his bag and opened up the cover of the book, I took notice of a name that was written on it: Angy Alvarado, 11/02/09.
I looked at Eduardo with a shocked smile and asked him, “Do you recognize that name?”
“It’s Ms. Angy!!” he replied excitedly.
He grabbed the book and ran over to show her! He wanted her to know that he was reading one of the very same stories she had read when she was his age.
A decade later, Angy is walking students through the same program she herself walked through. Each day at Kids Club she is supporting their academic growth the same way her leaders at Casa Chirilagua did for her.
Our Local leaders also use their past experience with Kids Club as a motivator to be as present as possible with students, making their experiences as fun as they were for themselves.
On our recent ice skating field trip, Dania – one of our smallest students – was excited to ice skate but couldn’t do it on her own. She watched as the other students hopped onto the ice and slid around, laughing and giggling as many of them tried ice skating for the first time.
Jason observed that she wanted to be a part of the fun. He quickly grabbed one of the ice skating supports and said to Dania, “Come on, I’ll help you.”
Jason helped her onto the ice for the first time. He made sure her feet were securely on the support and her hands were gripped tight before he pushed off.
As soon as they began to glide across the ice, Dania’s face lit up. She couldn’t stop giggling and smiling!
Though it was extra work, Jason never hesitated to make this field trip memorable for her – knowing how important experiences like this are for each student. He spent an hour on the ice making this experience memorable for Dania and others, like his own Kids Club experiences once were.
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