Welcoming Hands

As a first grader walking into Kids Club for the first time, I can imagine our program might be a little overwhelming. You ride the bus to a new place for the first time and you walk in to a community center full of kids you don’t really know. It’s loud, it’s full of energy, and there are all kinds of rhythms that you don’t yet know how to navigate. If I were a 1st grader, I wouldn’t know where to begin, and would really want someone to reach out and teach me the ropes.


That’s exactly what two of our 4th and 5th grade Kids Club veterans have done for their new friends. From the first day of Kids Club, Darla* and Jeni* took notice of some of our new students. They have intentionally invited them to their table during snack, included them in games during play time, and eagerly come up to me during homework and reading room and ask, “Ms. Marissa, can I help a friend?”


Through their kind hearts and welcoming spirits, these girls have helped make Kids Club a safe space for their peers. As we seek to lay the foundation for the emergence of leaders in our neighborhood, it’s encouraging to see our students press into service to others in the simplest of ways, building relationships that will continue to shape Kids Club into a safe and welcome space for everyone.

*name changed for privacy