“When students master skills in Reading and Math, they go to school feeling good about their accomplishments. Getting help with homework allows students to go to school prepared and feeling confident.
The Academic Excellence & Achievement Program (AXAP) provides one-on-one support in Reading and Math, as well as Homework Help. Students are taught important skills by caring, professional educators, following a comprehensive diagnostic assessment.”
I am so proud of the work we do at Neighbors for Kids, Depoe Bay, Oregon! I am also honored to have been part of this outstanding after-school program as a board member for the last 5 years. It has been the best work of my life!
Even when we are away on vacation, I get fun reminders everyday like the photo above showing our children reading “big books” from our new library. In cooperation with the Lincoln County School District (LCSD) and the “21st Century Community Learning Center Program,” we take literacy development very seriously as a key priority during the hours of 3pm-6pm. We also team up with parents and volunteers for additional support during a monthly evening or Saturday event through our “Family Literacy Program.”
Although we are having a great time getting away for two weeks enjoying visits with family and friends and the beautiful weather in Southern California, I am anxious to get home and get back to the work I love, helping Neighbors for Kids succeed as a sustainable 21st Century after-school model for the future. The children and families in Lincoln County Oregon are the big winners! It is an honor to be part of the NFK team of staff and volunteers who make a difference each and every day for kids…
“Earlier this morning, my daughter has asked me if I had meditated after I woke up, and it just so happens that I had, so I knew meditation was on her mind. As she sat at the dining room table, sobbing into her cereal, I told her that one reason I meditate is so I can practice choosing my thoughts, so I can get better at keeping the ones I want and getting ride of the ones I don’t.”
As vice chair of Neighbors for Kids, I have the privilege and opportunity to work closely with our staff and the children as part of my role as a board member for this amazing after-school program in Depoe Bay, Oregon. Our program is growing with many new kids registering for the start of the new school year and a very popular summer camp well underway. Our kids become very excited and busy with recreation and academic programs centered in a core learning curriculum known as “STEAM,” A Framework for Teaching Across the Disciplines. We are also an after-school site for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers project in collaboration with the Lincoln County School District (LCSD).
Our teachers and volunteers take a few minutes before each class to help students relax and refocus…a mindfulness exercise. The exercise is as simple as staying quiet for 3 minutes with some deep breathing and positive thoughts. Often children are distracted because of the challenges of socializing and sometimes from sad thoughts. I could easily see that taking a little time for meditation with the kids helps them get ready for a new learning experience. The short break between programs also helps us adults do a better job of mentoring and teaching kids as well.
I have written often in this blog about the topic of “mindfulness” (click highlighted text for video clip) in the context of life after trauma for adults. But the practice and benefits of meditation or mindfulness therapy definitely apply broadly as a way to relax for people of all ages. Children in particular get stressed out the same as adults. We all need a mindful timeout a few times a day to stay calm and focused on the joy of living, learning, and growing.