Monthly Archives: April 2014

Diverse Learning


By: Ciara Alexander, OSU Masters of Social Work Intern

with SON Ministries, Academic Year 2013/14


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SON Ministries unites a very diverse population each night at Kids Club, with parents, children and volunteers bringing unique views and experiences under one roof. Additionally, this diversity has been experienced through Special Guests at Kids Club this winter!

The first volunteer, Michele Kurfees, invited Officer Paulus of the Columbus Police Department to teach safety and raise awareness of “the Officer is your friend” here in this country.   This addressed a special need at Kids Club, as one transition to the United States that many of the immigrant and refugee families go through is to understand that police officers here are trustworthy. Secondly, Dr. Magic, a local dentist, came to do a wonderful magic show.   The children were mesmerized by disappearing scarves, coins and rabbits!   Also this winter, a park naturalist from the Columbus Metro Parks visited with furs, skins, and several little critters with which the children were able to interactively learn about nature.

We are thrilled to see the Kids Club children embrace these enrichment/learning opportunities.   We are learning that, due to limited resources/disposable family income, for most of the children we serve, Kids Club is their only opportunity for extracurricular activity outside of school.    Additionally, the Special Guests, in generating greater levels of engagement, also help us develop improved pro-social behavior. 

Do you have knowledge on a topic that would interest our children? Do you have a passion to share?  Do you play an instrument of would you like to sing?   We invite you to join us as a Special Guest at SON Ministries’ Kids Club or Free Summer Lunch Camp for Kids as we work to facilitate diverse learning!


At SON Ministries, we bring HOPE to children and families in need by connecting them to people, resources and a Hand Up.  


Kiss a Pig?!!

By Pam Vallette, Program Manager, SON Ministries



J.W. Reason Elementary school in Hilliard recently had their second annual Penny Challenge to raise money for the Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids (Summer Camp).   The Penny Challenge teaches the school goal of “take care of others” and is a great example of one of the many ways that the Hilliard City School District partners with SON Ministries in support of children in need in the District. During the Penny Challenge, children brought loose change to school and the classroom in each grade level who raised the most money… to see their teacher KISS A PIG!!  The children charted each classroom’s progress until the big day came when the winners were announced. 

The school gathered for an assembly in the gym.  There was such excitement buzzing in the air.  First, they watched a photo slide show from Summer Camp 2013.  When they saw pictures of shaving cream fights, soccer games, and art activities, the children got huge smiles on their faces.  Our hope this summer is that at least 100 of these children will attend summer camp at J.W. Reason Elementary to receive a nutritious lunch and participate in enriching activities.  52.25 % of the 488 children at J.W. Reason receive free or reduced lunch during the school year which is a national indicator of poverty.

Then, the big moment came!!  The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium was kind enough to bring Rachel, a young pot-bellied pig for the celebration.  When Rachel saw the crowd, she squealed and the children cheered.  The results of the penny challenge were announced…an estimated $1700 raised! and several lucky teachers committed to kissing the pig including J.W. Principal, Jacki Prati and Alison Rooney, Director of Programs for SON Ministries.    A roar went through the crowd as the children chanted “Kiss the pig, Kiss the pig, Kiss the pig”.  One by one…but with some hesitation… each adult kissed Rachel the pig!!!  What a satisfying moment for these children!!

Let’s create more great moments for children!  Consider making a donation to support Hilliard Free Lunch Summer Camp for Kids.  Visit today!

At SON Ministries we nurture DREAMS to alleviate poverty.