By Lauren Cupito
Recess Leader – Kids Club
Tuesdays and Thursdays have come to be the highlight of my week. I get the chance to take time out of my busy schedule to hang out with some of the most energetic and friendly children.
This past week the children chose Super Heroes as their theme day. While I was personally thrilled to be able to wear a superhero cape to work, it was even more wonderful watching the night unfold once the children began to arrive.
One thing I’ve been working on as a new Recess Leader is connecting better with children who don’t immediately interact with me. There had been a couple of boys in kindergarten whom I hadn’t been able to bond with yet but… to my delight these boys decided to participate in theme night. As I walked over to them in my own “Super Buckeye” cape they smiled and proudly showed me what they were wearing. One particularly shy boy was sporting a teenage mutant ninja turtle sweatshirt complete with a shell hoodie and couldn’t resist beaming when I sat down and told him I loved it. This kindergartner just started coming to Kids Club a few weeks ago and is normally very quiet. But that night, something was different. He radiated confidence as he ran around showing off his sweatshirt. At the end of the night he couldn’t stop talking and was begging me to be the goose for duck-duck-goose, telling me, “I’m the fastest runner!” I couldn’t stop laughing.
By the end of the night I realized just how ironic the theme night was. The children might have been in costume, but their masks came off. They could forget any insecurities and simply enjoy the night. They didn’t have to cover anything up.
Every child at Kids Club has a unique story, which ends up being his or her greatest strength. Each night they treat each other with respect even though they all come from different parts of the world. The best part is that they don’t even think twice about it! We can all learn from them. They leave their worries behind because other children aren’t bothered by the fact that they’re “different” or don’t speak English very well. That’s something you can’t teach, they figure it out on their own.
And for this, THEY are OUR superheroes.
At SON Ministries, we see the DIVINE in each person, each has a purpose and a VOICE.
For four evenings, during the Family ESOL/KIDS CLub Program, SON Ministries has the privilege of partnering with The Salvation Army to provide “Job Readiness” classes to adult students in our program. The 26 adults who attended the first Job Readiness module on Tuesday eveningrepresented 16 different countries of origin. I was amazed!!
What I really want to convey is the courage, motivation, pride and gratitude spoken and displayed by this diverse group of recent immigrants and refugees.
As is customary in most U.S. classrooms, the training began with an invitation for each person to introduce themselves to the class. The big question…..who would go first? Each adult is in a new country, learning a new language, surrounded by people from 16 other countries. Finally, one brave man from Iran raised his hand and volunteered to speak first. What struck me once each person took the risk to speak is the determination in their voices.
“I am from Mexico and have 3 childrens. I want to get a job.”
“I want to learn more English to give me more confidence to get a job”.
“I want to understand the American people”.
“I have a job. I want better job”.
Iraq * El Salvador * Mexico * Russia * Peru * Morocco * China * India * Libya * Iran * Central African Republic
Egypt * Macedonia * Kuwait * Syria * Philippines
Thanking God for the opportunity to serve the people He has brought to us.
At SON Ministries, we build up COMMUNITY one respect-filled, empowering relationship at a time.
By Claire Rickly
OSU Social Work Intern with SON Ministries
Children at SON Ministries’ Kids Club last Thursday evening had the AMAZING opportunity to serve those in need in our community and around the globe!
45 children and volunteers joined Upper Arlington Lutheran Church’s Community Meal Packing Project in uniting our community and fighting hunger in our neighborhoods and far beyond.
Watching these children hard at work joyfully serving those in need helps us to realize that NO ONE is too young to make a huge impact in the world.
It’s amazing that these empowered children volunteered their time to help empower others in their community.
In 5 days, our church partner, Upper Arlington Lutheran Church, mobilized volunteers – of all ages – to pack 763,320 meals.
We are so thankful the Kids Club children were part of this effort!
At Serving Our Neighbors (SON) Ministries, we offer a HAND UP out of poverty.