A lot has changed since our first year of after-school. We are constantly trying new things, seeking to learn from the kids, their families, the neighborhood, and, most of all, God. But there is one element that has remained constant–Passion classes. Each Friday since our very first week, the kids at after-school have had opportunities to try out different extra-curricular activities. We’ve dabbled in rock climbing, French cuisine, dance, origami, theater, poetry, violin, cooking and more.
These Passion classes have blossomed out of the interests and hobbies of the staff, volunteers and, more recently, the parents. We have found that the value of the Passion classes comes not just from the activity itself but from the opportunity for the kids to see adults who are jazzed about something–to see that it is a good thing to get excited and to care about how you spend your time. We’ve found that the kids can get excited and curious about even the most seemingly basic activities if an adult they look up to is pumped about it.
So much can happen in a single Passion class. This past Friday’s baseball class is a great example. Afterschool staff member Clarissa led 8 kids in the basics of baseball. Because we do our best to give the kids their top choice, the groups usually end up with quite a mixture of ages. Clarissa had kids all the way from kindergarten to 5th grade, and had a mix of boys and girls. In their time together, yes, the kids learned about baseball, but they had opportunities to learn much more as well. The older kids had opportunities to encourage kindergartener D’sean and first-grader Kenyen as they tried out batting for the first time ever. One young lady who started out refusing to step up to the plate for fear that the boys would make fun of her was hitting a home run by the end of the game. Jeremiah, now in his third year of after-school, showed how much he has grown when he struck out but instead of lashing out or giving up, just smiled to his coach, shrugged his shoulders, and hoped to do better on his next turn. And they all got to see Clarissa confidently lead them in what some may have previously thought was a “boys'” activity.
We are so grateful for your prayers and support in making Passion class Fridays possible. God takes these simple Friday activities and uses them in such creative ways–to create bonds, to resolve conflicts, to awaken dreams and open up minds.
If you would like to learn more about leading a Passion class in a topic or activity of your choosing, please contact email@example.com