Volunteers needed at after-school program!

Our after-school program began its 3rd year this past Monday and we could not be more excited!  We will be working with 30+ beautiful kindergarten to 5th graders each school-day from 3:00-6:00–helping with homework, playing games together, laughing and having fun and most importantly learning about and enjoying God and His incredible love for us.

The kids benefit so much from one-on-one attention in all that we do at after-school.  Our volunteers are the ones who make this possible and have been a huge blessing in the past–forming such beautiful relationships with the kids, helping them, encouraging them.  Please consider whether you may be able to give one afternoon per week to joining God’s work in the South Bronx!

Here are the two basic types of volunteer help that we need:

Monday-Thursday Helpers:

Under the leadership of the after-school staff, volunteers are needed to:

–Assist kids with homework and learning projects

–Help engage and involve kids in Bible time

–Help engage and involve kids in community- and character-building activities

–Have fun with and show love to the kids!

Ideally, our helpers are able to:

–make a weekly commitment for school-year (or at least the semester)

–come the same day each week

–be with us from 3:00-6:00pm

Passion Class/Passion Project Leaders:

We also need volunteers to teach/lead hour-long extra-curricular activities on a Friday.  For example, these activities could be arts, music, theater, sports, technology, creative writing, foreign languages, etc.–anything that you love to do!

–This can be a one-time opportunity or can be on-going.

–Ideally, a passion class volunteer leader would come in with an activity/lesson fully-prepared.  The staff would assist under the volunteer’s leadership.

–Alternately, a volunteer can come to support/assist a passion class which is being led by one of the staff members.

 

We are hopefully and eagerly waiting to see who God brings to the Bronx this year!

If you are interested in helping out at after-school, please contact Lauren by email: lauren@ahouseonbeekman.org

Summer Camp Report!

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We had an amazing summer with 100 kids at our summer camp for 4 weeks! While camp is full of fun, we use the summer time to make a significant impact in our kids lives in several different ways.

There are 6 elements of camp that are really significant for our kids.
 
1. Food. Our neighborhood has the highest rate of hunger in the nation. Nearly one in three residents is unable to afford a meal and at the same time one in four residents are obese due to the lack of healthy choices and food education available in our neighborhood. At camp, our kids eat full healthy meals. More than half the days the kids are eating salad for lunch and every day they are eating fruits and vegetables. At first the kids were pretty skeptical but after trying our healthy food, they loved it! By the end of camp we had kids begging for more salad. We made huge strides in making sure our kids stay fed and healthy for the summer and when they have to make food choices in the future.
 
2. Physical Activity. Another reason for the obesity issues in our neighborhood is a lack of physical activity. At camp our kids were outside playing twice a day. One week, the kids even learned a brand new sport- street hockey. They ate it up! There was also time for the kids to just play in the park. We had a couple bikes donated to us and those were the hit of the summer since most of our kids don’t have their own bikes! We had one kid in particular who started the summer having never ridden a bike. He worked every day trying to learn and finally near the end of camp he rode the bike by himself. He described that as the greatest moment of his life!
 
3. Academic growth. Our kids will lose more than two months of learning in math and reading over the summer. More than half of the achievement gap between lower and higher income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities. Our kids already have the deck stacked against them educationally so we work hard not only to eliminate summer learning loss but to reverse it. And we achieved that. All of our kids grew in their reading and math skills this summer. That alone is an incredible feat.
 
4. Arts. Extra curricular activities don’t exist in our neighborhood.  So we spend the summer letting our kids explore the arts. This summer they learned about music, dance, cooking and theater. They also painted and drew as they made crafts that met real needs like t-shirts and backpacks.
 
5. God. Its also really important to us that we share the reason we do all of this with our kids. So we spend time daily worshiping God, praying, reading the Bible and then practicing our faith by serving our community. 
 
6. Field trips. So many of our kids rarely leave the 5 block radius they live in even though all of New York City is a $2.50 subway ride away. So once a week our kids explore this great city we live in. This year we went to the science museum in queens, Coney Island in Brooklyn, the Bronx Zoo and we went right out of the City to Bear Mountain. Simply exposing our kids to new places expands their world and helps them dream of greater possibilities.
I hope this gives you a taste of all of the amazing ways we got to see our kids grow this summer. Thank you so much to everyone who was a part from our volunteers, to our sponsors, to those of you who prayed for us this summer!

Kids leading the way with end-of-year projects

We are finishing the year with one more round of Passion Projects at after-school.  From January to April, the kids worked on projects that were under the leadership of the after-school staff.  On the Friday before spring break, they presented their work to a teeming crowd of family members, friends and AHOB staff and volunteers.  Cameras were flashing and moms and dads were grinning from ear to ear as the kids presented an original play, performed self-written rhymes, displayed their beautiful artistic creations and brought down the house with an incredible step routine.

Since returning from spring break, we launched a final round of Passion Projects.  But this time, instead of us adults presenting options to the kids and leading them through the activity, we took a step back and gave them greater ownership and responsibility. The kids had a big group brainstorm session a couple Fridays ago.  They shared their project ideas, explaining how each project would bring joy to their families and community.  Then they narrowed down the ideas to 4 options.  A baking group will sell their concoctions to raise money for charity, a sports group will present the techniques they learn together, a group will put on a performance of hip-hop, ballet and musical theater and a nature exploration group will create scrapbooks of what they discover about pockets of nature in our very own neighborhood.  We are seeing the kids step into leadership–making decisions, advocating for their ideas and planning how best to use the time.  This is not something they would have been ready for back in September, and it has been incredible to see this concrete evidence of their growth this year.

The kids had a lot of fans at the April Passion Project Party.

The kids had a lot of fans at the April Passion Project Party.

A proud papa films his son's step routine.

A proud papa films his son’s step routine.

 

We’re hiring!

Head Teacher/Assistant Director Position

 

A House on Beekman is starting a preschool program in Sept 2014 that will foster the development of 3-4 year olds and prepare them to enter Kindergarten. We are seeking a Lead Teacher that will also serve as the Assistant Director to lead our children in their social, emotional, spiritual and educational development.

 

Qualifications:

*NYC Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood Education or Related Field

*3 or more years experience teaching children under 6 years of age

 

 

Role Description:

*Co-teach preschool class of 3/4 year olds

*Serve as Director when Head Director is not present

*Assist Head Director in Curriculum Development/Child Assessment/Parent Support/Staff Development

*Communicate with parents and encourage their input regarding the growth and development of their children

*Hold 2 home visits and 2 parent/teacher conferences per child per year alongside Head Director

*Actively participate in staff training and development

 

 

Key Characteristics:

*Aligns with the mission and vision of A House on Beekman

*Builds and maintains a positive, nurturing and supportive relationship with children and families

*Maintains a safe and healthy environment in the classroom and on the playground

*Possesses the ability to set and maintain professional boundaries with families

 

Email sloan@ahousoenbeekman.org with your cover letter and resume to apply!