The boys have made it through one semester of school; we had parent-teacher conferences with their teachers last Friday. They are doing well in school, scoring As in their subjects and making a lot of new friends. I think they are making such good friends that their social calendars keep us busy with playdates and birthday parties! I love it though. It gives us an opportunity to meet and get to know other parents. And we’ve met so many great people.
Here are some pictures of them enjoying the fall weather and the leaves. 🙂
Anna is using words like ‘automatic’ and phrases like ‘I have no idea.’ They are growing up so fast. Thank you for keeping them in your hearts and prayers.
On the church side, we’ve been discussing venues and timelines. We are currently planning to start meeting at our home soon and inviting people to come. Whether or not they want to join the church eventually, it will be good times of worship, prayer and bible study. We are going to start building community, which is important.
We are also looking at venues in Mt Clemens that we can rent for services and other meetings. The plan is to start having services in the venue early next year.
My dream is also to use the venue as an after-school drop-in centre for students. Students can come and do their homework and get help with their schoolwork. At the same time, they can also be engaged in healthy activities in a safe environment, and get counselling if they need it. This is very much what I did in the last school I taught at for the last few years.
I ran an after-school programme for at-risk youth. The focus is to engage them in school (so they are not out there being involved in gangs and unwholesome activities). It was also to help them with their studies as they are often behind their peers academically. My personal philosophy is that if they experience success in the classroom, they will be more likely to enjoy coming to school and put in effort in their school work. This has worked for most of our ‘clients’ in the last few years! Most of them have gone on to post-secondary (high school) education. I am very proud of them!
The teachers in the programme are also confidantes and counsellors for these students. Most of them come from a troubled family background and do not have adults in their lives who are providing the guidance they need. Sometimes all they need is someone to believe in them and they are able to take off and soar. Some of them tell me, “Who am I studying for? No one cares how I do in school so why should I care?” But when they know someone cares, their teachers care, you will see the difference in their attitudes towards school and subsequently, in their behavior too.
We have moved on from a phase of intervening in fights, to scheduling teachers to be in the drop-in room more afternoons each week because the students are requesting more time and more help for their schoolwork! That is such a miracle! And that’s why I believe in a programme like this, and am an advocate for more people to be involved in such programmes to give a boost to students who need it.
So, I hope to be able to do this here too. I know there are many students who will benefit from such a programme. I’ll post more updates if any of you reading this want to find out more or be part of the programme. You can also write me or text me anytime to talk more about this, or if you have similar ideas or suggestions. For now, it is a dream in my head, but a very tangible dream. 🙂