The beginning of the spring semester for many students brings dread and an impending load of work, but January for us meant the beginning of another semester to be in the lives of our 1stthrough 8thgraders.
Many of you know about our after school program, EPIC, where we get to spend two afternoons a week exercising, learning and growing with 28 of our elementary aged students. We were so excited to get back to seeing them run from the church van to grab their snacks, and ultimately, learn more about themselves and what they are capable of doing academically and in Christ.
This semester, the students are not only learning more math facts and strengthening their reading skills, but are learning about the whole gospel story. Week by week, they will learn a few more pieces about how good God is and how he provided the greatest gift for each and every one of us.
In addition, on Thursday afternoons, we have the opportunity to spend time with our junior high students through a new program that began last semester, START. Our 6ththrough 8thgrade students have met every week to talk about struggles, dream big about the future and learn more about themselves and others in our community through service opportunities.
In the short time that I have spent with our students, I have seen so much growth and confidence develop in each and every one of them. Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are quickly becoming my favorite time of the week because through a game of UNO or a particularly hard math problem, I have seen our students develop resiliency, recognize necessary leadership skills and learn how loved they truly are.