Ministry Offers a Place to Go After School

Post a Comment » Written on June 12th, 2006     
Filed under: News
SALEM, OR (June 12, 2006) – Because Trinity Covenant Church operates an after-school program that targets “latchkey” children, dozens of elementary school students do not have to go home to an empty house or apartment when classes are done. From 3 to 5:30 p.m. every school day, volunteers at Community Corner lead the children in games, crafts and Bible stories. They also help the students with homework, tutor students in math and English, run a computer lab, and provide mentoring.

“Children grow emotionally and socially as they are cared for, and they learn to care for others,” says senior pastor Chris Haydon.

The church included a community center in its design when it constructed its new building, which was completed in September 2002. The church wanted to make certain there were facilities that could be used to reach out to their neighbors.

The latchkey program was one of the first programs to use the space. Most of the students come from families outside the church, says Cliff Herman, the program director. Attendance averages roughly 40 students depending on the season, and a limit of 55 has been set.

Many of the students come from the elementary school across the street from the church. “We already had a relationship with them,” says Herman, noting that volunteers from the church spend one day a week at the school reading to the students. “So they know who we are.

“I hear from the teachers how much they appreciate what we do,” Herman says. “The parents love it.”

“The Community Corner holds a very dear place in our family’s hearts,” says Cassy Johnson, who has two children in the program. “To have a place where my children can go that I know is safe, fun, warm and puts the children’s needs first is priceless. They come home every day wanting to go back tomorrow.”

The volunteers enjoy helping as much as the children like to attend. “Volunteering at the Community Corner has been a privilege,” says Ruth Motley. “The children learn about God in a safe and caring setting, and my hope is that this positive experience toward faith and the church will be an anchor for them as they grow.”

Operating Community Corner is labor intensive, Herman says. “You have to have a strong volunteer base,” he explains. Dozens of volunteers are needed. Trinity isn’t the only church in the area offering after-school programs. Each month, the staff meets with other churches in the area to share ideas and training.

To learn more about the after-school program, contact the church staff at 501-581-5675.

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog