Kids Building Community

posted in: Blog | 0

The Boys and Girls Club After School Program Encourages Kids in Northside to Build Community Every Day

At the end of every school day, a group of kids emerges from the school bus in front of the Craig/Gomains Community Center. They settle in, get a snack, do their homework, and make themselves at home. Usually, UNC students show up to help out, to do crafts, read or shoot hoops. Director Charlotte Makoyo knows each kid well. She knows how to get their attention and their respect. And they know she has high expectations, enforces the rules, and cares about them. Ms. Charlotte knows their parents and families, too. The kids also clearly know each other well and get along like a family, with all that entails. If you stop by, you’ll see: This is what community looks like! Two after school program volunteers talk about their experiences:

I feel I was able to impact the children, yet, in reality, the kids had a greater impact on me. Their unbridled joy and enthusiasm to learn reminded me of what a gift education is. Each day I volunteered I felt I was able to learn something new, about Northside, about myself, and about the necessity of social justice in the classroom.   Marguerite Leek

From the first time I walked in I was greeted with numerous squeals and “sit next to me’s” from the children. Over time they called me by name–or tried to–, and I knew theirs as well. One child loved to tell me about their day and family, and I was lucky enough to meet their family at the holiday party we threw for the children. Almost immediately I saw the strong community among the children, and by the end of the semester I believe I had become a part of it, too. It seemed natural for them to be there for one another.  Kate Shurtleff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *