After School Agape

The Problem

   After School Agape aims to provide a place for the children that live on Bay Street in Berlin, MD to go when they get home from school.  The activities that the children participate in are aimed to build teamwork, allow them to express themselves, and also teach them about career opportunities.  The children and I have formed very close relationships.  Everyday at After School Agape is different.  I love the kids I work with and I enjoy watching them grow.  It is a good feeling when you know that you are making a difference in a child’s life.  The children range in age from 4 to 10 years old and all come from single-parent homes.      After School Agape began in the last week of September in 2007.  Held in the Agape building (a ministry for single parents) it runs Mondays and Thursdays from 3:30 until 5:00 and has a roster of over 25 children.  During the first week of the program the children enrolled completed activities to allow everyone to get to know each other.  Since then we have done many projects including Halloween houses, Thanksgiving Indian vests, and recently completed our long-term project of creating our own newspaper.  To create our own newspaper, I used my knowledge of journalism and taught the children about open-ended and close-ended questions.  Then we went over how to conduct an interview.  Finally the children interviewed each other for the feature section of the newspaper.  They also drew pictures for the arts and style section, and wrote news stories to go along with pictures we had taken at the program.     They have also participated in relay races and other team-building activities.  Every day that the program is held snack is provided as well as homework help.  A few weeks ago I held a movie night at Agape for the kids.  We watched two movies together and had snacks.  I am currently trying to start a Girl Scout troop at Agape.   We just held a Christmas party this past weekend which included breakfast, crafts, and a movie.      We also just completed our very own Christmas movie where the children acted out different traditional Christmas scenes.  We have completed Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.  In order to do this the children had to practice and learn to cooperate with each other on a whole new level.     

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