Growing up, I remember back-to-school season being full of emotions: excitement, dread, curiosity. Would this year be better than last year? Would I like my teachers? I can’t wait to see my friends!
At Ciudad Nueva, back-to-school season is all about excitement. There is a flurry of activity from visiting families, schools, and volunteers. Phones are ringing, emails are flying. Students are ready to get back in the routine — and see all the friends and leaders they missed over the summer!
It all starts with planning
Summer is a change of pace at Ciudad Nueva. We head off in a lot of directions taking kids to camps around the Southwest. We also help connect kids with activities and internships around town, host regular events onsite at our center, and explore local outdoor sites. During the summer we are also thinking about changes we want to make or other plans for the fall.
As soon as school starts, our days are structured around the routine of bringing the kids from school to their respective programs, assisting our awesome parents and volunteers during the programs, and then getting our students home safely at the end. We also do more home visits during the school year, checking on the families of our students to discuss any ways we can support them.
Taking off with our elementary school Launch Pad program
One component of Launch Pad we plan for is a service project. This fall students will visit Jardin de Milagros, a local farm, where they will pick fresh vegetables to be donated to the Kelly Memorial food pantry.
Launch Pad meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning at 3:30 after all the students arrive from school. We start with a snack time, then we help them with homework from 4:00 to 4:30.
Our main activity time is from 4:30 to 5:30. This time includes Bible lessons, life skills, art, recreation, and read aloud time. On certain Launch Pad days, we also set aside time for Launch Pad Bank and Store. You can read more about that program here.
Launch Pad has 15 new participants this year and a few new volunteers. Tamy and Alison are co-directing the new school year.
Interested in volunteering with our amazing elementary school students? Contact Alison at 509-869-4698 or firstname.lastname@example.org about volunteer opportunities for this year. There is definitely room for you!
Middle school mania
Working with middle school students is always a wild ride! Our after-school programs for middle schoolers run Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, and we are off to another great start this year! We are averaging around 25 students per day in the program, and there is always something exciting going on.
After 45 minutes of homework time, the students enjoy 30 minutes of free time and snack. Because friends are so important at this age, this is definitely a favorite time for our middle schoolers.
On Tuesdays the main program time from 4:30-5:30 includes a creative component. This may be art, cooking, social justice discussion, jewelry making, computer skills, sports, photography, or many other subjects. Wednesdays they participate in Wyldlife, which is similar to youth group with Bible lessons and small groups.
Thursday program time is all free time for middle schoolers! They can do sports, rock climb, play games, or simply hang out with their friends and leaders, which is what they love to do anyway!
If you are interested in volunteering with our fun-loving middle school students, contact Simon at 626-715-3850 or email@example.com. We would love to have you join in the excitement this year!
High school happenings
Keisha is our new high school program director. High schoolers come later in the evenings on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, usually from about 6:30-9:30 PM.
Mondays are Young Life Club where students have the opportunity to meet with friends and participate in various club activities. Campaigners is our Tuesday program which includes a small group Bible study.
Thursdays we run our career and college readiness program called Catalyst. Students in Catalyst learn many important life skills and have opportunities to meet professionals in many fields throughout the year. You can read more about Catalyst here.
If you would like to be involved with our high school programs, or would like to serve as a mentor in Catalyst, please Contact Keisha at 804-926-4405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.