On Tuesday afternoon, my service group and I drive out to Norris Middle School to serve the Completely KIDS afterschool program. Participants are Norris Middle students, ranging between grades 6-8. The mission of Completely KIDS is to educate and empower kids and families to create a safe, healthy, successful and connected community. During this afterschool program, students are allowed to choose their own clubs to participate in. These clubs vary from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) related clubs, sports, theatre, and even a Pokemon GO club. My service group of five is split so that there is one Cortina member at each club. I helped out with the STEM-based club called Building Dreams. The students have been working to remodel a car. Last week, they polished off rust of old wheel caps then spray painted it bright red. The finished car will be showcased at a project fair. What surprised me the most was that there were way more girls than boys in the club. The girls were the one taking initiative and making sure everyone in their groups had a chance to participate in that day’s task. It made me excited to see the stereotype of girls not being able to work with STEM related projects being broken.
The issue we see from doing service with Completely KIDS is that when students go home, many of their parents do not speak English making it difficult for them to help with homework. Some of the study body live below the poverty line and may not have a dinner meal when they go home. Many of the parents work more than job to support the family. Completely KIDS makes sure that students get help on their homework, participate in something they want to do, receive the attention they deserve, and are provided meals if necessary. My service group and I are excited to get know the students, learn about their ambitions, and see them grow with the opportunities given through Completely KIDS.