“Not every kid gets asked how they are in a way that matters. The children know that when they tell us something, we see them. We’re really listening.” – Samantha, Lead Teacher
Each day after school gets out, Homework Club (HWC) teachers and children walk together to Palega Park or back to the Portola center for their afternoon activities. Jessica, Julyann, Kristina, and Samantha – our HWC teachers – give daily hugs and ask questions about each child’s day, sharing stories related to children’s favorite books, sports, and musicians. It’s a space for kids to feel grounded and welcomed as their full selves.
For a lot of kids, school settings are scary and intimidating, and they can get lost in the shuffle. HWC teachers work to build families within their classrooms and across the organization, sending home little notes and activities for the siblings that are not yet old enough or that previously graduated from HWC.
Recently, a child joined HWC after moving to San Francisco from another country. Without proficiency in English, they felt nervous in school and around other kids. Kristina, a HWC graduate herself, worked to find ways for the participant to open up. Kristina would greet them with silly dances and songs, so they slowly felt more at home and relaxed at Family Connections. Today, the child is thriving, confident, and excited for when Kristina and the HWC crew arrive to take them to Palega Park.
And if you want to see some of the fun that goes down while HWC is in the Park, check out this recent performance with Kristina and some of our HWC kids.