One of the great things about HOPE worldwide and the Boys and Girls Clubs working together is the judgment free atmosphere. Kids of all ages, ethnicities (Samoan, West African, Cambodian, African American, "Caucasian"), social situations and learning abilities - even a few behavior "issues" (yes, 8 year olds can have serious fist fights) - come together and have a good time. As we work through the activities, a sense of freedom exists: not freedom from, but freedom to. Freedom to learn, freedom to exercise, freedom to be oneself without the pressures and judgments of life.
I look forward to the Saturday Academy evolving, and continuing to reach the youth of one of the most challenged areas of our city. I look forward to seeing the kids and volunteers grow as we learn together what it means to have a strong body, strong mind and strong character.
More about the HOPE worldwide Alaska and the Saturday Academy - In a short period of time, HOPE worldwide Alaska has grown from concept to action through partnerships with TEAM-WORKS Academy and the Boys & Girls Club of Southcentral Alaska. For the last few weeks, a group of us volunteers have met at the Mountain View Community Center Boys and Girls Club in Anchorage. The program has three simple stations for the kids: Strong Body, Strong Mind and Strong Character. The station leaders create a different activity in their focus area, we divide the kids up by age group and they rotate through the stations. Fifteen to thirty kids, ages 8-12, participate in the program each week; we even have a few "regulars" who have not missed a Saturday Academy!
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