September came with a lot of change. Between getting adjusted to a new program leader and COVID-19 protocols, these kids had their plates quite full. Many were returning to SKC and were having a hard time with adjusting to “the new norm”. Although there are so many changes, the purpose of the program remains the same – to provide for, serve and guide every child in the program in any way possible. These purposes have remained the backbone of how the program runs. COVID-19 protocols have provided these kids with more opportunities to open up and share due to the one on one and small group sessions that happen in the SKC Clubhouse. These sessions have proven to be successful in assisting our students through such a difficult time. During this month, we focused on getting acquainted/reacquainted and participated in a lot of “getting to know you” activities.
In October, we practiced gratitude. The students in SKC reflected on what they were thankful for. We also got ourselves adjusted to a new schedule. Many of the students were switching to online learning or coming back to school which meant that there was a lot to talk about. Most of the kids were eager to participate in our “Gratitude Chain” which was posted in the SKC Clubhouse. They were all excited to read and learn about what each other was thankful for. The responses were very deep and well thought out which shows the impact that the program makes.
To further our practices, we also explored who we feel the most thankful for in our personal lives. Many were eager to share and reflect on one person who has made a big difference in their well-being and why. We also learned about staying healthy and protecting our bodies from illness through proper hand washing etiquette and eating healthy foods. We explored how these foods help our bodies to stay strong. Additionally, the students had the chance to reflect on gratitude for “the little things” in life that we often take for granted, such as things in nature around us. We worked on a “Thank you” board as well, in which the students left a note for someone they wished to thank.
During the month of November, the monthly character trait at our school was ‘CARING’. The SKC students learned about the importance of not only caring for others, but caring for ourselves as well. We learned about Yoga and how helpful it is to not only our bodies, but our minds. We had some wonderful weather this month and had the opportunity to practice Yoga outside on our school property. The kids loved being able to enjoy the weather and the fresh air, as masks are not mandatory while outside. Speaking of masks, a special thank you to Maskers of the Universe for donating masks to our SKC students. Our kids appreciate any and everything that is given to them.
We also had the opportunity this month to learn about Financial Literacy, thanks to Teresa Cascioli who was lovely enough to send us two sets of her “M is for Money” books. The SKC students loved to learn about the importance of safe spending, hard work and how to save your money. These are important life skills that should be taught no matter the age. It was a wonderful incentive that will benefit these kids now and moving forward. Towards the end of November, many of our students had to switch teachers due to the increasing loss of students to online learning. This was a challenge for our students, who thrive on stability and security. SKC has been a safe and stable place for our students especially during these transition times. The Director of Education made a visit to Sir Winston Churchill and we made a bulletin board in our hallway to showcase the program and what it has done for our students.
In December, we focused on our “3 wishes” for holiday season. The students came up with some wonderful and non-material wishes that we posted to our December bulletin board. We also received a wonderful donation of holiday gifts from Toys for Tots and delivered to us by The Journey, a community organization that supports many of the SKC families – thank you to these wonderful organizations! Our Clubhouse got a nice holiday decor makeover, which many of our students do not have at home at this time of year. It makes all the difference for them to have that extra holiday cheer when they enter our Clubhouse.
We decided that December should also be a month of giving so our SKC students worked on hand made gifts for their loved ones in our Clubhouse. We are fortunate enough to have a lot of crafting supplies here in the Clubhouse, but we also received a donation of craft supplies from our Program Leader. The students were able to make handmade ornaments, wreaths, paintings, decorations, and holiday cards for someone special. We also put up our SKC “Show and Tell” wall, which features artwork, stories, poems, paper crafts and other handmade items that our students wanted to share with each other. Our students have expressed how difficult it has been to be away from each other due to COVID-19, so this was a nice way for them to share their creativity with each other. We are all looking forward to seeing each other again and working on personal goals in the month of January!