Between sports and school clubs, there are plenty of after-school activities in the community for kids to be involved in. However, the uncertainty of transportation and supervision can pose problems for parents. Ames United Church of Christ (UCC) is developing a program that will likely take care of those concerns.
The Leadership Team at Ames UCC started the Wednesday Afternoon Club at the beginning of the 2013-2014 school year. Every Wednesday at 2:05 p.m., ministers from the church pick up elementary students from school and bring them back to Ames UCC until 5 p.m. The church provides snacks, Bible stories, crafts, games, music and a mini lesson.
Minister to Children and Youth Hannah Hannover helped begin this group, with the thought in mind that Wednesdays are early-dismissal days for schools.
“There might be a little more confusion or troubles over transportation or care for kids on those early-dismissal days,” Hannover says. “(Wednesday Afternoon Club) provides a wholesome program for the kids to keep busy in. They can get comfortable with going to adults to ask questions.”
The church provides the Wednesday Afternoon Club at no cost, and meets every Wednesday during the school year with the exception of winter and spring break. The club began mostly with their own children, but the founders are hoping to get more students involved in the next school year.
“It’s a great way for kids to get to know other kids, and it builds a great camaraderie among them,” Hannover says. “We were primarily looking for another alternative to Sunday mornings and getting kids in the building.”
Interim Minister Reverend Terry Hamilton-Poore sees the Wednesday Afternoon Club as a great help to working parents on the early-dismissal days.
“As the weekend schedules of families get filled with more and more activities, it can be difficult for churches to figure out when best to reach the children,” Hamilton-Poore says. “Wednesday Afternoon Club makes use of the breathing space that those short days provide, as a time to focus on the spiritual development of the younger members of our community.”
Ames UCC is located at 217 Sixth St. in Ames.
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