Article by Lauren Buser. Media by Quinten Brown.
The class that we all long for and dread at the same time is here! CORE 401, the class that we all need to graduate, but we all struggle with, is here and projects are in full swing. One CORE team is not only creating a project but building a program from the ground up.
Most capstone projects require about six students. These students work together from the beginning of the semester until Common Day of Learning, which is where they present the research they have done. This particular group of students has begun working on a youth program.
About Their Program
The Pokey Kids Program is a program for the children of Pocahontas, Illinois. Every Sunday afternoon Shane Olmsted, Max Gabriel, Devin Mayfield, Lauren Buser, Brianna Anderson, and Mike Hardin gather at Gretchen Wilson park at 2 p.m. for games, lessons, snacks and more.
“Because this town doesn’t have anything for the kids to do on the weekends, we thought, with the help of Dr. Greg Sanders, that this would be beneficial to the children of the town and also to the community,”
states Brianna Anderson. The program runs from 2-4 p.m. and is successfully keeping around 20 kids a week, with the numbers rising. These children range in age from 5-14. While this is a large range, the town is small and it is important to get as many kids involved as possible. The team says that most of the older kids really like watching out for the younger ones while they’re there, which makes for a great atmosphere. In order to keep this program running, the team is working hard by sending out flyers and speaking to businesses about sponsorships and donations.
These students have received donations of money, snacks, and water for the kids. This has given them the means to have sport equipment for the kids to play with and snacks for them each week. During their snack time the kids listen to a lesson that includes a scenario that the children can relate to, a Bible story, and time for question and answer. The team explained that they’ve already bonded with these children and are amazed at some of their questions about God and creation.
The Next Step
As the semester is drawing to an end, so is the Pokey Kids Program, but just for the summer! The team is currently speaking with instructors at the college, including the sociology, psychology, religion, and education departments, to see if they’d be willing to give volunteers extra credit in class for attending the sessions. They are also speaking with faculty to try to get the PKP to be offered as a community service project as well as extra chapel credit. They are keeping all of their documents organized and in a Google folder as well as a binder, which they hope to pass down to another group of students in the following semesters.
For information on how you can get involved, contact one of these team members or Dr. Greg Sanders at email@example.com. Volunteers are welcome at anytime! Show up at the park on Sunday at 2 p.m. and be ready to have some fun! The team would also accept donations of snacks, drinks, money, or sports equipment.