Patchwork’s Arts & Smarts program began its fall semester this week, and what a good week it’s been. We’re seeing some familiar faces and some new ones among both our participants and our volunteers. We’ve marveled at how much some of our returning participants have grown over the summer. We’ve introduced ourselves to new children and their parents. We’ve welcomed some great new interns from Ivy Tech, University of Southern Indiana, and University of Evansville.
Families with children who need some extra help in school have started making tutoring appointments with Dixie. Things usually start slowly but pick up quickly as parents learn our program is open and as they begin to realize that their children are falling behind in the new school year. Tutoring is open Mon-Thursday for children in grades K-5. If interested in signing up for tutoring, parents should call or stop by and talk to Dixie to schedule a tutoring time.
Currently we need high school students and adults who would like to tutor these students. Tutoring sessions begin at 3:30 pm and 4:15 pm, and simply volunteering for one session once a week helps. Dixie would also like to have additional substitute tutors who she can call on occasionally when her high school and university tutors are on school breaks. For more information about how to volunteer, visit our website, call us at 812-424-2735, or just stop by!
For the first two weeks of Arts & Smarts programming, our activities outside of tutoring are open only to participants in grades 6-8. It’s special Leadership Training time when these youth talk about what it means to be a good leader and how to set a good example for the younger participants. They also do special projects and activities that help build the team. So far, this year’s team is looking great. Their reflections during the first week were insightful and mature, and their interactions with one another were spirited and caring.
I asked Leslie and Rita, two of our new Ivy Tech interns, to reflect on their time so far in the Arts & Smarts. They said that it feels like they’ve done so much already, and that it’s been fun. They are both impressed with how welcoming the program is for kids, staff, and interns. They observed that the program includes kids and adults who are diverse and that that is very exciting. “You can show up as you are and who you are,” observed Leslie.