Blog

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With the end of July comes the end of SBSK’s Summer Club Fun! For the past two months on Thursday afternoons, we have opened our doors to kids in the Austin community and explored the characteristics of God. Here are some of the highlights from each week!

During our Art Party, the kids got to indulge in their artistic side through painting, songwriting, and jewelry-making. It was so fun to see our students understand that God is creative, and that He made them to be creative, too!

For our Adventure Quest, the kids explored all the ways that God is exciting! They told their life stories by making their own comic books, played the board game Life, and wrote some silly stories using Mad Libs!

On Dream Day, we challenged our kids to dream big for their futures. They designed their own architecture using construction paper and Legos, learned about the story of Esther and her journey to become queen, and created...

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This summer, we have been blessed to work with three AMAZING interns! Meet Maddie, Olivia, and Katharine. Continue reading to learn more about them!

Give us some background information!

Maddie: I go to University of Texas at Austin, and I’m majoring in Communication Pathology.

Olivia: I go to Ole Miss, and my major is Marketing.

Katharine: I also go to University of Texas at Austin, and I’m majoring in Mathematics.

What drew you to our internship program?

M: I was initially drawn to Side by Side Kids because it was a faith-based program. I’ve been wanting an opportunity to learn and grow professionally, but was excited that I could also grow with my relationship with the Lord. I was also very interested in serving kids.

O: I really liked that this was a faith-based internship!

K: I was drawn to Side by Side Kids because of how their mission statement included...

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Meet Angel! Angel is a smart and sweet fourth grader at T.A. Brown Elementary. She was also one of our very first Summer Scholars! We asked Angel to tell us all about herself and the Summer Scholars program.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

An artist!

What is your favorite subject at school?

My favorite subject is math, especially multiplication and division. And science, too, because we do cool experiments.

What was your favorite part of Summer Scholars?

I loved everything about Summer Scholars! I loved that I made so many new friends and learned so many things.

What did you learn at Summer Scholars?

I learned more things about math and science, like counting money and making lava lamps!

What’s the coolest thing about God?

...

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We can’t believe that Summer Scholars is OVER! Time truly does fly when you’re having this much fun! Here’s the scoop on the second half of our flagship Summer Scholars program:

Week 3 of Summer Scholars was Math & Technology Week. Our scholars developed their use of binary operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), applied their math skills to real-life situations, and also learned the basics of coding! The kids enjoyed competing in a mathematical game of “Trashketball,” calculating probabilities while playing Twister, and writing an algorithm to make pizza (and then eating the pizza, of course!).

The focus of Week 4 was Science & Social Studies. We delved into the fields of biology, geography, and chemistry. Our scholars learned about dolphins, practiced their Cardinal directions, and even made their own ice cream!

The entire month of Summer Scholars has set an amazing precedent for future SBSK summer programming. Our...

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Did you know that there were TWO SBSK Summer Scholars programs happening this month? In addition to our regular Summer Scholars programming in the St. Johns neighborhood, we hosted a Summer Scholars Mini Camp at All Saints Presbyterian Church in Southwest Austin!

For two weeks this month, Oak Hill Elementary School students enjoyed fun and educational games and activities centered around life skills, literacy, math, science, and social studies. We worshipped together, prayed together, and learned together! One mom shared, “At first, my daughter was nervous about coming to camp. By the end of the first day, she didn’t want to leave!”

Why have a second Summer Scholars program? This fall, Side by Side Kids will launch a new afterschool program at Oak Hill Elementary. We simply couldn’t wait until August to see those students’ smiling faces! Summer Scholars Mini Camp was a wonderful opportunity to connect with students,...

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We are two weeks into our first-ever Summer Scholars program, and we can tell you for a fact that this is one of the most exciting and life-changing experiences that we’ve ever had!

The idea of summer programs that are “all work” and “no play” may be daunting to some, but by the grace of God, our scholars are not only growing in areas like life skills and literacy, but they are also having TONS of fun!

Each week of the Summer Scholars program highlights a different theme. During our first week, Life Skills Week, we learned about Growing with God, Financial Literacy, and Self Care. A few highlights from that week included reading Bible stories, making piggy banks, and participating in the Side by Side Kids Olympic Games!

During our second week, Literacy Week, we studied Reading, Writing, and Spelling. Our scholars read aloud to their peers (and some furry friends), wrote their own short stories, and participated in the Side by Side Kids Spelling Bee.

These two weeks have...

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This school year, the Lord has shown His faithfulness to Side by Side Kids time and time again! He paved the way for our new program at Mollie Barrington Elementary, He parted the waters when the T.A. Brown campus closed, and He opened the doors at both Campbell and Oak Hill Elementary for us to walk through this fall. He is mighty, He is steadfast, and He is so, so GOOD!

The parents at Mollie Barrington had great things to say about their first experience with Side by Side Kids. One mom said, “I am thankful my son is part of Side by Side Kids. He has learned a lot about God!” Another shared, “Thanks to the program, my daughter has changed her character at home and the manner in which she responds to others.” What a privilege it is to see God at work in our students’ lives!

Here are a few more highlights from...

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“Who knows our open motto?”, my UT campus tour guide asked slyly. It seemed as if she didn’t expect us to know the answer and her expectations were met as we all quizzically looked at one another, mumbling uncertain “hook ‘ems?” under our breath.

“It’s actually, 'what starts here changes the world’. Here at the University of Texas, we don’t want our accomplishments to be limited to the 40 acres. We want to make an impact.”

Our tour guide proceeded to list off the accomplishments of past Longhorns. She detailed the ways that UT grads have made progress in medicine, technology, business and more. Of course, all of their successes started during their time on this campus, walking these same streets, sitting in these same classrooms.

I often wonder how they were able to do so much when I feel like I’m barely able to survive finals week. While juggling studying, responsibilities, internships and relationships, my main instinct is survival mode. How am I supposed to change the world when I have tests to take, essays to write, and group projects to...

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Earlier this semester, SBSK gained the newest member of our crew, Tonya Moore, and she is absolutely incredible! Her past experiences serving the youth and her steadfast relationship with Christ are beyond inspiring, and she has fit into our organization beautifully.

Tonya and her family moved to Austin a few months ago from Omaha, Nebraska. Back in Omaha, she worked for another youth nonprofit for more than 11 years, during which time she served in a variety of roles with children of all ages, including elementary, middle, and high schoolers. When she arrived in Austin, Tonya knew she wanted to continue serving the youth, and God led her straight to us.

“When I came here, I was looking for something that would still keep me working with the youth, and that’s how I found Side by Side. I just looked online for non-profit groups serving kiddos, and it popped up! And it was faith-based. My faith is important.”

When asked about the largest differences between SBSK and her previous job, Tonya spoke a lot about transitioning from a secular work...

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