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Wouldn't it be great to switch places with your fourth-grade self? Drop the deadlines and spreadsheets to travel back to swing-sets, school supplies, and silliness.

We haven't achieved time travel yet, but meet Devin, a fourth-grader at Webb Primary School. Each day, Devin wakes up at 6:30am, gets ready for school, and rides the bus to Webb. What's his first stop? The cafeteria for some breakfast.

Throughout the day, Devin attends class. He is a bright student with a passion for learning, and his favorite subject is math. "I love math because I like numbers and I'm good at it," he explained, while quickly solving a problem on his homework assignment. We asked him to name the coolest thing he learned today, and his eyes lit up. "Today we learned about decimals! We learned what they are and where to put them. I didn't even know there were numbers between 12 and 13."

During recess, Devin likes to play regular tag with his friends. "I don't like freeze tag," he emphasized to us. "You get tagged and then you get frozen and then you can't move and then...

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The first week back on campus means the first week back with our kiddos! We missed so many things about our SBSK kids, but most of all we missed the way they brighten our day with the sweet, hilarious and downright CUTE things that they say!

On our Afterschool Teachers:

“Ms. Emma’s face looks like a beautiful statue. It’s perfect.”

On her unique name:

“Whoa. You are the first people to say my name right!!!”

On “following directions quickly” and “keeping your dear teacher happy”:

“Guess I’ll need to go home and study Rule 1 and Rule 5!”

On our snacks:

“It freaks me out when we all have matching milks."

On crafting during Crew Time:

Crew Leader: “What’s your favorite word on the togetherness necklace?”

Student: “Loving, because I love my mom… but also because the red color is my favorite…”

On... Sharks?:

"Some sharks are not very...

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I’ll never forget the day at Side by Side Kids when my class was at their absolute wildest. We had to have a heart-to-heart about what my expectations were for them. Some of the students were feeling hurt as I scolded them, so I explained a little more clearly.

I said, “I am disappointed in the choices you made today. But that does not mean I don’t love you. I will always love you and that is why I want you to make good choices. Tomorrow we’re going to come back and start fresh. We are all going to make wise decisions and have a great day!”

One student looked confused and asked, “But you just love the ones of us that were good, right?” I corrected, “No. I love ALL of you - no matter what.” We discussed later how Jesus’ love is the same way. There is nothing we can do to make Him stop loving us and caring for us. The love I have experienced through SBSK for my students and from my students is one of the purest forms of Christ-like love I have seen in my life.

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It’s a brand new school year! If you’re new to Side by Side Kids (or you need a refresher), take a look at some Frequently Asked Questions below!

What is Side by Side Kids (SBSK)?

SBSK is a faith-based nonprofit afterschool program serving at 6 different elementary schools in Austin. Our mission is to inspire and equip kids in East Austin to be excellent students, make wise choices, and follow Christ. We journey side-by-side with kids, encouraging and equipping them to reach their highest God-given potential as everyday leaders and heroes of tomorrow.

Is Side by Side Kids a daycare program or licensed child care facility?

No! In addition, we are NOT regulated by the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.

What’s the difference between SBSK and daycare/babysitting?

We do so much more than “watch” our students! Every minute of the afterschool day is...

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Our Afterschool Teachers are about to embark on the journey of a lifetime! This semester, Side by Side Kids will serve more students than ever before. Our team will encourage hearts and inspire minds at SIX different elementary schools! But how can we be sure our teachers are ready to develop the servant leaders and heroes of tomorrow? By training them, of course!

Side by Side Kids Afterschool Teachers receive 16 hours of paid training at the beginning of every semester. Through extensive research on best practices, our leadership team equips Afterschool Teachers to offer high-quality programming to SBSK students. We explore the following topics in detail:

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Have you heard about the annual Side by Side Kids Backpack Distribution? It’s TODAY! Get the inside scoop from our Afterschool Program Manager, Michelle Sanchez!

Tell us about the Backpack Distribution!

MS: The Backpack Distribution is an annual event sponsored by Austin Ridge Bible Church (ARBC). At the beginning of every school year, we have the privilege of providing all Side by Side Kids students with backpacks STUFFED with school supplies! The Backpack Distribution takes the burden of back-to-school shopping off of SBSK parents, and it equips our kids with the tools they need for a successful school year.

What was the inspiration behind this event?

MS: There is tremendous need for support in our community - both material and spiritual. Through the Backpack Distribution, we are able to meet a material need for many of our families (thanks to ARBC!), but we are also able to show them Christ’s unconditional, unending love in the process. It’s about so much more than a...

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Work hard, play hard, that’s how we roll! There are SO many reasons to #JoinOurCrew, but we narrowed it down to five. Take a look!

1. Supervisors and coworkers who love Jesus!

We pray together, laugh together, learn together, and grow together. When you join the SBSK team, you join a family focused on Christ.

2. Eternal impact!

It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyways) that sharing the Gospel with kids is life-changing (for them AND for you). Are you looking to make a real difference in your community? This is a great place to start!

3. Extensive training on best teaching practices!

Education majors, rejoice! We will give you all the tools you need to be successful in the classroom - just come ready to learn. Get the classroom experience you’re craving before it’s time to student teach!

4. Flexible scheduling!

We sync up with the Austin ISD and local university calendars to ensure that you can make the most of your...

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With fall comes the beginning of a new school year, (hopefully) cooler weather, and LOTS of change and growth at Side by Side Kids! Here’s what the SBSK team is looking forward to most this semester.

  • Lisa: I’m excited to see our new campuses open, and to see SBSK make a greater impact in Austin!
  • Piccola: I’m looking forward to seeing the kids after summer break and learning all the ways they’ve grown! And on top of that, connecting even more people to SBSK. Come volunteer!
  • Tonya: I am looking forward to opening up TWO new school sites! My prayer is that all the youth in our community feel safe and supported.
  • Michelle: I’m excited to see our kids, both new and old! I’m eager to connect with Summer Scholars students to see if what they learned this summer carries over in the school year. I’m also excited to meet and train all of our new staff!
  • Avery: I’m excited to start at two new schools, Oak Hill and Campbell Elementary, and to reach...
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Owen Earl is a fourteen year old going into his first year at McCallum High School. Although he’s just a freshman, Owen already has a huge heart for service. He has been a stellar volunteer with Side by Side Kids, and we wanted you to get to know him!

How did you hear about SBSK?

I was walking down the street and saw a sheet of paper advertising it!

What made you want to apply to be a volunteer?

The general idea of helping people made me want to apply.

How often do you serve? Which school/class?

I volunteer once a week with the second and third grade at Webb Primary, but I might be there twice a week now!

What is the best part of serving with SBSK?

You feel helpful! You feel a lot more useful helping people rather than being at home just watching TV.

Tell us about a memorable moment with your students.

It would have to be when I walked into class and all the kids said, “Happy birthday!” I don’t know how they knew it was...

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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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