Paris Swegan, Afterschool Program Specialist
The first word that comes to mind when I try to sum up the first week of program for this school year is, JOY! It was so special to be back on our campuses to welcome new and old faces of both students and crew leaders.
I have been encouraged and excited about the many new Afterschool Teachers that have joined our program this fall. Each of them has brought a new energy and vision to their classrooms that feels fun and safe for our students. I’ve watched them learn how to guide their students through each part of the day, and find out how to adjust and grow with their class along the way. It is so exciting to see their students actively participating and engaging with the curriculum all because of how their teacher is finding creative and fun ways to implement each activity.
We are also blessed by a wonderful group of Site Coordinators this year, who have worked tirelessly to create a campus of learning, love and spirit! It has been so fun to see them take on a leadership role to encourage and assist students and Afterschool Teachers in following the path of Jesus....more
Mary Katherine Prehn
Christie Kim, our 2016 Social Media and Marketing intern is back to serve as our Volunteer Specialist!
After living in Michigan for 8 years, Christie, her husband, and Hamilton, their Australian Shepherd decided to return to Austin (and its heat) this past June, excited for a new city to explore.
Christie enjoyed creating content in the media realm, but is ready for her new role helping volunteers. “I love SBSK because I feel like the team is super united,” Christie notes, “there is a high level of respect for each other and the work they do”.
When asked about what she learned from her internship experience Christie emphasized the team’s “huge desire to impact the community”. Christie is looking forward to meeting all the volunteers in September and to build relationships with them and our kids. “I hope I can lend support wherever I’m needed”.
Click here to read Christie’s 2016 blog post on her...more
Mary Katherine Prehn
We are so grateful for those who serve with us whether they’re short term volunteers, Afterschool Teachers, or members of our program staff. This summer, Carlos Vargas joined our team as Afterschool Program Coordinator and we’re excited to introduce you to him!
Born and raised in the Dallas area, Carlos attended UT Arlington before transferring to UT Austin where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. After getting comfortable with the tech hub that is Austin, he desired to find more passion in the world of operations.
Carlos is a sports lover. He plays on Austin’s ultimate frisbee team, Austin Sol. Through his interest in sports, Carlos knew he was interested in the way the human body works. “I like solving puzzles and I realized that the human body is a huge one,” Carlos says on his transition into Physical Therapy.
Carlos found his passion for working with kids through his friendship and caretaker role of a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. “We would have a good time, but we would challenge each other, I would hold him accountable.” Although he...more
Mary Katherine Prehn
We’re so thankful for our partners at Still Water Camp, who provided three of our students with the opportunity to spend four days, fully-funded at their Christian sports camp in Blanco, TX.
The four days of summer camp provided our students with a chance to explore outside the city and their own comfort zone. The camp offers physical outlets through volleyball, soccer, and other field sports, but also teaches lessons on leadership and the gospel.
Our Program Director, Michelle, was happy to hear that the kids had such positive experiences that they were eager to share when they returned to Austin. “They expressed so much gratitude for the chance to go and were very enthusiastic when they were asked about it”.more
Mary Katherine Prehn
A study by Brookings Education concludes that “on average, students’ achievement scores decline over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-learning”. In addition, students in grades 2 through 9 lose about 25-30 percent of their school-year learning.
When asked about the main goal of Summer Scholars, Piccola, our Volunteer Coordinator, had a difficult time thinking of just one, but settled on the importance of offering summer education. “A lot of communities don’t have access to summer reading or things along those lines through their school. We’re really trying to offer our students the chance to keep up with what they have learned so they can go back to school and confidentently progress to the next level”.
The week long curriculum of Summer Scholars gives the kids in the community a chance to review what they have learned from the past school year while also sticking with lessons to prepare them for their next grade level. Each day, students are taught lessons from...more
Mary Katherine Prehn
“I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me” John 15:15
Last week we kicked off our first Summer Club Fun of the summer! These Thursdays are a great opportunity for the kids in our community to channel their energy in a fun and educational way.
During the Summer Club Fun “Friendship Fiesta,” our students not only learned how to be trustworthy friends, but also how to trust in God.
While reading the story of Moses, we saw that, even though Moses was chosen by God to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, he had doubts that he was right for the job. Still, despite his fear, he accepted this calling. In response to his faithfulness, God placed Aaron in Moses’ life to be a friend that would guide...more
Our wonderful Oak Hill Site Coordinator, Devin Miranda, took the time to tell us about her role at Side by Side Kids and her own relationship with Christ.
When did you begin following Christ?
My parents shared who God was with me at a young age, and I have believed in Him as long as I can remember, but high school was when I truly began to follow Christ. My life has truly been transformed! I think for so many people, there are seasons of push and pull with our relationship with God, and thankfully, His love and dedication towards us is not determinant of the love and dedication we give Him. I’m thankful that He is a God of great love and patience, which is why I think Side by Side Kids is so important. We teach our kids that there is a God who loves them and who is patient with them when they make mistakes. They learn that God wants the best for them in life and is there for them. I’ve seen the difference that affirmation has made in the lives of our students and their families.
Why did you want to work at SBSK?
At the beginning of the semester, our Afterschool Teachers were presented with a challenge: to recruit their friends to apply for a position at Side by Side Kids. With each friend we ended up hiring, they would win a gift card.
Ever up to the challenge, Anna-Claire Taylor, an Afterschool Teacher at our Brown/Barrington campus, decided to share this job opportunity with two of her friends, Kendrah and Emily.
“Anna-Claire told me how much she loved Side by Side Kids and how much she enjoyed doing ministry with the program,” recalls Kendrah. “I also have a heart for ministry and children, so I applied!”
Eventually, both Kendrah and Emily applied to be Afterschool Teachers with Side by Side Kids... And they were both hired!more
At Side by Side Kids, our goal is to help our students gain a deeper understanding of biblical character traits to empower them to grow in Godly character. This is why our weekly curriculum typically centers around a "Word of The Week" like confidence, self-discipline and perseverance.
This week, however, was a little different.
Instead of curriculum centered around a character trait, the theme for this week's program was Arts Week. While the theme in itself is unique, the best part about Arts Week is that each Site Coordinator has the freedom to develop their own curriculum to teach their campus.more
Are you passionate about teaching kids in high-needs communities? Do you want to see the lives of kids transformed under your leadership? Side by Side Kids might be the perfect fit for you!
Year-round, Side by Side Kids looks for servant leaders to staff its afterschool program. We currently have various job opportunities available and we think you could be the perfect candidate.
Come check out our Side by Side Kids Job Fair on Friday, February 2, 2018!
You are welcome to come to either of our two sessions -
During this time, you'll have the chance to learn more about SBSK, apply for a position, and interview on the spot. Come with an updated resume and three references and you could have the potential to walk away with a job - a job that will make a difference and impact lives!
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