Building Generational Success through Education and EncouragementNews   


August 31, 2012

Our Tejas Kids Opportunities Summer Programs were a huge success across the state!  In some communities, over 40 children attended regularly. Activities were both educational and fun.  The entire summer was filled with craft projects, reading activities, Bible studies, and featured our Digital Destination program designed to transport students and staff to ANY destination in the world via the internet and other media.  Animated movies and internet-based activities offered lessons in culture and foreign countries.  Through one excursion, the children at Hampton Villages watched the movie Flushed Away. “The storyline is set in Great Britain so I told the kids to pay attention; we talked about what was different in the language and other differences from America,” said Lindie Willey, Hampton Villages’ Coordinator.

Regular activities included the following:

Safety First!
CPR & First Aid

Educational & Fun!
Creative Writing
Skits & Story Telling
Spelling & Grammar
World News & Views

Field Trips!
Local Libraries

Just Plain Fun!
Arts & Crafts
Read to the Seniors
Scavenger Hunts

Personal Growth!
Personal Hygiene
Career Research
Team Building Exercises
Money Management
Eating Healthy

Get Up & Go!
Mixed Martial Arts
Nature Walks
Field Day

Spiritual Inspirations!
Vacation Bible School
Bible Lessons
Prayer & Devotions


Lindie Willey- Hampton Villages, Pampa:  Several of the children went with the coordinator on a trip to Wal-Mart for a first-hand lesson on money management.  The kids were told they only had an imaginary $50 each to spend and were given a notepad, pen and calculator.  They received the school supply list and were instructed to write down the price of the items they would buy if they were really shopping, and to keep a running tab of the cost.  They learned to check the prices of different brands and compare prices.  Upon completing the activity, when they were asked if they enjoyed “shopping”, they said it made them feel like grownups. 

Ashley Kee- Anson Park, Abilene:  The Anson Park community had such a large number of children that North Park Baptist Church in Abilene allowed use of their building for afternoon activities. “Harden-Simmons Professor, Dr. Renee Collins hosted a program called Dream Catcher in which her education students were matched with two to three residents. Each child received personalized attention and literacy training that was tailored to their skill and level of need.”

The program was fun and considered a success because it subtly stimulated academic skills that can sometimes diminish over the summer.

Mary Castorena- Riverwalk, Stephenville:  “At the start of camp, the children discussed where they would like to go for vacation; and, each child wrote down a place they would like to visit.” The older children researched each new place on the computer. “At the beginning of each week they would draw a place, and, for that week, would use that place as the theme.”

The children went to the movies each Tuesday morning. “Riverwalk was fortunate enough to have lunches donated from various local restaurants. One of the children even decided that ‘we are rich’ because of the lunches and movie trips.”

Two of the older children taught swimming lessons with the younger children and as a result, one child is able to swim without arm floaters!

Mecheal Faulk- Stone Hearst, Beaumont:  The big push this summer at Stone Hearst was creativity. “Students were asked to create a story by going outdoors and getting facts to report on whatever they saw.  Some saw men mowing the lawn; some witnessed cars driving by and others saw people walking about the property.  They were simply asked to write an article about what they saw and report it on Stone Hearst News at Noon.  Once they gathered their information, they wrote the short article and read what they wrote on the television set in the family clubhouse.  The students even used a make-up crew to powder their faces for television!  The children even wore a sweater or jacket for the as the ‘audience’ would only see their upper body on television and a fake camera crew even recorded the broadcast.  This definitely created another fun way to get the kids to use their reading skills.”

Alma Puente- Tuscany Court Townhomes, Hondo:  Spirituality was a big focus at Tuscany Court this summer. “The kids took turns reading the Children’s Bible.  Most of them had never heard about Jesus or God before and were very interested in how it all came to be.  One day, they acted out a scene from one of the Bible stories.  This gave them a sense of what it was like for Jesus when He was a young boy.  After they read, the kids had many questions about the Bible.  They really were involved in getting to know the word of God.

Misty Rankin- The Villages of Huntsville, Huntsville:  The internet was a big feature of the program in Huntsville. “The older children worked on their Internet skills via locating different websites that required them to answer questions such as, ‘Where do certain fruits come from and where certain animals come from?’  They went to the computer lab to choose the body of water they wanted to live by.   Each child researched the weather around their respective lakes and what kind of houses would be best to have.  The children also searched for information about the food that was available around their lakes.  The older students completed their projects and presented them to each other.”

In addition, the older children used the Internet to research possible career options.  One task included designing the wardrobe they would need for their new job.  The students also looked up ways they could support their community and presented their ideas about how they could give back.  “They decided it would be great to pick up the trash around their neighborhood, pick up the trash from some of the seniors that could not get around very well, and to make cards each month to hang on random doors that say we are thinking of you.”

Arlene Oliver- Villages at Snyder, Snyder:  For Career Week the children took part in a variety of activities.  They began by looking at different types of careers and learning about one.  The students completed activity sheets and researched different careers on the Internet.  They also participated in a scavenger hunt in which they had to find tools needed for their chosen careers. 

There were guest speakers to talk about careers.  Corporal Rollins of the Snyder Police Department spoke on being a police officer.  Dink Foree from KSNY Radio talked about sports reporting on the radio and programing radio shows. 

Career Week also included a trip to Scurry County Museum in order for the children to learn about history and early jobs in Snyder.  They even solved a crime while touring the West Texas Justice exhibit!

Pierrine Spitaleri- Red Oak, Waco:  “For World News and Views, we had two different students each day pick a story in the news that interested them, and they would present it to everyone. Topics ranged from sports, to the day’s weather, politics (like the elections and who was running for president), entertainment (it could be as simple as informing us about their favorite musicians or actor/actress and their latest news), social issues (like bullying, globalization & the need for recycling, etc.), and many other trending social topics that affected us all.”  Two students presented their first World News and Views to the other students.  They chose to present on the NBA Basketball championship which was a current event at the time.  Everyone talked about what teams they were rooting for with Miami Heat seeming to be the favorite for most.  None of the children could wait until the final game!                                                                                                   

Volunteers Truly Make Everything Possible
Of course, we couldn’t have done all this without the help of our wonderful volunteers!  They were a crucial part of our Summer Programs.  They included retired teachers and representatives from local universities and churches.  Volunteers generously assisted with activities, field trips, serving meals, clean up, Bible study, and whatever the coordinators needed to ensure successful programming. 

For information on becoming a NewLife Alliance volunteer, please visit our volunteer page.

10776 Views | 1 Comments | Bookmark and Share | Category - Activities


1sister | September 19, 2012. 11:18AM

All of the working mothers of these chldren should thank the Lord that they live in a caring and sharing community that creates a wonderful summer. Best of all it was free courtesy of NewLife.

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