The After School Program at the Lily Missions Center provides children with a safe environment where they can have fun, learn skills that enhance their school education and they can receive a well-balanced meal.
The program operates during non-school hours. It’s a safe place with structured activity providing physical, mental and emotional well-being for at risk youth. Children who attend develop ongoing relationships with positive role models such as caring adults, mentors, tutors, coaches and parents.
Children get instruction in reading, math and computer literacy. Their outcomes are measured by trained professionals’. The students are assessed at the beginning and end of their programs. Students are provided with a one on one mentor during the school year. 78% of students in the program increased their math score by at least 25%, 70% increased their reading fluency by 25% and 71% increased their comprehension by 25%. Every child works on homework during the program. Soon they will be adding Pre-K with the established goal to increase kindergarten readiness in Jackson.
The Lily Mission Center’s After School Program works with the lunch team at Jackson Public Schools to ensure their children have access to a nutritious after school meal. They also partner with the Food Bank of South Central Michigan to provide healthy snacks and desserts for their children.
Their collective programs are working, students are safe, they are given direction, their education is enhanced and they’re learning to give back to their community. Here is just one story from their many successes this year.
“6 months ago a mother enrolled her Kindergartener. She was very behind in reading. In fact, she did not know most of her letter sounds and none of the blends. The two were considered homeless because they have been staying with various friends for several months. The first few days of the program, the little girl would look out the window and cry for her mom to come back. School work was not a focus for her. She had severe anxiety about her mother not coming back to get her. We came up with a plan to allow the child to call her mom on her cell phone to check in each time she completed a page of homework. We also used several learning games in order to teach her the letter sounds. We would allow her to call her mother after she learned 4 sounds. This worked like a charm. After several weeks, her anxiety subsided and she had to call her mom less and less. School became fun for her. Her mother told us that our After School Program became a safety net for her. It was where she could feel safe, get a good meal, and learn.”