Every Thursday night from October to May, our Mission Soccer Academy meets for training sessions. It is a blend of remarkable skill, hip hop swag, kickball, and teamwork. We partner with Starfinder Soccer for 2 weeks of camp in July, and are hoping to add more opportunities for our young people to flex their skills.
Tuesday night chapel. It's Sunday School, but on Tuesday. We learn, we sing, we pray. Skits and crafts too. We remind each other to Love God, Love our Neighbors, and Love our Neighborhoods.
These kids work hard - and we go out of our way to reward that hard work with a few unforgettable experiences. Through the generosity of our donors, we’ve taken kids to Sixers games, movies, the library with Miss Fran and shopping at Home Depot.
We believe it is important to get the kids out of the neighborhood. We want them to have every healthy experience that we can offer. And sometimes we spoil them.
We are blessed.
We are lucky. We are fortunate.
Words can't hold the gratitude we have for our Summer Camp partners: Mont Lawn Camp in the Poconos, Camp of the Old Mill near Coatesville, and Starfinder soccer in Manayunk.
Our young people grow up in a cement city. Places to play and run and be free are few and far between. But in summer, exploring the woods in the Poconos, canoeing on the Brandywine, and playing soccer on the freshly cut grass at Manayuk, they find freedom and opportunities to grow. Our kids love the Mission, and many have told us that of everything they get to do, Summer Camp is what matters most.
Through generous donors and committed friends, we are able to offer our young people the opportunity of a lifetime.
Grade School Mission. K-5th Grade
Our after-school program is divided into 2 rooms by grade level. We are proud to partner with Kearny Elementary School to offer support when possible.
Our K-5th graders are in the youth room on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. We believe that there is a different combination to unlock every child's potential. Some of our students are independent learners. And some need individual help. We do our best to adjust. We believe strongly that skill work is as important as homework. And we don't think it is ideal to do 5th grade math with a learner at a 2nd grade level. We have learned to rebuild fundament skill levels, and to have a long-term vision for learning.
We have a library, reading section, flash card bucket, a few tablets, and our Skill Center approach is helping our little people build critical skills for life.
Many of the young people in our community are still testing below their grade levels. It is daunting, but with the help of our donors, Junior Leaders, and volunteers, we are stepping to the challenge.
Middle School Mission. 6th to 8th Graders
Our 6th to 8th graders are fortunate to have an incredible director in Molly McLaurin.
Molly compliments homework time with critical thinking exercises, creative writing, and cultural awareness lessons.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursday sessions include life skills themes, etiquette lessons, global education, team building games, healthy eating ideas, goal setting, and a book club.
Molly's students use an economic system where they are rewarded with replica dollar bills for good behavior and extra credit. The student store is open bi-weekly for shopping.
Molly regularly shares with the students, "Everything I teach, has a bigger goal out in the world."
One of the measures of success we are most proud of is the growing number of our teenagers who graduate high school and are accepted into college.
That success can also be a challenge. Our young people receive financial aid, but are often short of tuition, housing, and money for books. We have committed to helping support our young people as much as possible. We do not want finances to be a barrier to opportunity and education.
Volunteering in the Community
The Mission is committed to putting the safety of our children as a top priority. We welcome volunteers, but are required to complete a screening and a background check. We need tutors and mentors and coaches.