Post by our intern Aleisha:
When its 108 degrees outside, what do kids during the day? Maybe go swimming, but the pool water feels like warm bath water. It’s not fun swimming in that when it’s already hot, and you don’t want to go outside and play things such as soccer, or even move. Instead, you sit inside and play video games or annoy your siblings. Your parents don’t have money or time to take you places, but being at home gets old after awhile.
Aim Right was given a LOT of free passes to go to the Children’s Museum that is right here in downtown Phoenix, so Ro and I take a group of kids every other Wednesday afternoon. This past Wednesday was our fourth group so far; we try to take about 6 to 8 kids every time we go, and sometimes we take a couple of teens that come to our teen programs. We like taking teens with us because we let them help chaperone to learn responsibilities. It’s also a good time to build a relationship with them, and it gets them out of the house away from their video games!
Ro and I work together packing their lunches; one of us makes the ham and cheese and PBJ sandwiches, while the other takes care of the chips, drinks, and cookies. We always plan to get to the museum by 11:00 a.m., and we let the kids play for a couple of hours. We go from one fun thing to another. There are kids everywhere, running around and smiling from ear to ear. Sometimes…….we staff are having just as much fun as them by just watching them, and sometimes we go and play with them!
Every time we take a group, they all like one area of the museum with big pool noodles that hang from the ceiling that kids can walk through. Sometimes we play a game of hide and seek in them, and the kids have so much fun!
After a couple of hours, the kids start to come to us and say, ” I’m hungry,” or “I think my stomach is eating itself,” (told to us by a little boy we took last time). So we go get the coolers from the van and take them to a side room to serve them their lunch. After they are done, we let them play for another hour or so; by that time, we staff are about done with the place! Yes, we love that the kids are having so much fun, but after awhile the number of kids running around everywhere in the museum overwhelms you.
Spending time with these kids for 3 hours for one day has an amazing impact on your relationship with them. They remember what you did that day with them for a long time. Even though this isn’t a program where we sit down and tell them stories out of the Bible, I think that with the love and care we give them, they can see a difference! And it’s so fun to hear the kids tell you, “This is the best day of my life!”
A word from Marky–one of our teens that comes with us pretty regularly to help chaperone:
“Spending time with the children of Aim Right is very fun and keeps me active and full of joy. Giving all my time to these kids is worth it just to see many smiles and share great memories at the Children’s Museum and Kids Club. I enjoy my time as a volunteer and hope to empower.”