Editor’s note: We are pleased to introduce our latest blog series, “A Closer Look: KidWorks’ Programs.” We offer a full range of programs for children, youth and adults. In this series, we focus on several of aspects, giving you a peek into what makes these programs tick—and sharing a few “little known secrets”!
You can always tell when KidWorks posts the list of workshops conducted by our volunteers: Students crowd around the sheet, clamoring to sign-up for their favorites.
“Whether its music or woodworking, our KidWorks University workshops fill up fast,” says Noemi Juarez, KidWorks’ Director of After School Programs.
The workshops are individually tailored for students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The idea behind KidWorks University is twofold: First, it allows our students to learn to make the choices they’ll increasingly face as their educations progress, such as what major to select in college. Secondly, it also gives the students a chance to develop their creative sides, which is part of our “whole student” approach to academics, character and spiritual development.
“In many ways, KidWorks University starts to give our students a taste of what a college or university environment will be like,” Noemi says. “They develop skills and interests, and even have the chance to try something new, to have a variety of experiences.”
Variety definitely describes KidWorks University. Classes have included music (classical, folklorico and more), ballet, acrylic painting, pop art, chess, soccer, physical fitness, computers, cooking, electronics (where they made their own flashlights) and poetry.
“Surprise—poetry was more popular than I thought it was going to be!” Noemi says.
She points out that the workshops are all volunteer-led. Each workshop is four to five sessions and there are three to four workshop cycles each year.
“The volunteers are so passionate about their skills, talents and hobbies,” Noemi says. “They are so delighted to share them with our students. Some volunteers have been conducting workshops at KidWorks for years.”
Noemi says that workshop leaders have included anyone with a passion for something they want to share. Volunteer workshop leaders have included high school and college students, Boy Scouts, professionals and retirees.
Interested in leading a workshop? Just let us know. Our students are sure to fill every seat!
By Glenn Leibowitz, Volunteer Content Writer