As many in F3 are aware, F3 (and friends/spouses/2.0’s) has been supporting after school programs at Billingsville Elementary and AG Middle School in Charlotte for many years. We attempt to tutor and teach but it’s hard work and impact is incremental. The kids, mostly from Grier Heights, come from tough environments and, at least initially, don’t have a relationship with us. Mom’s sometimes are wary of these outsiders coming in and many of the kids don’t have a father in their home to teach and guide them about respect, authority, and discipline. The kids live in poverty surrounded by violence, drugs, and other challenges.
But F3, working with Urban Eagles, is interrupting this cycle and providing new hope for the kids. Our goal is to build stronger relationships, give the kids new perspectives, and give them hope for a better future. This can happen in any neighborhood facing similar challenges. Additionally, we are constantly modifying our approach and expanding weekend activities to provide more volunteer opportunities so that volunteers get more excited about what they are doing.
For the middle school, we define our mission, values, and success as follows:
- Mission is to provide holistic (mind, body, spirit) support to the kids
- Values – Purpose/Respect/Teamwork
- Success – Kids learn to accept different forms of authority and are empowered to succeed in the future
Our “coaches” (volunteers) believe our first ministry is to God, we have no agenda or pre-defined view of success, care about the kids without condition and strive to always be authentic and consistent
The F3 volunteers at Billingsville, where we started, are making great strides in effectively tutoring these kids. The kids thirst for knowledge, which happens to be the thing they need most in order to escape the cycle of poverty. The AG PAX see the positive impact they are having because we are seeing a difference in the kids coming up to AG Middle School. The men who volunteer there just finished wrapping presents for their annual Christmas party (sans Cam Newton this year).
At AG, we just finished a semester that included providing book bags with supplies for the kids, discussions on purpose and identity (tough topics at this age), several weekend activities, and a Christmas Party.
Book bags – Book Bag
Activities (2.0 friendly and helpful):
- Trip to USNWC for ropes course, zip lines, and biking – 7 boys and four volunteers Zip Line
- Biking – 7 boys, three volunteers and 1 2.0 USNWC Bike Riding
- Biking with Trips for Kids – 7 boys, 3 volunteers (YHC forgot to take pix)
- Hiking at Crowders Mtn – 8 boys, 4 volunteers, 3 2.0’s Crowders Mtn Hike
Christmas Party – Over 50 kids and over 10 Volunteers (F3 and partners)
- Boys Boys with Panthers “Keep Pounding” sleeves
- Ice Cream Stand Ice Cream – Cuda in Line Ice Cream Stand
- Thank you card from kids Thanks
What’s next – two things:
- Expand this program so kids in other neighborhoods like Grier Heights can receive some Interrupting Hope. Contact me to discuss.
- By: Chelms aka Tatertot
- On December 16, 2016