Monday, May 18, 2015

Learning from Markeria

What better way to show the heart of the Nehemiah Center than through the children of the Nehemiah Kids Club? The Kids Club is truly the center of life at the Nehemiah Center, so we hope you learn and get inspired from our kids and their stories—and maybe you’ll become part of our heart too!

The first kid I interviewed from the Kids Club was Markeria. For those of you who don’t know, Markeria is a firecracker. I remember helping her at the annual Christmas party, and there was a lot of excitement to say the least! She’s strong-willed and passionate, and I jumped at the chance to learn what she thinks about life and the NC’s part in it.

                Markeria goes to Highland Gardens Elementary and she loves math and reading. In fact, she wants to be a kindergarten teacher when she grows up. I talked to Markeria about school, and it became very clear to me early on that discipline is crucial to her. She told me about her teachers, their rules, their discipline methods, and her class’s behavior, showing me through her stories that she likes structured, calm environments (as we all do!) and that she wants to build that environment for kids when she grows up. Unfortunately, Markeria doesn’t get that type of environment very often—that’s where the Nehemiah Center comes in.

                Markeria loves to go to the Nehemiah Center after school. As she would say, “It’s family.” Markeria is active at the NC; this past year, she won the Nehemiah Girls’ Program and is a Miss Nehemiah alumna. If you don’t know what that entails, you can check out a previous blog post about the program, but one of the biggest parts of the competition is scripture. Markeria had to memorize and recite countless verses, but her favorite verse is Proverbs 15:1, which says, “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” That verse is a testament to Markeria’s desire for structure and nurturing environments, and the Nehemiah Center certainly fulfills that need.

                The day I visited the Nehemiah Center to interview kids, Markeria and some other kids missed out on a treat because they didn’t have perfect behavior records for that month. While some kids were discouraged by this, none of them threw tantrums or tried to whine their way into the treat. Why? The answer is simple: kids didn’t pitch fits because the Nehemiah Kids Club is run based on consequences. Rhonda Thompson and her workers disciple their kids based on fairness and firm resolve, calmly and gently responding instead of flippantly reacting with harshness. It’s amazing. It’s a fantastic example to Markeria and myself of what a healthy environment of learning should be, and I PRAY you will experience it for yourself! The Kids Club will continue every weekday this summer, so we hope you’ll stop by and see the enormous impact of the Nehemiah Center!

No comments:

Post a Comment