03 February 2012

neighborhood house

Spent yesterday evening at the Neighborhood House here in my new neighborhood of High Point. It's only two blocks from my house and I walk past it every day on my way to the bus, so I couldn't resist connecting there. Got plugged in with their youth program, and yesterday was my second evening tutoring kids after school. It's a really good place to be. The kids are largely from immigrant families, which means they instantly had my heart. The program director is a woman worthy of respect; the atmosphere she creates in the program is peaceful, relaxed, hard-working, caring, but caring enough to call kids out and gently redirect them when they're distracted. The program is well structured. Both kids and volunteers know the expectations, and they are thoughtful and reasonable. The ratios are manageable: one to two kids per volunteer tutor. It's encouraging to be involved in a solid program.

Last night I listened in amazement as a sweet, soft-spoken, sixth-grade girl read me the tragic adventure story she was writing about two kids who get stuck in a pyramid during a gruesome mummification process and end up dying of dehydration and despair. Then I helped a fourth-grader with long division and a fifth-grader with graphing coordinates, and ended the evening trouncing them both (I know, it's hardly fair when your opponents are ten years old) in Chinese Checkers. The cherry on the top of the sundae was walking two blocks home. The Lord is beginning to open my heart to this neighborhood and to the opportunities waiting for me to live well here.

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