Just listen in to this amazing story of one of our ACES After School Program students, Lucas*.
Lucas started at ACES last year as a Kindergartner. Before I ever met him the feedback I got about him was, "he's going to be a handful". I was apprehensive to meet him on the first day of school. The reports I had heard were not wrong. He was disrespectful, fortunately, not in a malicious way. He had clearly never had any rules or accountability at home. He never asked permission to do anything, and when I would ask him to do something he would stare at me blankly, or straight up tell me "no". Many times, I would be trying to tell him something and half way through my sentence he would walk away from me.
I realized right away with Lucas that it was very important for him to learn that his actions had consequences. For the first three months he was in our program I would daily go over the rules of ACES with him, and when he chose not to follow one of them I would have him sit out for two minutes. I would talk to him about why he was removed from the activity, and how if he chose to follow the rules he would be able to continue to enjoy doing the activities. There were good days and bad days. Some days he'd only sit out once, other days he'd need to sit out five times in a twenty-minute period. We even had a couple days where we had to send him home early because he wasn't willing to cooperate with us.
It was a long process, but now Lucas has turned into one of the most respectful students in our after school program. He has returned this year for his second year and is thriving. Lucas has a very kind heart and so much potential. We look forward to watching him grow and develop into a strong and healthy adult!
As you can see, your contributions make stories like Lucas' possible. There are many more students just like him that need the care, attention, and support of people like you.
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*Name changed for privacy.
Thank you for what your ministry does with the youth of Corvallis. I enjoy reading the many stories in the periodic newsletters that come in the mail