Kids feel welcome in Santa Rosa TAM program
READY FOR CAMP–Youth in the TAM program look forward to an adventure.
BY CAPTAIN LAURA ROBINSON –
At first glance, the Santa Rosa Corp’s Tutoring and Mentoring (TAM) summer program looks like any other day camp in the territory: plenty of energetic kids running around, field trips planned, games to be played.
But this program is not like any other day camp I have participated in. The Tutoring and Mentoring program provides a safe, educational, and Christian environment for young people in Santa Rosa, CA. Most of the children who attend are low income, at-risk children. Some have brothers and sisters who are gang members; most come from broken homes. TAM provides a place where these children always feel welcome.
Program Director Jennifer Freitas organizes the games and activities to support and enhance the main tutoring element, which takes place every afternoon.
On one occasion, Officer Paul Messerschmidt from the Santa Rosa Police Department came and spoke about bicycle safety and gave each child a new helmet for free! Since all the children now had new helmets, and many of them did not have bicycles, the Santa Rosa Bike Elves have restored and repaired used bikes to give to the kids for free! Volunteers provide year-round one-on-one tutoring to help children improve their grades and deal with learning difficulties.
Youth leaders Neil and Rubina Navarro contribute a weekly values class where the children learn that Jesus is the ultimate mentor. This is not your average day camp!