Kroc Scholars shine in San Diego

New summer program initiated at San Diego Kroc Center.

by Lynnette Baker – 

Kroc Scholars and puppeteer Joe Fitzpatrick (in black shirt) work on a puppet screen.

This summer, San Diego’s Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center implemented the Kroc Scholars program, for children ages 5-12, with a maximum class size of 15. The program offered academics, performing arts, self-esteem classes, crafts and Christian education. The scholars met once a week from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The success of the Kroc Scholars program was due to partnerships with Kroc Center in-house venues as well as off-site people and agencies. Teen volunteers from YouthWorks, a Christian volunteer agency, tutored the scholars, offering academic help as well as well as positive reinforcement for students’ behavior.

The scholars were privileged to have Joe Fitzpatrick, a San Diego County premier puppeteer, provide them with an opportunity to make puppets, write the script for their puppet production, make the screen for the shadow puppet presentation, and record their voices. They performed for their families on the last day of the program.

The WOW women’s ministry group from the corps provided snacks for the scholars and their volunteer tutors. Mary Holma and Sherry Schooler conducted scrapbooking classes for the duration of the eight-week summer program as well as storytelling sessions.

Each week the Kroc Scholars received “positive actions” certificates and also free books through the Kroc Library’s literacy program. The program also worked with Andrea Sanford and the daycamp venue of the Kroc Center and thereby provided a Club 3:16 program for the scholars and kids in the daycamp’s aftercare program.

The scholars experienced Christian education time incorporated with the Kroc daycampers aftercare program. Katie Owens, Rosemary Perez, Kenley and Kaleb Kilgore—teens from the University Avenue Corps—attended a training class through Child Evangelism Fellowship. As part of their community outreach they taught “devotion in motion” for Kroc Scholars and also for the Club 3:16 group.

The eight-week program was great fun for the kids and all others who participated!

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