|Our program helps close the opportunity gap that many “ethnic minority” children and youth from ZIP Code 46218 face. Providing these kids tools with which to navigate society — as they grow up — is of critical importance.|
The summer feeding and learning program is an extension of the child’s home and school — where kids learn to work with each other and adult mentors, build relationships and manage conflict. Through interactions with each other and us (RCI Mentors) — kids learn how to keep one another happy, to be sensitive and support each other.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, obesity in children has doubled, and in teens has quadrupled, in the last 30 years. Through the summer feeding program — kids continue to learn better eating habits — since we offer healthier food choices. They are more likely to turn to eating more fruits and vegetables — as a first preference, instead of constantly feeding on unhealthy fast-foods.
A well fed child is a happy child. Such a child is more likely to respond to being taught ‘soft-skills‘ such as self-efficacy, impulse control and social bonding. Interpersonal interactions are critical in developing a solid foundations for a child to become a productive citizen, a child who can lead others, show empathy, navigate through difficult group dynamics, value the differences in everyone, and give of oneself for the benefit of others. These are behavioral outcomes which we elicit and reinforce throughout our program. In the long-run, we believe this makes crime a relatively less attractive option, consequently – there are reductions in delinquent and criminal behavior down the road.
Reading comprehension and spelling skills take a hit during the summer — in the absence of regular enrichment over summer break. Research finds that kids typically lose as much as two months of grade level equivalency in math. Since we reinforced the program with learning activities, we have noticed improved school performance in terms of attendance, grade point average and test scores — all adding up to impact the community positively.
The Annie E. Casey Foundation — after years of research — has concluded that the more opportunities, resources and support that families can find in their neighborhoods — the more likely they are to receive the help sustenance they need to raise happy, healthy, confident, and successful children. Despair can engulf parents and children living in poverty forcing them to move frequently and suffer bouts of homelessness. The Royal Christian Institute is not be equipped to directly impact the ‘homlessness aspect’ — but we sure will ease the pressure — indirectly.
|ON CULTURAL HERITAGE: Young children are highly impressionable, therefore we teach them about their culture — in a positive, non-combative manner. This is bound to be a lasting trait and a tool for fostering peaceful intercultural interactions as they march into adulthood.|