Students everywhere complain about school and the homework load that comes with it, but just down the street is a community of children struggling just to learn the basics in education. The Como Community, which is bordered by the wealthiest neighborhoods in Fort Worth, has a generation of kids who are falling behind in school and need help.
Several years ago my family became involved with the kids in the after school program at the Como Community Center, establishing a math and reading night to help support kids with these critical skills. We partnered with students from private schools and the National Charity League to create a fun environment in which kids could get help with basic math, writing and reading skills.
Now the program has grown and incorporated a partnership with Dream Outside the Box, a nonprofit organization that brings fun learning experiences to children in communities that have limited resources and exposure to potential study and professional opportunities. Their belief is that you can only dream about what you can imagine. By partnering with local professionals and TCU students, they are bringing doctors, artists, scientists, and other professionals to the center for an experiential learning program.
Kids are learning to extract DNA from strawberries, broadcast a TV news show, apply physical therapy, eat dinner in a nice restaurant, become a public speaker and other skills that help them envision who they can become.
The kids are so excited to be a part of this program, and volunteering at the Center usually ends up being as much fun for those helping out as it is for those we are serving. There are so many ways to volunteer at the center: the after school one on one tutoring program, the holiday parties, the senior prom (for senior citizens), the end of school year carnival, and the summer day-camp. Being part of the change that is occurring in our neighbors’ lives and seeing the smiles on their faces is incredible.