Finding a Good Fit
Ruth is a working mother who cares deeply about her daughters and their success in life. Finding the perfect before and after school care was a challenge because her daughters, Isabel and Sophia, have different needs. Sophia has ADHD which requires more structure and attention while Isabel enjoys the challenge of academics.
"I had to go from center to center looking for a good fit," said Ruth. "Caregivers just didn't have the patience that was required or the knowledge of how to help both children. It wasn't until they started attending the Boys & Girls Club at Federal Way that we found a great match."
Ruth wanted a place where her children could have fun and experience exciting activities while also having a chance to do homework and learn new skills.
"Isabel, who is now ten, and Sophia, who is seven, loved the concept of the Club and have been attending for over two years," said a Club staff member. "They had a lot of unproductive experiences at other facilities and Ruth wanted to ensure that she found a special place for the girls to relax and connect with their peers."
"I'm so happy my sister and I are at this Club," said Isabel. "We made friends right away and all the kids are so nice."
Clubs give individuals the chance to find their purpose and share their passions. Recently, Isabel brought origami paper to the Club. She planned and led a group of children in making paper spheres that can be blown into and filled with air so they become paper balls.
"It's really fun to try new things and explain to others how to do them," said Isabel. "I also enjoy teaching others how to cook, too. I learned how to cook a lot of things from my time at the Club."
Isabel often makes breakfast for her family using the skills she learned at the Club.
Isabel found another opportunity to teach Club kids. She got a lemonade recipe online and, using the Club's kitchen, Isabel gave other Club members jobs to help during the process.
"I wanted to do this to give everyone a chance to participate and work together," she said. "Whatever I have learned in the Club kitchen, I can also use at home and make meals for my family. It's fun."
Club staff said that Isabel has become a role model for the younger members, and that she loves being allowed to take the lead with different projects.
The Club had been teaching kids about organic foods and the importance of eating healthy. Isabel shared that knowledge with her family and how healthy eating habits fuels the body. Sophia has benefited by having her older sister reinforce valuable lessons learned at the Club, like understanding what foods she should be eating.
"Club members of all ages get the opportunity to enjoy trying new foods," said Club staff, "and some say they feel healthier, stronger, more energetic, and have more focus."
While at the Club, kids also spend time doing homework, which was important to Ruth.
"Since I'm from Mexico and didn't go to school in this country, helping my children with their homework isn't something I'm always able to do," said Ruth. "The girls get that help at the Club."
She has appreciated how everyone at the Club makes her family feel like they are part of a community.
"The staff and volunteers are always happy, giving, and truly care about the individual lives of the kids," Ruth said. "Club staff makes everyone feel like we're special. Really connecting with staff makes communication about the kids and their needs easier so we can all be on the same page about their growth and learning. We love our time at the Club."
Ruth, Isabel, and Sophia found their perfect fit at the Federal Way Boys & Girls Club.