Key Club partners with local church to help elementary students

Hannah Norton, News Editor

Key Club partners with local church to help elementary school students
It’s 3:00 on a Tuesday at Renton’s Valley Church. The room is quiet, but within minutes, it will be filled with the shouts and laughter of Apollo Elementary School students as they read, do homework, and play games, alongside Liberty Key Club members.
Every Tuesday, Liberty’s Key Club goes to this local church, where they spend an hour helping elementary school students with homework and reading. The program began on October 4, and has occurred nearly every week since.
The students who typically attend the Reading Program are between kindergarten and fifth grade, live in a housing community nearby, and tend to come from primarily Spanish-speaking families.
“Since they aren’t very fluent in English, the Reading Program helps the kids get more exposure to it,” Diaz said. “Also, a lot of them need help in math and reading, so it benefits them in school a lot because they’re getting help from older students.”
The Key Club members who regularly attend the event have gotten to know the children they work with, and have gained personal connections with them.
“Once, a little girl brought in her favorite coloring book, which she wouldn’t let anyone else use,” Stephens said. “She let me use it, though, which was really special to me.”
For the first 45 minutes of the hour-long program, Key Clubbers focus on making sure that the children get their homework done, or read if they don’t have any homework. At the end of the program, however, they give them a chance to relax and play games.
“One day, we took the kids outside and played soccer with them,” Nguyen said. “Kids need the chance to be outside more and be more active, so I know it really benefitted them. It was also a nice break for us because we got to relax and have fun outside.”
For some Liberty students, the Reading Program helps them gain experience for future careers.
“When I’m older, I want to be a teacher. I haven’t had a chance to work with kids or babysit very much, so going to the Reading Program has definitely given me a lot more experience,” Nguyen said.
“Key Club International’s ‘Major Emphasis,’ or overall focus, is “Children: Their Future, Our Focus,” so, what better way for high schoolers to give back to their community, than by helping future high schoolers strengthen their English skills to prepare them for high school and give them a better future?” Key Club President Harkiran Singh said.