KidCare America & Thrive Student Center of Rolla is an after-school mentoring organization that provides quality after-school programming for 1st-9th grade students within the Rolla School District at no cost to families. When students are most at risk, which is after-school throughout the week, the churches in our communities are empty. We take the resources and volunteers that so many churches have and use them to provide a safe place for youth after school. But beyond simply providing a safe environment, students today need adults to reach them and teach them. It’s not enough to simply provide after-school care. If students can be reached and helped in the areas of academics, life skills training, and Christian values, then we will be raising up youth to be responsible and productive citizens in our community. Sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it? That’s what KidCare America & Thrive Student Center is doing!
Students are transported from their school to the Center where KCA staff and volunteers have already met and prepared for each student. Mentors work directly with the students daily, while volunteers fill in numerous roles throughout the organization, such as drivers, cooks, tutors, teaching specialists, and assistants. With our bank of volunteers and mentors, we are able to provide an adult to student ratio that is between 1:1 and 1:2. Each day that the students are at the Center they are fed, provided with at least an hour of tutoring, taught life skills and Biblical morals, and given time to relax and play some games. In addition, students are able to use our media center to check out books or do internet research on one of our 7 computers. By partnering with parents and the Rolla School District, we stay in contact to create and keep a level of communication that will benefit the students. Trips and volunteer service projects are also done throughout the year as well. Students are consistently being taught the importance of volunteerism, positive social interaction, basic life skills, and the difference between right and wrong.
In the last few years, we have been growing! Currently we are approaching 50 students. Although First Assembly of God does partner with us and help significantly with funding, by no means do we operate solely from the donations of the church or from members within the church. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and we are here to benefit our community.