Kids in Motion expands to include after-school program, seeks to build on summer work projects

Kids in Motion after-school program members and sixth graders Ayianha, Madison and Lizzie work as a team to construct a card house during the group's first meeting Tuesday in the Hannibal Middle School cafeteria. The youth will learn lessons like communication skills, healthy relationships with family and friends and teamwork as they meet each week through April. The program allows lessons and community involvement to reach more youth who need it, and participants can work toward a better chance of placement in the summer program.
By Hannibal Courier-Post
Posted: Oct. 24, 2019 5:54 pm

HANNIBAL — Teams of three Hannibal Middle School students conversed and strategized as they worked to build the tallest house of cards on Tuesday afternoon — learning that their futures stand tall with a strong foundation.

Jared Moore, youth services director with Douglass Community Services, welcomed the group of 18 youth to the first meeting of the monthly after-school program for Kids in Motion, under the umbrella of DCS and a United Way recipient. Moore laid out the ground rules and the goals for each member of the program — to be safe, respectful, mindful of directions and ready to participate. He also shared for the youth to value their futures, good work and their community. Moore said the new program offers a chance for youth to work toward admission in the summer program. He stressed that the new setting for Kids in Motion allows it to reach youth who need it most, including candidates who were previous Kids in Motion members or suggested by guidance counselors, juvenile services officers and members of other community agencies.

As they separated into teams to see who could build the tallest house of cards within eight minutes, the youth quickly learned the value of building a solid foundation, communicating effectively and working together as a team.

Seventh grade student Makeeley said the activity was new for her and fellow team members but working together and listening to Moore led to success.

“It's actually really fun,” Makeeley said. “When our team did it, and we didn't know what to do, we kept on trying to do it — then [Moore] said 'just fold the cards.'” She said she looks forward to the chance to make a difference in the community through Kids in Motion — they have a volunteer opportunity for the Court Appointed Special Advocate Holiday Bazaar on Saturday, Nov. 16.

“I love to help people,” she said.

Seventh grader Lita agreed, saying she looks forward to “taking care of the community.”

Eighth grader Matthew said he looks forward to giving back and strengthening his social skills along the way.

“All of the time I've been in Kids in Motion, it's really helped me,” Matthew said.

Moore shared a message with everyone about what makes them special and what the future can hold.

“I believe in you guys so strongly — regardless of where you come from in life or your home life or anything like that — I want you to know that you have incredible value, I think you have incredible worth,” Moore said. “We're going to keep building that up.”



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