After COVID-19 regulations forced Agape after-school trips to stop for more than a year, the Middle School has seen the number of people signing up for these trips this year surge. Agape is an academic support program that serves underprivileged school-aged children year round, in-school and after school. Agape is dedicated to having each and every child enrolled in their program discover and embrace their full potential.
Students go on these tutoring trips on Tuesday afternoons, three weeks each month. So far, the Middle School has welcomed these sessions back with a spike of interest. “It makes me feel so proud of our Middle School community,” says Hartley Glass, Middle School Community Service Coordinator. “Especially when we saw the overwhelming interest that our students had in participating, and we ended up opening up more trips to accommodate everyone. It’s a great feeling to see people giving back to the community after almost two years of being so isolated.”
Ten students can go per trip, and so far they are entertaining the kids they tutor. “[The Agape kids] love having a ‘special’ homework helper who can give individualized attention to them,” says Glass.
Agape’s after-school programs include tutoring, one-on-one mentoring, character development, and many more activities that help students embrace who they are and their potential.
In addition to helping the students at Agape, these sessions also serve as a learning experience for Westminster students. “I think it’s gratifying for our students; they can clearly see that they are making a difference in a child’s life, while also experiencing gratitude for the many blessings we have in our own lives,” says Glass.
Students also learn a lot about how to be a teacher during these trips, like how to teach hard concepts and how to keep a child interested and engaged in the lessons. Eighth grader Read Elizabeth Blanco says, “It makes me feel empowered because I am tutoring a person who wants to learn and who wants to achieve, and a person who will need those things to do great in life—and I am just amazed to be a part of that.”