Each and every week, 28 weeks in all, about 50 mostly Servant volunteers, meet at Wesley UMC. They are volunteer drivers, tutors, cooks, staff and administrators. Each one is committed to mentoring at-risk children identified at Edgemere Elementary School. Whiz Kids vision is “Future Success, Powered by Education and a Strong Moral Compass.”
Not only do the tutors spend an hour and a half reading, playing reading games and other activities with the children, but a full meal is cooked and served to the children as they arrive after school. Guy Ramsey, is the chief cook and bottle-washer, although he delegates very well! Guy has such a heart for feeding the bodies of people so that they can then feed their minds. It’s always fun to arrive at 2pm and find out what nutritious meal Guy has planned. Recently he prepared spaghetti with meat sauce, garlic toast, mixed green salad and bananas. Other weeks Guy will prepare a “breakfast” for dinner meal: pancakes, bacon, scrambled eggs and fruit. Or a baked potato bar. The children also receive a freshly baked cookie as they leave after tutoring. From 2-3:00, volunteers prepare the food so that it’s ready about 3:15 when the children arrive and are met at the bus by their tutors. Although the kitchen volunteers only come into contact with the children for about 15 minutes, we have come to recognize the smiling faces who shyly say, please, thank you and may I!
Every couple of weeks, Carolyn Hays (coordinator along with Shirley Rolston), asks the kitchen crew to come out and be thanked by the children. It might be a “thunder clap” – one by one the tables of kids and tutors pound their table so that when all 15 tables are included, it does indeed sound like thunder! Or sometimes it’s a mini football stadium ‘wave’.
One can’t help but leave with a smile even though we’ve helped cook for 40 and cleaned up for 40 in about 2 hours! In the coming weeks, the other roles at Whiz Kids will be highlighted. Stay tuned!