Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014
Every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m., students from HWS visit St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Geneva to continue a longstanding tradition. Neighbors' Night allows students and other volunteers the opportunity to engage and entertain local children. The program, which has been run by congregation member Sue Adams since 1986, welcomes children in grades K-8.
"The kids each have their own story, personality and goals," says Patricia Franklin '15, who serves as Neighbors' Night community coordinator. "Many are siblings, cousins and friends. They all look forward to Neighbors' Night. It is a break from the real world."
The events are frequented by HWS students and organizations, like members of the Chi Phi fraternity or community service classes. Volunteers directly impact the children of Geneva by offering them a safe and playful environment in the church. As positive and supportive role models, HWS students often lead games as well as arts and crafts with children. They also work to promote the character development of young people with lively songs, dances and discussions that engage all participants.
HWS has also made many other significant contributions to the program, such as the donation of freshly-baked apple pies on Thanksgiving.
"I think both the children and everyone who volunteers instantly become a part of a great community. Everyone involved wants to help the kids, and the kids get to experience a positive environment that was created just for them," Franklin says.
All students are welcome to participate in the fun and carefree atmosphere of Neighbors' Night. Transportation and dinner are provided. For further information, please contact Franklin at firstname.lastname@example.org.