James is an active, smiling 4th grade student who joined ASAP in late fall. He immediately became a leader, sought out by other children and staff alike. He possesses a warm, caring demeanor, always there to support other children and offer his assistance to teachers.
The news reported one night late in January that a 38 year old man in the real estate business had been murdered in broad daylight. James lost his father that night. We discovered that, growing up in the inner city, James’ dad had been a powerful gang member, but had completely turned his life around. He moved his family to the suburbs and gave his time helping others in need; he was an attentive, devoted father.
The ASAP staff kept in constant touch with James’ mom during the time of the funeral, keeping tabs on James’ well-being. We encouraged his mom to send him back to ASAP as soon as he felt comfortable. When he returned, two weeks later, he was greeted with hugs and words of support from the staff, and cheers from his peers.
James had sad days and shared his feelings with staff members, but continued to thrive while attending the program. The smiles returned quickly and, with the nurturing of the staff, James continued as an active member of the “ASAP family” throughout the rest of the school year. His mom often commented on how important the after school program had been for James during the difficult time. She was grateful that ASAP helped her son keep up with his homework and that we gave him a safe, nurturing environment in which to spend his afterschool time.
James’ mom has already registered him for the upcoming school year; the staff is looking forward to his return. The family is now relying on only one income. Without the help of significant scholarship assistance from Family Network, James would not be able to return to ASAP, the program that helped him so much.
Parent Comments about ASAP:
I like the environment- they encourage everyone to get along and help each other. Very team driven.
Primarily we chose ASAP because we believe in the program. Ralph is a special reason, because he has so much to share and is such a strong positive influence on every child. However, all of the staff are good and strong. It is a pleasure to see my child involved in this beautiful, rich, diverse environment.
(Nick) is unhappy if we pick him up early. He wants to stay until the very last moment to be a part of it all and because he enjoys every bit of ASAP.
I asked my kids if they want to go back to their "old" after school program (that they attended the year before) and they said "NO"! They love ASAP.