Homework Club celebrates with a Bike Rodeo

The last week of school was also the last week that the neighborhood children attended Homework Club (HWC). On May 19, the children went directly home instead of getting off the bus at the church as usual. They rushed to dump off their backpacks, pick up their bikes and helmets, and meet HWC volunteers at the entrance to the trailer courts. We missed our 5th graders who were on an overnight field trip with their classmates, but a 6th grader who attended the Club last year came back for the fun day.

Six children received used bikes from UMCC’s recycle project and eight children were outfitted with new/used helmets. The cyclists then enjoyed dodging traffic cones around the parking lot. Many also tried their hand at jousting with a swim noodle tied to bike handlebars, trying to knock a ball from a tee-ball stand.

In addition to our regular staff, Geoffrey Woods helped adjust bike seats and pumped tires. All the children listened as Fire Chief Virginia McMichael explained the importance of wearing helmets and proper respect to show emergency vehicles which would allow the responders to better serve the community. She also brought coloring books to supplement the information and fire hats to remind them of the work done by the Chugiak Volunteer Fire Department.

This year the Homework Club had 32 children enrolled at one point or another. Three new kids joined the club in the last month and were a wonderful addition to replace some children who were no longer attending.

The Club was supported monetarily by UMCC as a mission project and by volunteers from both UMCC and the community. Tara Riordan and Kay Abrams shared the administrative duties. Cindy Bombeck, a Fire Lake elementary school teacher, fed us information regarding student assignments, and Susan Day was our head cook. Others who served were Amy Steffian, Cathy John, Betty Burke, Nancy Steely, Clare Cook, Dawn and Alissia Thern, Karen Maskarinec, Cathy Ward, Jennifer Holden, Damia Harris, Marge Runser, Joyce Del Rosario, Julie Foster, Bonnie Bailey, and Liz Libo.

Special thanks go to Betty Jo Worthington and the local Food Pantry for supplementing our menu with their excess.

The continuation of the Homework Club will be evaluated this summer, but if left up to the children, it will be a definite “GO” for next fall!