Wednesday, June 17, 2009

After School Program a Success for Families in Pleasant Grove

Kayren Cox’s face lights up when she is asked what she likes most about the after-school program at The Salvation Army in Pleasant Grove.

“I like my friends, the teachers, art projects and the garden,” Cox said.

For nine-year-old Kayren Cox attending the after-school program has been a success for her and especially her mother.

Karyren’s mother, Trepacso “T” Cox, reached a moment of desperation when searching for a safe place to send her daughter during the after-school hours.

“I looked at the other daycares and one even had a casualty at the place. I didn’t want to go to work and worry about my daughter’s safety,” Cox said.

For many families in Pleasant Grove finding an adequate daycare is a challenge. Many families work long hours and struggle, living paycheck to paycheck. Kayren’s mother is one of those mothers who has to work long hours to support her family. "It was important that Kayren was in a safe place. Everywhere I looked in Pleasant Grove it was not a safe location for me to send my daughter,” Cox said.

It wasn’t until a few weeks later she discovered the after school program at The Salvation Army. Not only was she surprised by the affordable rate, but she could not believe how warm and loving the staff were to her and daughter.

“The staff are amazing!” Cox said. They don’t just watch my daughter, but take her on fields trips and help her with her homework. I don’t have to worry, which is a very good feeling. I am very thankful to send Kayren there.”

Since joining the after-school program, Kayren has learned a few additional skills that she would not have had the opportunity to if she was enrolled at another daycare. Kayren has been able to learn how to use the computer, which her mother adds is an important skill that she is thankful her daughter is learning.

The Salvation Army in Pleasant Grove recently started a gardening project, and the children have become very active in helping with the project. Kayren is learning that the garden is not just about eating healthy foods, but helping other people in need.

“I like the garden because I can help feed people,” Kayren said. “It makes me feel good because I am helping people and that is important.”

Cox says if it was not for The Salvation Army’s after-school program, she does not know what she would have done. “I am so thankful for this program. It is the best feeling to pick up my daughter and see how much fun she is having there. I know my daughter is in a safe and loving place.”